advanceing ground work - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Newaygo, MI
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advanceing ground work

Hello! I have a 4yr old reg paint mare that I got as a rescue at 2.5yrs old. She has had lots of basic ground work done with her and moved onto saddle training(a month ago). My problem is is that she has bucked before so me being 3months pregnant can not ride her =( She only had 2weeks of rideing on her and is an amazing trail horse! Shes not scared or afraid to move out alone. She bucked the first 2 times weight was on her then first time cantering her(which she cantered just fine afterwards). My friend is not able to keep helping me out and I dont have the money to send her to a trainer(and dont know anyone I really trust that could help me out) so I am looking for ideas on thangs I can do with her on the ground to keep her mind sharp and focused till I can either save up money for a trainer or till next year after the babies born... She does awesome on the ground, rough around the edges and a little touchy with her flanks/belly but she always takes everything in with a soft patient hand. All I know is basic ground work so Id like to learn new stuff to help her better learn for when I do start rideing her next year. She normally catches onto what you ask her to do with in 15mins and doesnt take her long to remember it the next time.

I am researching about ground driveing and looking for a trainer in my area that I could get some pointers from. I would love to hear some advise on how to go about that, work her up to it and what not. She was abused in the past(ears twitched to control her and beat with ropes) so I always take thangs easy on her and go her pace. But because of her slight fear of ropes I think itll be a little more tricky so advise on getting her use to ropes would be great as well :)

Thanks so much for takeing the time to read this! God Bless =)
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 02:27 AM
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You can look into leasing her, as she just sounds like she needs work, if you rule out any pain.

Not up to typing a lot atm, not feeling well but others will help you out :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 08:30 AM
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I don't think leasing will work. At this point in her career you'd basically be askin for someone else to pay you to train your horse.

If you can get ground driving lessons, inquire about groundwork lessons as well. I would also research different branded training methods and buy some DvDs until you can afford a better training situation.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 11:47 AM
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I have the same issues. I am 6 months pregnant, but my horse is too unpredictable under saddle to ride, and I have chosen not to ride any horse at all during my pregnancy anyways.

What I do with my horse is light groundwork, in short spurts, more for his sake than mine (and he learns so dang fast I'm running out of ideas, lol).

Anyways, I lunge him, focusing more on his extension and muscle building than anything. We are working on getting the proper muscles to hold a canter at the moment. I work off of my voice as much as possible, and then the line, and then a whip, if needed. Stay consistent, doing lots of up and down transitioning and changing directions. I like my horse to slow down when I wiggle the line and say "easy" and to stop and face when I say "woah." I know these things will help under saddle.

Another thing we have worked on is yielding hind and front on the ground, and flexing. I start by asking my horse to stand next to me. I stand at his whither and then tug gently on the lead rope. He then stands in place and looks over at me, his head completely facing me. It may take some time if your horse does not already know how to do this, but its easy to teach. Simply apply pressure, and when they move their head, even slightly, release said pressure. Repeat, repeat, repeat, asking for a little further bending every time. Then switch to the other side.

After you have that accomplished, add the hind yield. To do this, ask for the flex in the neck, and then hold the flex and gently rub the side of the horse, about where your calf will hit her if you were in the saddle. She should move away from the pressure, and will cross her hind legs in the process. Release all pressure, including the head pressure. Once again, repeat on both sides.

These two exercises help to get a good one rein stop in as well, when you eventually start riding again.

When you have that accomplished, you can ask for a front yield. This one is a little harder for them, but it is very useful. Start by holding the lead rope loosely. Stand on the left side of your horse. Put your left hand on their neck, right where their head meets their neck on their throat, and the other hand on their front shoulder, right where you would put your foot if you were asking for a yeild in the saddle. Gently push with both hands until your mare bends her head away from you. Release pressure and repeat, asking her to go a little further with her head as she moves away from your pressure. Eventually, she will move her left foot over to compensate for her head throwing her off balance. This is what you want. Praise her, and keep repeating. She will get to the point eventually where she is crossing her front feet with a simple nudge on her shoulder,which can come in handy when you are riding her later on.

Other things I do to help them yield their front is what I like to call a half circle. Stand with your back facing a wall. Have the horse on a long lead rope. Ask them to start by heading to your right at a fast walk or trot. They will do so, if trained to respond to a whip or cues, and will eventually stop when they hit the wall. The moment they stop, they will still have energy from the trot. At this time, point the whip or crop, or carrot stick, towards their shoulder, and shake it while moving towards their shoulder, asking them to move away. If done correctly, with a horse whose front end is not bound up, they will cross their feet to get away from the pressure. Repeat going to the other side, having them start on your right and end up on your left. Ask for that yield immediately as the horse starts to stop. It takes a while for the horse to get what you want, but the results are awesome. If the horse ever gets stuck, then simply reverse them and try again.

Also I have done join ups, gone for walks, carrot stretches, and practiced squaring up and trotting in hand.

Sorry for the long post, but I feel your pain with the not being able to ride them, so I wanted to explain thoroughly how to do what I am talking about.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the tips Lakotababii!! Ill be copying it and saveing it to read over as I go :)

I am more then capable of training her myself as she is just going to be our trail horse. I was just thinking with 30 days of training on her shed be fine for me to ride but theres no garentee so I mind as well just do what I can on the ground and save my money. And when my friend has time to just give her a reminder.

I did consider seeing if someone wanted to lease her(experianced person that maybe their horse was lame or they just wanted something that could be worked more) but it comes back to I dont really trust anyone to take her. I know its not pain because she has about 25miles of trail rideing on her where there was no problems.

I will for sure talk to someone about ground driveing and advancing ground training. If I can find someone willing I could even pay by the hour to have her worked at my place so they can also show me what their doing. In the mean time Ill be hitting YouTube and looking for books and DVDs to get myself better knowleged on ground work. I really am greatful for the help!! Thanks a bunch to everyone!!
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 03:52 PM
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This is a good time to look into horse agility. It has become very popular in the UK and is rapidly making inroads in NA. It is an obstacle course, similar to dog agility, but suited to horses. It helps perfect your ground work. The obstacles can be adapted to whatever you have lying around. eg. lead horse until he places front feet in hoola hoop. He is to remain until you ask him to back out. Do check it out as it certainly adds interest for both of you.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Omigosh that sounds amazing Saddlebag! Even if I didnt compete her in it it would be great to do with her! As a trail horse I want her to trust me and go where ever I point her so doing my own "agility" training on the ground will definetly help! Ill go look it up and see what kinds of stuff I can find :) Thank you!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by broesly View Post
Omigosh that sounds amazing Saddlebag! Even if I didnt compete her in it it would be great to do with her! As a trail horse I want her to trust me and go where ever I point her so doing my own "agility" training on the ground will definetly help! Ill go look it up and see what kinds of stuff I can find :) Thank you!
if you have RFDTV you can watch it on there I have seen it and although I am not into that I do think it is cool to watch.
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