Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
I like my horses to be ANGELS on the ground before I get on them. A problem on the ground can easily translate to the saddle. That being said, my horses have to do a few things:
1. Respect, absolutely no signs of disrespect, whether saddled or not.
2. Calm with a saddle on, I won't get on a horse that isn't calm.
3. Flexing and bending. I teach the horse to give their heads before I try to ride them. They must bend and flex in many ways before I get on.
4. Disengaging their hind quarters on the lead (sounds like she may already have this one down)
5. Disengaging front end on the ground.
5. A good stop on the ground, and a good back.
6. Good with ears, and with having objects above her head, or over her in general. (whips, crops, paper bags, saddle blankets, saddle, people, etc)
7. SACKED OUT COMPLETELY!!!! This one is very important to me. I don't want a horse to freak if a rein touches them wrong, or if a piece of equipment breaks, or if a stirrup falls hard (etc).
8. Horse is as light as possible in all cues, especially giving the head.
9. Ground driving, or similar techniques. I usually do this one with a rope halter, hackamore, or bridle.
10. Taught the "fear lesson" that I use. Basically teaches a horse to control their flight response.
Sorry that was long, I'm sure there is more I could add, but those are my basics. I waited almost 2 months to ride my newest gelding because his ground manners were awful. He rode good when I tried him before I bought him, but I will not regularly ride a horse that is pushy on the ground.
** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **