Ground Driving Training, Halter or Bridle??

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Ground Driving Training, Halter or Bridle??

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    04-12-2010, 09:41 PM
Question Ground Driving Training, Halter or Bridle??

Okay, I am going to start Glyder's ground driving training Wednesday. My question is should I use his halter, rope halter, or bridle with his hackamore?

Another question is, some people tie the stirrups so they don't move, others leave them to flap when at a walk to help get them to turn better. Should I tie or leave flapping?

I kinda think I should start with his halter and tie the stirrups just to keep it as basic as possible when I first start to see where he is with ground driving because I don't even know if he has ever been ground driven. I am using 2 25' longe lines so that should keep me outta harms way and I plan on wearing my helmet as well to keep very safe. So what do you guys think?
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    04-12-2010, 09:48 PM
Green Broke
How broke is he? Is he used to a bit? If so I'd use a bridle. I think it's easier to teach a horse to ground drive using a bit. If you're ground driving to teach a horse how to steer with a bit I'd start off with a halter a few times first. Then move on to the bit.

I always ground drive with a surcingle but if I were to use a saddle I think i'd leave the stirrups untied. Simply b/c a horse should get used to hte feeling of stirrups flopping around. But that's your call!
    04-12-2010, 09:53 PM
Oh he is fairly broke and I ride him all the time but he was abused and has some issues (read my other posts to catch up). He hates bits and has scarring on his mouth from bits and seems relaxed with the hackamore, even puts his head down into the bridle, whereas, with the bit he clamps his mouth and holds his head high and I can't reach it. So hackamore works for him much better. He seems to learn better with a soft, gentle touch because when getting assertive he shuts down and gets nervous and spookey, I think he is waiting for the whip because he was whipped til he bled by his old trainer. So I try the quiet, soft ways and he moves with honesty and trust. My current trainer strongly advises that I be the only one with this horse because of the trust I have built with him. So even she does not ride him.
    04-12-2010, 11:09 PM
If I were you I would try using an O-ring snaffle unless your horse is really resisting it. If you are really easy on his/her month then it should be fine.
    04-12-2010, 11:36 PM
I also would recommend working him in a nice smooth snaffle and a large cheek piece. If he is sensitive to the bit because of pain from bruising or scars, I would encourage you to wrap the mouth piece which rests on the bars of his mouth with latex.

By starting him in a bit you can work on him learning to accept the bit and not be afraid of it. If he is bit-sour where he does not want to let you bridle him in the first place, that is a training issue that needs to be dealt with regardless.

I really like fleece lined hackamores with small shanks on already "broke enough" (understands the concept of giving to pressure) horse because I find it more difficult to teach a horse that simple concept in a hackamore because when you engage a hackamore it is giving multiple pressure points all through-out the face and isn't is direct and can easily confuse a horse if the rider/driver does not have the quick enough reaction time to give when the horse gives, it will give the horse mixed signals. So, while the hackamore can be a very good choice in the future, I would wait and stick with a nice, forgiving saffle.

As for whether to tie the stirrups, I wouldn't. He will have to get over it eventually so might as well just let him accept the pressure and "dull" his sides slightly.
    04-12-2010, 11:37 PM
    04-13-2010, 12:35 AM
Yeah that's true about the stirrups Jag, I was thinking of just tieing it at first to see if he accepts the ground driving first then un-tie the stirrups because I do want him to be use to it seeing when I ride him my heels will make random soft taps on his side and he needs to get use to it but I want to get him use to voice commands. But I also don't want to change too many things at once and overwhelm him with a new bit, new lines on him, me standing in a new area, not understanding why I am standing slightly behind him, why he has to stay to a walk when usually when I longe him he maintains an easy trot, new sensations and just wayyyy too many new things at once for him. I'm not sure, I do want to get him use to the bit again, I think he trusts me enough now to where he might allow me to put a bit on him, when I tried last time he was still new and I didn't know his past at that point. I just want to take things slow and get him use to something before moving onto the next thing you know?

