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Groundwork?

This is a discussion on Groundwork? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        09-10-2008, 11:34 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    IN MY OPINION:

    If you are on the ground and your horse is with you, then you are ground training. Problems occur when people don't realize that every time they are with their horse they are training it as they are always doing one of two things - reinforcing what the horse already knows, or teaching it something different. That's training.

    About pressure - an unhandled horse will always move away from pressure -it's the restriction of his movements that he doesn't understand. For example, an unhandled horse will move away from an attempt to touch his face, but will resist any pressure on his face from a halter/rope until he learns to give to it - move WITH it - not against it. When you go to touch a horse it's his choice at that time to move away from your advance or allow you to touch him. With a halter and lead, the horse loses the option of retreating (movement away) from your physical advance (pressure) - if he moves away, pressure is felt from the halter when the slack is taken out of the lead, now he has to deal with pressure he did not see coming and must learn to deal with that pressure as well as the "pressure" he does see, the person holding the lead - who is not going away and he can't run away from. His options are restricted, and that is when you get resistance from a horse. Not from the pressure directly, but from his lack of ability to move in a direction he feels he needs to move in to become comfortable in a given situation.

    SonnyWimps, What is the point to having a horse follow so far away?
         
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        09-10-2008, 02:18 PM
      #12
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Horse Poor
    SonnyWimps, What is the point to having a horse follow so far away?
    In a herd situation, the lead horse is ALWAYS ahead of the rest of the group when they are walking together. Never is another horse next to him. You as a horse owner take the place as the lead horse, therefore, you leading infront of the horse is natural.
    I've done it both ways....Sonny by my side, and now behind me. Each time I had him by my side he would get pushy....not really bad, but enough to show that he's trying to dominant me.
    Where as when he's behind me, he follows without questions, and it does give me enough time to react if he spooks.

    Most of the time if a horse spooks he'll either go forward or to the left (meaning if he bolts he'll go in that direction). Why not to the right? Because when you have him on your side you are "protecting" him or "shielding" him from that scary lawn mower or the evil plastic bucket. So if he spooks you'll either get dragged or he'll ram into you and almost run you over.

    But when he's following from behind, yes he can spook right, left, and forward, but it gives you enough time to react. Even on grass you can hear the pace of the horse...you can tell when he speeds up....so if he spooks forward you can tell that he's going fast towards you, giving you enough time to get out of the way or to try to stop him.

    Also since horses are prey animals, they are usually claustraphobic. Most horses tolerate you being there, but for an untrained horse, they won't let you get near them and stay there...they'll go everything they can to get you away from their personal bubble

    Let me also say that I'm horrible at explaining things lol...I'm sure I did a horrible job at it.
         
        09-10-2008, 02:27 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Quote:
    SonnyWimps, What is the point to having a horse follow so far away?
    I agree with Sonny. I keep Willy about a whips length behind me when I walk him. He is very pushy, a dominate horse in the herd, and will take a mile if you give him an inch.

    I'm sure you know horses work off respect, so if you teach them to respect your space, and you in turn respect theirs, then you're truly working together. Personal space is extremely important to horses, and to humans! We have so much in common it's mind boggling! :)
         
        09-10-2008, 02:42 PM
      #14
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geewillikers
    Quote:
    SonnyWimps, What is the point to having a horse follow so far away?
    I agree with Sonny. I keep Willy about a whips length behind me when I walk him. He is very pushy, a dominate horse in the herd, and will take a mile if you give him an inch.

    I'm sure you know horses work off respect, so if you teach them to respect your space, and you in turn respect theirs, then you're truly working together. Personal space is extremely important to horses, and to humans! We have so much in common it's mind boggling! :)
    Yay! Another person that leads the way I do!! I"m not crazy lol (well another person on here....).
    I know I need my personal space. I am extremely claustraphobic. I can't do elevators or crowded places.
    Sonny follows behind me at least by 5 feet...if he starts to inch up I immediately back up doing the "chicken dance" (as I call it) then when he backs up I walk on.
         
        09-10-2008, 04:25 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geewillikers
    Quote:
    SonnyWimps, What is the point to having a horse follow so far away?
    I agree with Sonny. I keep Willy about a whips length behind me when I walk him. He is very pushy, a dominate horse in the herd, and will take a mile if you give him an inch.

    I'm sure you know horses work off respect, so if you teach them to respect your space, and you in turn respect theirs, then you're truly working together. Personal space is extremely important to horses, and to humans! We have so much in common it's mind boggling! :)
    Yay! Another person that leads the way I do!! I"m not crazy lol (well another person on here....).
    I know I need my personal space. I am extremely claustraphobic. I can't do elevators or crowded places.
    Sonny follows behind me at least by 5 feet...if he starts to inch up I immediately back up doing the "chicken dance" (as I call it) then when he backs up I walk on.
    I think leading is a great groundwork exercise. Horses need to be invited into our space, not just choose to be in it. They're 900+ pounds!!! At the same time the way we approach them is imperative to a good relationship. Read your horses body language, FutureVetGirl. If your horse turns its head with its ears slightly turned backward, he/she does not want to talk to you. Respect that. Back up. Even walk away. You might be surprised when you're followed.

