06-12-2012, 10:24 PM
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My guy had pretty bad manners, and I managed to get some pretty good training (and got trained to train my guy, if that makes sense). We started with him in a rope halter (he listens better to that than a webbing or leather halter) and on a lunge line. My trainer has a round pen, and we did all this in there. First, he learned to get sent left and right (at direction) on the lead line. Then he learned to back up with the lead line used as a signal to do that. Then he learned to yield his hindquarters. Once he was doing all of that consistently, we then did it all again, only this time without a lead line - just having him there and paying attention to my body language and directions. Once he got good at that, he learned to turn to the outside on cue, and to turn to the inside on cue. He's better at turning to the outside than to the inside, and he's better at turning to the inside if he's headed counter-clockwise (I am on his left) than he is if he's headed clockwise (I am on his right).
I've been watching my trainer do a lot of training so far this spring - anything from older horses with bad manners to horses who have not yet been started under saddle. She won't start them under saddle (even to just get the feel of the tack) until they're behaving themselves consistently and predictably with the ground work.
It seems to be working pretty well with the horses she's had in for training, and it sure did wonders for my horse. He has become MUCH easier to handle, MUCH more polite!