Ground Driving.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ground Driving..

So I believe my horse was rushed/forced into training, level 1 dressage (so the previous owner claims... yet I've had him evaluated and they think it never happened..) and is proclaimed "green" but I don't even think he's green...he barely understands a thing I am asking him to do, so I've started doing some groundwork and that is transferring into saddle work beautifully.

However, after talking with a trainer I've been working with on just MYSELF (using her lesson horses to work on my seat and balance, etc.) she believes I should ground drive my horse because it'll help him to understand what I'm asking him to do and he'll become a lot more confident and able.

I have no idea how to ground drive.. And I rather not try to figure it out because it would probably be more hurtful than helpful... but I was wondering, are there trainers out there that I could pay to walk me through how to ground drive, working on different kinds of horses, and then applying it to my horse? Sort of like ground driving lessons :P

I really want to learn...rather than pay someone to do it for me, or worse... send him away somewhere.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 09:43 PM
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I've not done it myself but have watched it done/heard about it... I can't explain it for you, but there is this. As with anything there's likely hundreds of different methods out there.

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 09:58 PM
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In addition, make sure you ground drive in a safe environment for you and the horse!

A friend was recently ground driving a new horse in their turn-out, and the horse reared, flipped over, and wedged itself between a corner post and the barn, where a small gap was present. Had the friends not been able to calm her down, her thrashing would have likely killed her.

A lot of people I know use open fields to start out with. A local rescue/training facility ground drives in open crop fields. I know other people who use country roadways with very little traffic flow. (I'm talking they're lucky if 1 car passes through all day.)

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, thank you
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 12:50 PM
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Since your trainer suggested it, I would ask her who to turn to for help.

Learning never stops
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-05-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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I would but I am moving in exactly 2 weeks :P and myself in 16 days so I'll have to hunt around in VA for someone to help me out. I wish it would have been suggested earlier...
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-06-2011, 11:11 PM
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Why exactly does she feel that ground driving is good for your situation? Did she say? It can be helpful for introducing very green horses to the bit, but beyond that, I've often found that it does more harm than good (especially when done over an extended period).
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-07-2011, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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Mainly getting him to understand stop, go, going through tight spaces. I've been working on him on the ground and in saddle and there's a definite improvement but she says that a little bit of each every so often is a good refresher and gets him working off of his hind more, rather than being heavy in the front. It'll also help him figure out what he's supposed to be doing without a rider on his back.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-07-2011, 07:03 AM
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When you are looking for a new trainer ask about them teaching you to ground drive. I am sure there is a trainer out there that is willing to teach you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-07-2011, 03:20 PM
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IMO, I wouldn't even TRY ground-driving an unbroken horse that behaves like this. I have had the appetite for a driving horse for years now (long story there) but I wouldn't even THINK about it now, unless I learned how on my stone-cold-broken 13 yo mare who would NEVER kick me in the face!
Maybe what your trainer means is "working on the ground" with your horse. I suggest you pretend he's TOTALLY green, and start with all of the basics, like leading correctly, backing correctly, then teaching to lunge, going over poles on the ground, etc.
I have been studying this book, so perhaps it will help:
Http://www.amazon.com/Driving-Light-Horse-Training-Competition/dp/0668056525/ref=cm_lmf_tit_3THis would probably help, too:
Http://www.amazon.com/Longeing-Lining-Exercises-English-Western/dp/0876050461/ref=cm_lmf_tit_4I'll need to look for another long-lining book that I haven't gotten through yet--couldn't find it online, bc I've forgotten the title.
I am sorry but we ALL see way too many horses on the market that are untrained or at least, undertrained, and we are sold a bill of goods. Please be careful, and good luck! =D

Last edited by Corporal; 09-07-2011 at 03:26 PM.
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