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Groundwork ideas for building trust with new horse

This is a discussion on Groundwork ideas for building trust with new horse within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse rearing and boxing when doing groundwork

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    09-17-2013, 02:36 PM
  #31
Weanling
I don't know if this applies but my otherwise-sweet horse also had a slight bucking problem when I got her, and I had a trainer work with her for 2 weeks. Mostly all groundwork.

One thing he did a LOT was asking her to yield her head to the halter: the one-rein-stop maneuver. He always asked very quietly, waiting until she yielded her head around, then took a disengaging step with her hind end. He did it both sides.

She got to where she was yielding without thinking, it was getting automatic; and that's what he wanted. When he began to ride her, he wanted to know she would yield at any time he asked.

(Turned out she didn't buck with him, but when I got home, I made sure I practiced the yields before riding. I've used it a few times since: in some out-of-control situations, it allowed me to dismount gracefully!)
     
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    09-17-2013, 09:15 PM
  #32
Foal
He's got about two acres of pasture that he's on all the time, so he certainly has room to blow off steam if he wants to. And I think he does it often, judging by the fresh divot marks in the turf when I go to catch him! ;)

He gets fed a scoop of sugar beet and a scoop of meadow/lucerne mix chaff twice a day, along with a small scoop of Equilibrium mineral mix. He also gets a flake of hay twice a day. I know the lucerne chaff is heating, but he was getting bored of his meadow chaff, so I got him a mixture that he's happier with. I'm thinking of putting him on a toxin binder like Dolomite or Alleviate - here in New Zealand we had an early spring, and the grass he's eating is pretty rich. He's in a good mood, hasn't had enough work, and is testing the waters.
     
    10-11-2013, 03:43 PM
  #33
Foal
I always play the friendly game. It is where you get a stick and string or a lunging whip and rub it all over the horse. Then eventually throw the string over his back and around his neck/legs.
     
    10-30-2013, 07:57 PM
  #34
Foal
Hi Dawn,

First I would like to say that I agree that rude posts are neither appropriate or helpful. People here are looking for support, ideas and conversation, not to be reprimanded for mistakes. Offer ideas and suggestions, not condescending treatment. If you want my opinion, anyone can train a horse if they are given the basic tools and understand those tools. It's not rocket science so attitude about it is not necessary.


Second, I am currently subscribing to Warwick Schiller online. It's only $25/month and you get access to all his training videos AND the Facebook page with tons of helpful suggestions.

Best of luck with your horse!
M.
     
    10-31-2013, 10:07 AM
  #35
Showing
Have you considered Horse Agility. There a great book out that teaches how to fine tune the groundwork using whatever obstacles you can scrounge. If you go to youtube you will get some ideas of what others do. The book is still your best bet as the author carefully explains the whys and wherefores and the goals.
     
    11-02-2013, 07:18 PM
  #36
Green Broke
Join up is not a good thing to do with TB's. When they get to point they are lowering head and licking lips? Which rarely happens...they are looking for a way to get away from you.

They are very reactive, and do not respond well to that. Plus this is a breed that is breezed daily to build up strength and to condition them. It increases their stamina. And if you are wanting yours to settle in, this is not the way to do it. Running them around just gets the blood to pumping more and more.

We had 2 years old, AL breds, and when John Lyons was going to be in Mobile AL years ago...he wanted unbroke 2 year olds for his wonder clinic....owner of farm called and offered the AL breds, said could come up and take his pick.

Was told very quickly that "John Lyons does NOT work with TB's." Gee, wonder why?

If you want to build anything with this horse, quit the foolishness, keep your body energy low and your movements easy. Horse seeing that you are not going to act like a village idiot and run it around and around will go a long way to that.

But I second you really need to get a trainer to restart this horse, as you just don't have the skills to do it.
Corporal likes this.
     
    11-02-2013, 07:40 PM
  #37
Foal
You really did get up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn't you Palomine?

I'll give you all an update: I'm doing some of Clinton Andersons' stuff with Andy. He flexes his head nicely, yields his hindquarters very well, and we're still working on the forequarters. He's respectful, doesn't crowd, and has dropped the habit of nosing my hands.

Best of all, my ankle is healed enough to ride again. I've had the chiro out to him twice, and I give him massages before I get on so I can work through any sore spots. I'm not cantering him for a little while, he's still quite sensitive to the leg and will buck if asked. I've had three experienced horse people (one of them an international rider) tell me that it wouldn't be wise to push him just yet, to just keep working on walk and trot until he offers the canter on his own. It's springtime at the moment, and the grass he's living on can fatten a dairy cow, so he's quite full of it! He'll probably be better around summertime, or when I can get him moved to the place near my house which has less rich grass.