    Study horse body language. For example, different kinds of chewing mean different things. Blinking. Head stance. Ears (obviously). Learning body language is the first step to gaining confidence and a strong relationship with the horse on the ground.

    Once you understand the horse on the ground, the horse feels comfortable with you, and respect has been earned on both sides. Imagine trying to tell someone what to do when they don't speak your language. You boss them around, and expect that they want to abide, willingly. The person might, but they have no respect for you because you haven't tried to understand them. This mistake happens with horses all the time, and I've recently learned that most groundwork is all about communication. Not just lunging (which is mostly work, and you are dominate the entire time), or teaching pressure, etc. These are all good, but mean little when you can't understand your horse (for example do an exercise until you, or your horse is done. Horses are like kids- when they're done, they're done.)

    Body language, body language, body language :)
         
        09-10-2008, 08:13 PM
      #16
    Foal
    I agree with having a horse beside you for safety reasons. I've been run over and thrown off balance by a horse that is following behind me when it spooks. My filly was trained that way and I had to retrain her to walk with the middle of her neck to my shoulder, that way if she does spook, she will probably not run me over and even if she tried, I'd be a little more aware to prepare myself and correct the problem. I do have a horse that is very pushy in the halter. When she gets too pushy I simply change direction, or back her up, regaining the lead.
         
        09-10-2008, 10:23 PM
      #17
    Banned
    If a horse bolts he doesn't just go in a straight line...he goes kinda side-ways. I can't even see ONE way how leading a horse beside you is safer.
    Valley do explain how it's safer? Not that I'm going to switch, but just curious.

    Out of ALL the horses I've lead, from my horse, to my best friends horse, to lesson horses....I've felt safer when they follow behind me. When I lead ALL my attention is on my horse...how he's walking, what he's doing. So I can tell the very moment of when he's getting too close, etc
         
        09-10-2008, 10:42 PM
      #18
    Foal
    My horse leads 30cm away from me, beside me. She walks forwards with me turns and stops when I do. I can SEE what she's looking at therefore have some indicator if she's going to spook so I can move out of the way.
    She's run into me before when I've led her behind me.

    I was leading a horse behind me once and they shot forwards and bit me on the back, reeeeeeeeeeeally hurt. Having your horse behind you doesnt give you an indicator of what they're doing or looking at..

    And yes, I love lunging. It is ground work, you are on the ground therefore it is ground work
         
        09-10-2008, 11:03 PM
      #19
    Banned
    Quote:
    and yes, I love lunging. It is ground work, you are on the ground therefore it is ground work
    Lunging to a horse is work...running around in circles, back and forth...it's work.
    Goundwork is supposed to be enjoyable time for both rider and horse. I personally get dizzy when lunging a horse, so it's not enjoyable to me, and I highly doubt ANY horse likes running around in circles.

    And I've never once heard of a horse biting someone's neck because they were walking behind you.

    By the way my horse is walking, I can tell which direction he's more focused on, his pace, etc.

    FVG said she wanted something more natural....a lead horse never walks besides another horse.
    So unless you don't agree that you as a horse owner should take the place, you should see my reason on walking a horse behind you.
         
        09-10-2008, 11:11 PM
      #20
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
    Quote:
    and yes, I love lunging. It is ground work, you are on the ground therefore it is ground work
    Lunging to a horse is work...running around in circles, back and forth...it's work.
    Goundwork is supposed to be enjoyable time for both rider and horse. I personally get dizzy when lunging a horse, so it's not enjoyable to me, and I highly doubt ANY horse likes running around in circles.

    And I've never once heard of a horse biting someone's neck because they were walking behind you.

    By the way my horse is walking, I can tell which direction he's more focused on, his pace, etc.

    FVG said she wanted something more natural....a lead horse never walks besides another horse.
    So unless you don't agree that you as a horse owner should take the place, you should see my reason on walking a horse behind you.
    i said back not neck, and it happened to me so you just heard of it.

    Groundwork is meant to be a training routine for horse and handler to establish a better relationship on the ground. Relationship to do with pecking order, work and bond. As well as being enjoyable it is still work not happy fluff around time. Indicating the word work, in ground work.

    Like you said yourself almost nothing we do with horses is entirely natural. You can have all of the opinions of people in the world and none of them are right, or the most natural way. It depends on each individuals way of looking at it.
         

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