Ground Driving Questions and More? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 10-05-2013, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ground Driving Questions and More?

I have many questions, they all relate to ground driving but some not the training aspect of it.

Long story short, I have a 2 and half year old gelding that I will admit, I have been on his back a few times, but never for more then a minute or so and I have enforced nothing more of him. He will be three in February and I at first was going to send him to a school I went to so that they could ground drive train him. Though fact is I need to learn how to do this myself, as I have a coming two year old in February as well that I would also have to send away. Plus, I want to be the one to train him as I have a very tight bond with him out of all of my horses.

This gelding that I am mainly wanting to train is very willing to please and loves to work. I can't go into the pasture to catch anyone else without him basically sticking his head into the halter.

Though I am having trouble finding any good books or videos, on how to ground drive. We both will be learning so I don't want to think he is doing something wrong when it is operator error. Anyone know of any information source I should look into? Or have some good information to give on this?

I know the basics of ground driving, and being western based I would use a saddle. I have hooked him up to lines, but.... had issues with the understanding of the bit.

Which brings me to,... What bit is best for a two year old? I've been told a snaffle O or D ring.

Also, how much does having their wolf teeth effect them when a bit is used?
I plan on getting them removed, but wondering if it would hurt to start working with him before they are removed?



Please do not judge me on getting on his back.... I meant no harm to him.
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-06-2013, 08:21 PM
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Instead of looking for ground driving book - just look for things about breaking a horse to drive and translate that into what you're wanting (I'm assuming to introduce your youngster to bit pressure, right/left/halt/ ect).

I personally like to use a loose ring snaffle (O ring) with a chin strap so you can't pull it through their mouths.

Does he lunge?
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-06-2013, 08:24 PM
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A good article about long-lining (essentially the same thing as ground driving) How to Long Line Your Horse and Why You Should Try It | EQUINE Ink

Another good articles, lots of good things to think about.
http://morab-imba.com/pdf/mp_driving_article.pdf
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-06-2013, 08:33 PM
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Agree with Jag. Ground driving is the same as driving but with out a cart.
This should be a good book. Http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Horse-Harness-Step-Step/dp/0851318231
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-07-2013, 08:57 PM
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Hi,

Firstly, what else have you done with him/taught him/desensitised him to? I would ensure he's comfortable & confident about yielding to pressure in different ways - eg. Fingertip, reins, rope/stick/whip tapping, etc. I'd ensure he was confident about ropes on & around him, with & without asking him to yield to the pressure of them. I'd ensure he understood how to yield to that pressure regardless of the position you're in. Eg. Does he understand how to turn/spin away from you, if the outside rein is around his rump?

I would also start teaching ground driving without a bit - too much room for painful error with a bit. Remember the longer the reins, the more leverage, so bit pressure can be stronger than when ridden. I'd get him going well in a halter first, so by the time you get to using a bit, you can use it gently. I'd get him used to just wearing a bit, without any pressure/anything connected to it first. Then, once he understand well how to yield to rein pressure, ask for the same with the bit, as simply & easily as possible. So he should understand all the 'ingredients' well, before you combine them in ground driving.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-07-2013, 09:05 PM
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I've actually never taught any of my horses to ground drive before riding. After my horse was trained to ride, he easily picked up ground driving. But if it had been the other way around.. Eh...

I think more confusion would come from ground driving than just riding. All of a sudden standing behind them, telling them to go, and having them asking questions.. I don't like the idea of it. I'm always more comfortable on top of a worried horse than on the ground with one.. That's just me though.
As for my mare now, the old owner tried training her to ground drive in one day... Long story short, she panicked, reared and flipped. It all could have been avoided if she had been prepared-- so please take your time. Ground driving can be dangerous, especially if the horse doesn't understand pressure from the bit, people standing behind them, etc.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-07-2013, 09:48 PM
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You don't really stand behind them either Kylie - you stand back and to the side. But you're right - if you push a horse too fast they can become VERY confused and lash out.

The thing with ground driving in comparison to riding is you have two cues to direct with, bit pressure and voice. So you must make sure that you actually TEACH what the bit cues means and re-enforce verbal commands. They must trust your guidance and follow without question.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-07-2013, 10:37 PM
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I got great answers to my ground driving questions in my thread. Question about ground driving

As for what bit, depends on your horse. Aires hates a single joint snaffle, but loves a double joint. I would go with a D ring or full cheek.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-07-2013, 10:44 PM
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We ground drive every horse we train. We also ground drive older horses we acquire . We go back to ground driving any horse that presents us with a problem. We can prepare a horse better for riding in this manner than any other thing we do. When we get on a horse for the first time, that horse knows how to move forward, follow its nose and turn nicely to the right and left, stop, and back up. Any horse we drive will walk and jog over ground poles,

Now, that being said, we don't just hook one up with a bridle and driving lines and expect them to drive off. We prepare them for ground driving just like we prepare them for everything else -- one step at a time. We 'sack out' every horse with a big, soft cotton rope. Once this has been done, the driving lines do not bother the horse because they are not a new thing to the horse.

Once the horse is used to having things around it butt, we take a longe line, snap it to the right dee ring on the horse's bit, put it up over the horse's hip and let it fall over on the right side of the horse and let it rest right above the horse's hocks. Then, I step back and pull on the line until the horse makes a tight circle and follows its nose around to the right to unwind itself. I repeat this teaching the horse to turn around to the left and follow its nose that direction.

My horses have been taught to go forward when I ask, long before this process If I stand behind the 'center line' of a horse and 'smooch', that horse is going to go forward. I do not care if a horse is specifically taught to longe or not-, it should still go forward when to stand back and smooch and ask it to go forward.

Now, if this has been done right, the horse is ready to drive in an enclosed area. {Mine is a square pen about 20' X 30'.] I do very little 'pulling' on them when I start. Since I am in an enclosed area, they have to turn when they run into a fence. I start by smooching and getting forward motion. Then I turn them against the fence a few time. Finally, I lightly pull on both lines and ask for a stop. I always get one.

Some colts, especially cuttingbred colts are so light that they cannot take much of any pull on their mouths. I snap the driving lines into the rings on the side of the flat nylon halter but leave a bit in the horse's mouth.

We NEVER run the lines through the stirrups on a saddle. [I will begin using the stirrups for my reins when I begin riding with my feet holding the reins.] We tie a 2-3 inch ring into the back rigging dee on almost every stock saddle we use.

I frequently drive up and down steep hills, across creeks and over big logs. I drive horses over wooden planks, around tractors and heavy equipment, just about anywhere.

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-08-2013, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagman6201 View Post
You don't really stand behind them either Kylie - you stand back and to the side. But you're right - if you push a horse too fast they can become VERY confused and lash out.

The thing with ground driving in comparison to riding is you have two cues to direct with, bit pressure and voice. So you must make sure that you actually TEACH what the bit cues means and re-enforce verbal commands. They must trust your guidance and follow without question.
Around here, we stand behind them while ground driving--I stand out of kicking range though. I mainly did this so I could later teach him to drive..which actually never happened, he turned into a sled horse instead
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