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what exactly does ground work mean

This is a discussion on what exactly does ground work mean within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Ride it out or ground work

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    07-07-2012, 02:22 AM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
This absolutely is not true. Most trainers that show competitive horses in about any event will do most of their training while mounted. We do this because we can. Our horses are respectful because we don't take crap and are 100% consistent. We do not need to teach very much on the ground because we ride well enough to get the point across quickly to the horse. If I teach a horse to properly yield to leg pressure and rein pressure, he will side-pass, disengage hind quarters and move his shoulder over the very first time I ask. He will do this with less than a week of riding. We do not need to do it on the ground because our timing and feel and proficiency at using 'pressure and release' are good enough that we do not need to. It is kind of like round pens -- round pens are for people -- not necessary for training horses.

We have seen this big craze in doing ground work because we now have dozens of the clinicians that have found it more lucrative to train people than to train horses. They are trying to work with people that are somewhere between novices to inept and completely incompetent beginners with little or no experience and little or no natural aptitude or ability. They have found a way to keep them safer -- they just keep them on the ground until, hopefully, they learn a little more about the nature and responses to expect from a horse and can, hopefully, get a little respect out of 'Poopsie' before she kills them. Some of these beginners never get on their horses and you find the PP disciples that never get past the ground games or the CA disciples that never get past the constant flexing. All of this is to keep the neophytes safer and keep them from ruining as many horses. Meanwhile, trainers that can actually ride well AND teach and train horses, are riding their horses and are light years beyond needing a lot of ground games and exercises and round pens.

Personally, I want a horse to move lightly and quietly every single time my body language and/or a soft smooch asks him to. It takes me about an hour to get what I want from a green horse that is partially gentle when I start him. Then, I teach them to longe (without a round pen) and I ground drive every horse I start. I am really 'picky' how they are longed and driven.

After that, I am able to teach everything I want them to know from their backs. They are all respectful and they all step over or back without ever tightening the lead-rope. They all side-pass and they open and close gates with one week or less of riding. They cross creeks and ride out in rough ground (by themselves) with less that 1 week of riding. I cannot think of anything that more ground work would improve.
Good for you, but I think I'm going to stand my ground on this one (no pun intended... )...
Maybe rephrased to "In order to do anything undersaddle, you should be able to do it on the ground", though...
I don't understand why you're hating on everyone who takes advice from a trainer like Clinton. He's a respectable horsemen. I know a lot of trainers that use his groundwork methods and they work great. Heck, I use them and they work for me! *I'm definitely no professional, I probably fall more into the novice kid range*
Just remember that we can't all be professionals, and if there were no beginners and novice horsepeople, then the horse world would die, and the trainers would make no money!
Don't get me wrong, I'm positive you're way more of a horseperson than me (I'm a teenager for Heaven's sake). I just really don't think it's a good way to go about training for the average person.
Sorry for so off topic, I'm just going to stop posting on this thread now.
     
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    07-07-2012, 08:26 PM
  #12
Super Moderator
Quote:
I don't understand why you're hating on everyone who takes advice from a trainer like Clinton.
I don't know where this comes from. I don't 'hate' anyone or any method. I take it that you have not been around here (at the Horse Forum) for very long. I recommend Clinton Anderson all of the time. When people have disrespectful to downright spoiled horses on the ground, he is the one I recommend (and have for more than 10 years).

What I was trying to say is that people that 'know' horses and are qualified to train them, do not HAVE to do ground work to accomplish everything anyone else does, either in the saddle on in hand.

There seems to be a real misconception about the necessity of doing a LOT of groundwork in order to get a very broke and very respectful horse. A good horseman and trainer will get everything done correctly with little or no groundwork. They just do not need it.

I know some very respected horsemen, many who have trained and shown World Champions that do almost no groundwork and would rather have a horse brought to them that has had little or no groundwork done with them other than being halter-broke.

When I trained for the public, I preferred to have a horse brought to me that was not even halter-broke than one that had had a lot of ground handling. I used to start no less than 50 horses a year for many years. I definitely preferred them unhandled than to have been handled by someone that did not know what they were doing. It took me a LOT more time to undo the problems that a handled horse came with.

I do not dislike the methods of the modern clinicians. They work with people that do not have the experience or background to take on a green horse without getting killed. These people are safer on the ground. These are the people that use longing or leading to get a horse to go somewhere while the competent rider just rides them through it. The competent rider is not wrong for just riding the horse where he points its head and the novice is not wrong for getting off and leading the horse where they are afraid to ride it.

Every time I read that someone thinks you HAVE to get off and lead a horse that will not cross water or a bridge or go past the pigs, donkeys or lamas in someone's back yard, I see a picture of an old cowboy trying to get across a steep gulley with water or mud in it to head off the herd of cattle he is trying to gather. I can just hear him saying "Zeke! I'll go head them cows as soon as I get off and longe my horse a while so he will cross this durned gulley!" Old 'Zeke' is a good enough rider to just ride his horse there.

Neither way is wrong, but a lot of people seem to think you absolutely have to do a ton of groundwork to get a really broke horse -- and you don't!
     
    07-07-2012, 11:04 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I don't know where this comes from. I don't 'hate' anyone or any method. I take it that you have not been around here (at the Horse Forum) for very long. I recommend Clinton Anderson all of the time. When people have disrespectful to downright spoiled horses on the ground, he is the one I recommend (and have for more than 10 years).

What I was trying to say is that people that 'know' horses and are qualified to train them, do not HAVE to do ground work to accomplish everything anyone else does, either in the saddle on in hand.

There seems to be a real misconception about the necessity of doing a LOT of groundwork in order to get a very broke and very respectful horse. A good horseman and trainer will get everything done correctly with little or no groundwork. They just do not need it.

I know some very respected horsemen, many who have trained and shown World Champions that do almost no groundwork and would rather have a horse brought to them that has had little or no groundwork done with them other than being halter-broke.

When I trained for the public, I preferred to have a horse brought to me that was not even halter-broke than one that had had a lot of ground handling. I used to start no less than 50 horses a year for many years. I definitely preferred them unhandled than to have been handled by someone that did not know what they were doing. It took me a LOT more time to undo the problems that a handled horse came with.

I do not dislike the methods of the modern clinicians. They work with people that do not have the experience or background to take on a green horse without getting killed. These people are safer on the ground. These are the people that use longing or leading to get a horse to go somewhere while the competent rider just rides them through it. The competent rider is not wrong for just riding the horse where he points its head and the novice is not wrong for getting off and leading the horse where they are afraid to ride it.

Every time I read that someone thinks you HAVE to get off and lead a horse that will not cross water or a bridge or go past the pigs, donkeys or lamas in someone's back yard, I see a picture of an old cowboy trying to get across a steep gulley with water or mud in it to head off the herd of cattle he is trying to gather. I can just hear him saying "Zeke! I'll go head them cows as soon as I get off and longe my horse a while so he will cross this durned gulley!" Old 'Zeke' is a good enough rider to just ride his horse there.

Neither way is wrong, but a lot of people seem to think you absolutely have to do a ton of groundwork to get a really broke horse -- and you don't!
You're right, I haven't been on here very long! The way I misunderstood it was that you didn't like trainers like CA and think everybody should ride it out instead of do some groundwork, but now that you've explained to me, I kind of get it now :)
Your cowboy analogy is brilliant. I guess I never thought of it that way!
Thanks
     

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