08-19-2013, 10:56 AM
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I don't have any books or sites to recommend, but these are things I've been working on with my 2 year old prior to riding him:
- Stand quietly for grooming, bathing, clipping, saddling/unsaddling, bridling/unbridling, leg wrapping (polos, shipping wraps, splint boots,) hoof trimming, blanketing/unblanketing
- Stand tied quietly when left alone or with other people/horses coming and going past
- Stand tied quietly in an arena with other horses working around him
- Lead on a loose lead at the walk & trot. Go/stop by following my shoulder instead of me pulling the lead. Back in a straight line, circles, squares. Set up his feet squarely. Pivot on the hind both directions. Side pass from the ground. See how quick I can get him to respond, and how light - I want him moving because I'm moving, not because I'm tugging his lead.
- Lead through trail obstacles (and/or on a real trail) around/through/over/under trees, brush, branches, bridges, calmly walk through gates without rushing, walk around barrels, over poles on the ground, over/under/next to a tarp
- Lead down the road to get used to cars passing and leaving the facility without other horses
- Load into a trailer and exit slowly
- Ground drive with long lines at walk, trot, over a pole, around barrels or cones in a pattern, in an arena, on the trail
- Longe/lunge on a line or in a round pen and expect immediately responses to your cues
- Stand "ground tied" without trying to graze if I look away (NOT my horses strong suit, haha)
We practice all of the above when no one else is around, when people are working nearby, when it's quiet and when it's noisy/busy, or even when it's feeding time. I want my horse to know he's in work mode every second I'm near him and that he needs to focus on me, no matter what is or isn't going on around him.