Ground Work Suggestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-01-2012, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Ground Work Suggestions?

Hi guys-
The more i'm around horses, the more I realize that I know so little about ground work!! My mare is a saddle up and ride type of girl. We do lunge with vocal commands, but that is pretty much it. I have tinkered around with some of the Clinton Anderson ground exercises, namely the yielding the hindquarters and neck flexing. Does anyone have any good groundwork suggestions? I want to improve both my effectiveness on the ground and my relationship with my horse.

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-01-2012, 11:45 PM
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Im new at the whole ground work too. and dont know much but i really like the parelli 7 games (you can find them on utube). just a couple of tries my horse knows to back up with just a shake of a finger. was very impressed how quickly we progressed with that...although we are still working on respect and alot of other aspects. but hey i cant get over there alot and i just bought her a week ago!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-01-2012, 11:47 PM
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A big groundwork thing is being able to "send" your horse places. As in direct them to walk left or right or turn and go places like in the trailer, through the barn, around a post, in their stall, etc. So it's like lunging but more directed towards a set goal.

Personally I really like how he explains it (minus the off topic banter)

but there are countless resources and methods that will work best with your horse, you just gotta find them!

Another good thing to teach your horse is to pick up his feet AND his front legs (for stretches, for clipping, for no reason but lack of resistance) at any time, anywhere. It's good for the farrier and if you are somewhere unfamiliar and you need to get your horse's legs out of a sticky situation or to pick their hooves after a rocky trail ride. I taught my horse by first applying pressure (leaning into his shoulder so he was unbalanced, applying pressure just behind the front leg so he brought it forward.. held it for a few seconds (before he tried to set it down) and then give him release by putting it back on the floor.

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 01-01-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 01:43 AM
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There is a very inexpensive book published by Western Horseman magazine. It's called "Problem Solving" by Mary Marten.

Problem Solving by Marty Marten, Preventing & Solving Common Horse Problems

The first half is all about ground work excersizes and very well demonstrated with drawings. I really like the clarity and simplicity of this bookl.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 09:33 AM
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There are loads of stuff you can do! The sky is the limit. Sacking out or desensitizing exercises are good aswell because you can control your horse's fear of something. If you have good knowlege of pressure and release, then you'll be able to do so much.
I like the Rick video posted - there are also videos that he does about pressure and release, sacking out etc. I think he gives alot of good advice.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 11:59 AM
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A specific desensitizing thing that you shouldn't skip is to teach your horse that ropes on or around legs and feet is not going to kill him. My horse had a HUGE fear of any sort of rope touching his legs due to his past experiences. He would go from an energy level of 3, to a 10. Though he still panics, he does it at a much smaller level and we're still working with him on it.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 12:16 PM
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We are working on ground work now my 1st time and my horses 1st time thankfully I have someone that's trained their 11 horses helping and guiding so I am not totally lost lol
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys... I think we are going to try some in hand obstacle courses, just for funzies. ;) We will probably bust out the tires and the tarps. And have some fun with it... I think I especially want to work on "turns on the forehand." It is pretty sticky under saddle, so I think that it would be good for both of us to work on it from the ground. I also want to try the "sending" exercise...
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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We have desensitized to the rope and plastic bag, but it is a good point to desensitize extra on the legs in case of an emergency.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-02-2012, 08:20 PM
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step one ? COME HERE! had to redoo that one today after spending an hor or two catching his sorry hidquarters.
Been riding him so much been neglecting basics. This is a good horse but seems to only have about a 2 week memory. So you get a brand new horse every two weeks.
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