Ground work exercises - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-15-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Ground work exercises

Hi, me and my mom are working with our horses, trying to earn their respect. Does anyone have any groundwork exercises we can try to gain their respect and trust? If you do I would love to hear them in detail. So if you have any good groundwork exercises for gaining respect and trust or can recommend any books, videos or anything else please comment.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 01:15 AM
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When I was working with this horse, I gained his respect through basic ground work. Just walking, stopping, turning, and backing up. I think that groundwork is a good base because you can always make them easier to respond to you. It may not seem like it at first, but after a while, you just have to move for your horse to move without pulling on the lead. After they become easier to lead, start working on tacking them. Teach them to be ground tied. A way you can teach them that is wrapping their reins around a rock, brick, or similar object. They keep their head lowered and they stay in place while you saddle them. While riding, I suggest more bareback riding, halter with reins, or minimal to tackless riding after you gain more respect from the ground. The less tack, the better communication skills you have. If you tap a heel, then your horse should respond without a problem. Of course this would all take weeks, months, depending on how much respect you're looking to get. I really hope I helped. (:
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 04:15 AM
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My first suggestion would be to find someone in person to help you. They can show you how and correct you right away if you do it wrong.

Second, learn as much as you can. Read books/magazines and watch videos or DVDs. There are many websites that have good info too. If you have RFDTV or HRTV, there are many shows on them. Study up on herd dynamics. Learn about the hierarchy in the herd.

As for professional trainers, I like Clinton Anderson. His methods are easy to follow and understand.

You get a horse's "respect" by moving their feet, forward, back, left and right. Also by getting them to move away from you. Trust is only earned in time by being fair, firm and consistent.

Do you have a round pen? It's not necessary but it makes it easier. Start by having them move around you, as in lunging, in the direction you choose. Change their direction often. Don't have the horse go around you in one direction for multiple circles. That lets them lose focus on you. When I stop the horse, I always have them stop and face me. If they look around, they get sent off again. Until you can control where the horse goes and when, do not let the horse come into your personal space.

Other ways to move your horse is backing them up and yielding both their front end and hindquarters.

There are so many things to explain if you don't know how to do these. That's where having someone in person is so much better. Even if the person is just an experienced horse person, you don't have to have a professional trainer help you.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 04:26 AM
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Some other things to keep in mind. These may seem like small things but they will have a big impact. Do not let your horse rub on you or crowd you. At feeding time, do not let the horse rush in to the bowl as you set it down. Make them stay away until you walk away. When you lead your horse, make them stay in position. Don't let them rush ahead or lag behind. They should keep the pace you set.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 02:53 PM
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Respect is not earned as much as demanded. To say you want to earn it already puts you in mindset of you are less than the horse. Bad way to think about it.

You GET that respect but always being in charge, usandpets put it correctly, the feeding, the leading, the handling of the horse ALL the time, gets you the respect.

You also do not get that respect by bribing horse, nor by babying horse, or by being its friend.

Making horse wait for your cue after haltering to walk on, making horse back, come forward, give way from side to side, and at fore/hindquarters all help in this.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 04:34 PM
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I know there are many videos on YouTube that could help you. Here's one of me and my wife's horse Copper. He's not perfect but it's an example of some of what I do in the round pen. Notice when he turns to the wall to turn around. He knows not to do that but he can be stubborn and testy at times. When they turn away, that is a form of disrespect.
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Last edited by usandpets; 07-16-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-16-2012, 04:46 PM
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Doesn't seem like the link worked right. You might have to copy and paste it or search for "groundwork with copper".
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