We're ok, I have some good help around me, and it's been a while since my original post. I'm happy with how he's going and I know what I need to work on.
     
    11-02-2013, 08:42 PM
  #38
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn854    
I had quite a battle with Andy today ... I'm pretty sure I won though.

I haven't been able to work him as much lately - between the bad weather, my own lack of time, and the fact that I can't ride with my ankle being the way it is, he's been spending a lot of time in the paddock. I've been lunging him about twice a week, but the ground's very deep at the moment and there's horses grazing in the only good riding paddock, so I haven't been willing to work him too hard or do anything more than canter.

Today I got him ready to lunge. Put his saddle on, then I ran my hand over his withers and realized that with the girth done up tight, it presses him far too much in that area on either side of his withers. He was visibly concerned with the added bulk of my hand there, which leads me to think he's sore again. He's in a medium gullet English saddle but I think I'm going to need to go for a wide!

I put away the saddle and decided not to lunge him. We did some groundwork, he's getting very good at flexing his head when I ask him to! Then I thought I'd take him for a stroll around the paddocks, just to have something else to do I guess. I only had a little bit of time to spend with him.

When I took him out of his paddock, his head went up and he began to get excited. His stride got quick, he was blowing through his nostrils. He wasn't scared, just full of energy like a shaken up soda bottle and he was excited to be going somewhere. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little bit scared. We were in a narrow raceway between paddocks, and I didn't want to get into a fight with him in there.

After a few metres, I turned him to walk back to his paddock. He immediately began to barge and strike out with his forelegs (not at me, just like he was attempting a Spanish walk), angling his hindquarters in towards me and turning his head away from me. I was getting pretty scared, ok, because he was being unpredictable and I really thought he would kick me. We made it to the gate, I guided him through it, and turned to close it behind me, keeping a close eye on him the whole time. It was well that I did because he REARED, and he had the stubbornest look on his face, like "what's the holdup, hurry up, I want to go back now and you're slowing me down." That's when I realized that I couldn't take him back now. He was being one disrespectful ****e and I needed to deal with it right now.

I got my lunge whip and line and I sent him away. I was angry. The dominant kind of angry, that allows me to look a horse in the eye and do whatever it takes to get them to listen. Andy fought me. He turned his bum towards me and took off. I held on to the rope, leaning my weight back and yanking back with all my might. He was in a rope halter, and it probably saved my life. He yanked me forward, but with my weight and the added weight of my pulling, he couldn't drag me for more than a few strides. If it were a nylon halter, he would have been able to run right through the pressure, but he couldn't with the rope on his nose. I got his head around and tried again, and this time he went where I sent him, off around me at a canter with no boots on. Forget the mud; he was being a spoilt, dangerous horse and he needed a good lesson. Plus he had energy to burn. That was half the problem, he was a Thoroughbred, full of spring grass, and no outlet.

This played out again several times until he decided to be a good boy. I just want to add that his nose was ok, I'm not strong enough to break it! There were no rope burns on his face afterwards, either. My hands however are another story. Lesson learned, wear gloves! The nylon lunge rope tore my hands to shreds. :( I worked him until he got a sweat going, making him change directions often while on the go. After he stopped paying attention to the horse in the next paddock and began listening to me, I quit lunging. I wasn't satisfied though. I began backing him and making him yield his hindquarters round and round, both ways, until he would begin moving if I only looked at his hindquarters with purposeful intent.

I took him for a walk down the raceway again, back and forth, and he went as quiet as a lamb.

Sorry for the long post. Just thought I'd update you all with our progress! He's normally such a well-mannered guy, but I guess he's never really challenged me that way before. I'd say that most of the issue was his high spirits, but energized or no, it was unacceptable the way he was acting on the ground. I'll add pics next time, I promise!
you got lucky. Don't take a horse out to walk along a narrow walkway, with distractions and such , unless you have him reasonably focussed ON you. Next time, wear gloves, work him first, even if it's in his own pasture. Test things out a bit first. How he leads, how he backs , turns moves away. THings like that. Kind of a test drive. If he is not calm and leading pretty well, don't put him in a really challenging place before working on the line. Do that first.
Him rearing, and striking out , man, you got lucky to have only rope burned hands.
     
    11-03-2013, 12:37 AM
  #39
Foal
I know I was. :/ We're still a work in progress. Everyone makes mistakes, and one of mine cost me (my ankle), so I can completely admit when I've screwed up. I've come to this forum for advice, but I really would appreciate it if it was friendly as well. Thank you everybody who has been kind and civil.
     
    11-07-2013, 02:40 PM
  #40
Foal
Subscribing for some ideas as well :)
     

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