Originally Posted by Blondehorselover
Ok so I don't like to "preach" about Natural Horsemanship but I do like what I've seen from CA. I bought his book that shows the first steps on groundwork because my horse needs to learn his manners. For anyone who has used him, would it be ok to do the hula hoop technique (for him to learn personal space) then desensitize him with the rope all in the same session?
You'll find that you pretty much need to do a little of both each session in order to balance "sensitizing exercises" with "desensitizing exercises." If you only work on exercises that promote moving in response to pressure, you'll find your horse becoming more responsive. The opposite applies to desensitizing - too much desensitizing, and you'll have a harder time and need to be "bigger" to get him to move off of your body language and pressure. Depending in your horse, you may want to emphasize one or the other (i.e., lots of desensitizing for calming a nervous nellie, or lots of sensitizing for waking up a deadhead, over time.) You'll get more of a feel for what comes more naturally to your horse as you go, and how to best balance his needs with the tools in your toolkit.
CA is a pretty good source for groundwork. I'm not such a fan of his under-saddle exercises, especially after I've got basic control (honestly, I don't do much groundwork anymore either, except after a long hiatus or with an unfamiliar greenie), but his groundwork stuff is a great resource.