My horse only wants to face me or trot….

I saw Stacy at the Equine Affaire expo in Columbus yesterday and had a question about the groundwork done. Part of the groundwork showed how to get your horse to face you square on. I have been working with a horse that is continually stopping and facing me during lunge work. He is good about staying out of my space and following/backing up, but when I ask him to do a downward transition on the lunge line, he stops altogether, swings around and faces me directly. When I gently ask him to move on, he takes off at a trot again, and if I ask him to slow down, he simply stops and faces me once again. Sometimes he even does this without me asking for a downward transition. We have spent several lessons working on this, but I feel we have gotten nowhere. What can I do differently?


There are several ways to work on the problem you have described. The first one I would suggest is to practice more inside turns. For example if he is trotting clockwise ask him to reverse directions in one fluid motion (don’t stop him and then turn him). He will likely reverse and take off fast again but I would like you to continue to reverse him without letting him stop facing you.
You will have to vary where you ask for the reverse of directions and how often. To work on him wanting to walk I would reverse more often (up to 2-3 times in one circle) as the repeated turns help to take away forward motion and as long as you don’t drive him forward hard he will begin to make the reverse less like a rollback and run and more like a slow turn…that is when he will begin to consider walking.
Did you follow all of that? 🙂

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