Like if you were at work (per say) and they needed you to drive a standard truck and they showed you how to use it once, then needed you to transport glass in that truck across the state on a dirtroad, could you do it? Or would be balk and try to refuse?
Well I think he would feel overwhelmed with all the changes too quick all at once. So that's why I was thinking use the hackamore while ground driving the first few times then untie the stirrups, then introduce the bit.
I don't know maybe that's wrong? I am willing to take all thoughts and ideas into consideration, I like the differant thoughts and viewpoints :)
    04-13-2010, 12:47 AM
I completely understand where you're coming from and agree that you don't want to overwhelm him--I have a mare who too was previously abused and know fully well how if you push too many changes to fast they have a tendency to 1.) shut down, or 2.) blow up. Neither which are desired!

Have you ever thought about investing in a surcingle? That is what I taught my gelding (and mare!) to ground drive in and I like it because it really does remove "excess baggage" a saddle can create.

I do think though you should start him in a bit and bridle, a hackamore just isn't direct enough to expect your horse to comprehend IMO... When you ride, you have your other aids to supplement your hack (or bit), when you ground drive, you've thrown those other aids essentially out and now he must rely solely on the direction that you're giving him via bridle. The clearer and easier cues to understand for you horse will be the best; and in that case, a bit trumps a hack! :
    04-13-2010, 12:57 AM
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    04-13-2010, 10:17 AM
Yeah, I know I want to go back to the bit, I have a Tom Thumb Snaffle with copper. It's mild enough for him I think. I wanted to try it anyway because the Hackamore doesn't seem to give him the cues when I want to give him. I thought he was just being disrespectful when he gave me problems but when the trainer came out she said no way, he was a very honest and trusting horse and she said there is no way this horse would want to dump me on purpose. I am going to be having her come out some more but she is a student at college in Vermont and was a grand prix rider so she isn't around a lot, probably wont be for another month or two that she comes back but she left me with ground driving to make him better at steering. So tomorrow I will work on getting him use to the bit, he might even accept it now that we have so much trust. I mean when I got him, he wouldn't even get in a barn and if I acted like I was about to cross-tie him forget it, he flipped out! But now... I walk him in the barn aisle without his lead rope and he walks to the cross-ties and waits patiently and I can cross-tie him and then I have desensitized him to shovels scraping, rakes scraping on his hooves, even threw shovels by his side to get him use to things moving around him so he is pretty much bombproof in the barn. On the ground he is reliable and if he gets scared or spooked he puffs and jumps in his spot but won't jump around. So he's come a very long way so I'm thinking he will accept it from me. Oh and he allows me to throw tarps over him, he walks over cardboard, the one thing we are working on is crossing bridges so I took their top stall door down and laid it on the ground and have been getting him to walk over it, then separately walking through puddles but now I have to combine them, (mom's not too happy about the puddles haha). I am in Virginia at the moment on vacation and judging by this post I am guessing you can tell I miss him :( I have my best friend horse and dog sitting and I trust her fully and I know when I get back, he's going to be spoiled so I might have to back track a bit and review what I've taught him so refresh his mind, shouldn't take long, just a quick touch of everything. Most of it I have done over and over again, another thing I want to get him use to is cars. I am not sure how he is with them and we have a back road running behind our house so after I get his ground driving done, and he knows the cues better I will take him out and get my boyfriend out there with my car first and just drive by with the motor being quiet(so cruise) and then have him go by (timeline not specified because if it takes a week, it takes a week) with the car revving and higher speeds, then graduate to his new dodge ram with duals and go by with motor quiet, then loud and revving. I also know a farmer next door with dump trucks and once Glyder is good, I'll have the dump truck go by. I just want him use to everything to make him completely quiet with things and when he does spook I want him to have trust with me to know I wont let the boogyman get him.

Sorry I wrote a novel :/ I'm missing my snugglebug

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