Ground Excercises any suggestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-05-2011, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ground Excercises any suggestions?

I Have a OTTB Rocket who's 6 yrs old he doesn't seem to know much obviously and is pretty lazy but I want to work with him on the ground a bit and am looking for suggestions for exercises to do with him. I'm not a big fan of lungeing because he already knows how to run in circles. LOL I need new stuff..
Also can I teach him to jump from the ground? I've walked over poles with him but he will NOT trot in hand I run he looks at me like I'm stupid I say trot and again he's just has this "DUH" look on his face.

Any help would be appreciated
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-06-2011, 12:37 AM
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How do you know that he is lazy?
do you have a round pen that you can work in? I would guess that you will want to start on having him lead well. Give to pressure and follow the leadline and you at whatever speed you go, be it walk or jog.
If you have a nice rope halter and a good, long leadline you can work on having him back up off of pressure. Starting with pressure from you pulling the halter backward, tappin on his chest, then using tapping motions, but standing far enough back that you aren't actually touching him, then use the lead line and teach him to move off a little jiggle of the leadline.
Work on the complimentary of that; having him move forward off the leadline.
Get him to step his shoulder over, hind end and eventually getting him to walk around you, kind of mini lunging.
Actually, there are all kinds of videos on this sort of work that show it much better than my lame explanation.
Once he will move off of pressure you will find it easier to both lead or drive him over trot poles while you hold the long lead line.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-06-2011, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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I know he's lazy because I've ridden him and It takes alot of effort to get him to trot. When he canters its almost like a western pleasure canter...
I'm am going to get a trainer in the spring time, right now its just to cold and the ground is to hard to do much so Thats why I was looking for ground exercises
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-06-2011, 01:02 PM
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I agree with tinyliny - start with getting him used to moving off of pressure promptly and with energy. Pressure can be anything from a glare and more assertive body language to a physical touch from a hand, halter, or whip.

I recommend starting with establishing a solid go and whoa response in hand - take a look at some grooming and showmanship videos to see what the end result should be. Carry a dressage whip in your outside hand (do this on both sides, for balance's sake), hold the lead about 4-6 inches from the snap with your inside hand, and carry the coiled end in your whip hand. Look forward, not at the horse. Start walking forward, and give whatever verbal cue you like, whether a cluck or a word (I like "walk" - short and simple). If the horse doesn't move with you, keeping his throatlatch about even with your shoulder, get his attention with the whip. Don't nag him with it, or the whip becomes meaningless - the idea is to tell him to pay attention, something is happening and he needs to move. Make the difference between neutral-whip and move-whip very obvious to him.

To stop, exhale and allow your body language to soften (remember to keep facing forward - don't look at your horse, no matter how handsome he is ). Let yourself melt into the stop, and if your horse doesn't take the hint, pick up on the lead and block him with the halter.

The most important thing to remember is to do with your feet what you want him to do with his. A lot of people confuse their horses by asking the horse to stop while they continue to walk, or vice versa.

There are a lot of other groundwork exercises out there, but the basis of them all is a solid understanding of how to go forward and stop promptly. Eventually, he will begin to key off of your body language, and you'll need to remind him with the whip or the lead less and less. I doubt that he is truly lazy - he just doesn't understand pressure yet.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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