Need some ideas for ground work exercises - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 02-07-2014, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Need some ideas for ground work exercises

I'm sure most of you guys have read my other post but I have an under weight mare who riding is not and option right now at all
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So I am looking for some good activities to do with her to keep her collected over the time it takes me to put weight on her and also help bond us better.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 01:39 PM
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I'd start with things that will make it safer to handle her and go back to basics. Does she lead perfectly? Can you handle her feet, head, ears... without her protesting. Easier to figure this out now than with a tube of dewormer in your hand. Teach her to drop her head on cue. Only halter her when she responds to the drop cue. You can progress to bridling. Sounds simple but many struggle with such a basic and necessary task. Can she stand for hours without fidgeting? Work on sending. Stand to the side of a gate and send her though. When she hits the end of the rope, she turns and faces you. Safer for you than having her follow you through a tight space. Will help with loading as well. Work on desensitizing her to stuff. Clippers, vacuum, saddle blankets, fly masks (ripping velcro), the neighbors llamas, rocks on the side of the road, things around her legs... You can overdo it and make her dull but I'd feel better knowing how she's going to react to something before I got on her back. Work on flexing. Might reveal some limitations that need to be addressed.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
I'd start with things that will make it safer to handle her and go back to basics. Does she lead perfectly? Can you handle her feet, head, ears... without her protesting. Easier to figure this out now than with a tube of dewormer in your hand. Teach her to drop her head on cue. Only halter her when she responds to the drop cue. You can progress to bridling. Sounds simple but many struggle with such a basic and necessary task. Can she stand for hours without fidgeting? Work on sending. Stand to the side of a gate and send her though. When she hits the end of the rope, she turns and faces you. Safer for you than having her follow you through a tight space. Will help with loading as well. Work on desensitizing her to stuff. Clippers, vacuum, saddle blankets, fly masks (ripping velcro), the neighbors llamas, rocks on the side of the road, things around her legs... You can overdo it and make her dull but I'd feel better knowing how she's going to react to something before I got on her back. Work on flexing. Might reveal some limitations that need to be addressed.
She's pretty good at leading and stuff just don't want to let her sit untouched for to long being underweight and thought this could be a good time to work on all that.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 03:22 PM
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I learnt to try and get my horse to back up through a maze of poles on the ground without touching them?
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madyasmkey View Post
I learnt to try and get my horse to back up through a maze of poles on the ground without touching them?
That's interesting how did you do that?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 04:08 PM
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I taught her to back up and twist her bum away from what ever side I clicked my fingers as well as pushing her back, if she didn't back up straight then she'd hit the pole
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 04:48 PM
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Google horse agility and modify the obstacles to use what you have on hand. One exercise uses either two hula hoops or two rings drawn with flour. Lead horse so the front legs are in the ring then you stand in the other. The idea is that the horse remains at her ring and doesn't try to follow you. Altho she may lead pretty good, it's awesome having a horse so responsive that if you can't tell if you are leading a horse or just holding a rope.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 07:46 PM
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If you are looking for a good book I would recommend 101 Ground Training Exercises by Cherry Hill. It is great and covers a wide range of exercises and provides pictures and diagrams too!
Here's a link: 101 Ground Training Exercises for Every Horse & Handler Book by Cherry Hill | Trade Paperback | chapters.indigo.ca

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WildAtHeart View Post
If you are looking for a good book I would recommend 101 Ground Training Exercises by Cherry Hill. It is great and covers a wide range of exercises and provides pictures and diagrams too!
Here's a link: 101 Ground Training Exercises for Every Horse & Handler Book by Cherry Hill | Trade Paperback | chapters.indigo.ca
Okay cool thank you I'll have to check it out.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-09-2014, 10:55 PM
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I second poles. They are cheap. I use landscaping timbers. They are not heavy, they have a flat edge so you can "stack" them if you like. They come in 8', I left some 8', and cut the others in half. You have to kind of study them when you buy them and pick out the straight ones. You can lay out all sorts of "games" w them. Just remember that when you start, any "challenge" you set-up has to "doable" to give them a sense of accomplishment - then increase the difficulty. Just working with them on the ground this way doesn't take a lot of energy - which she doesn't look like she can afford to burn in excess, but it livens up their mind.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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