Originally Posted by ktex
I have a young gelding that I just started to do ground work with and he seems to be getting the hang of what I am asking for, but he just doesn't move very quickly. I guess you could say he's kind of lazy? For example, I can get him to back up a couple of slow steps when I give him the cue, but can't get him to "MOVE IT
. Even if I whack the the halter clip or his nose. He just stands there like he doesn't understand what I want him to do. What can I do to get him to be more responsive or quick to my commands?
1.) He is two years old. Unless you are simply asking him to back up to work around him, he is not ready for backing. Backing up 9under saddle) requires the horse to understand how to collect and shift his weight rearward off his forehand to back.
2.) He just stands there like he doesn't understand what I want him to do
. This is probably exactly what is going on.
With a two year old the most important lessons are FORWARD. Stick with those things.. long lines are great (ground driving) to teach him to move forward and to get used to a saddle on his back and a bridle. I don't even lunge or do circle work with a 2 year old. After all, we don't even get on a horse until he is three unless he is racing.
Don't worry about backing up unless it is just maneuvers in a stall or paddock because you need to work around him. Get him going on long lines and do serpentines at the walk and corners and large, easy circles.
I used to walk MILES behind my horses at this age.... on trails, along the road and up lots of hills. This gets the horse used to all the 'stuff' out there and lays a wonderful foundation (in addition to making the person training really fit!).
Take your time. When you have the horse working great for about 6 months in long lines you can ask for preliminary backing up.. but I usually waited until I was riding for this. It is a much harder maneuver than it appears.