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Liberty and groundwork

This is a discussion on Liberty and groundwork within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How teacha horse to lunge at liberty

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    10-29-2013, 02:25 AM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocIsMyPony    
I've just been told since he has a stubborn streak its not possible for him to learn groundwork or do liberty and because of his age as well.
Complete & utter phoeyness! How old is he? You can teach 'old dogs'(even humans!) new tricks. If he were a human, we'd tend to spell 'stubbornness' 'persistence' & think of it as a good trait!
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    10-29-2013, 08:24 AM
  #12
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Complete & utter phoeyness! How old is he? You can teach 'old dogs'(even humans!) new tricks. If he were a human, we'd tend to spell 'stubbornness' 'persistence' & think of it as a good trait!
He is 22 and I know I can teach it to him I already have him lunging in a round pen I've done join up with him and I can lunge him with a lunge line which he gave other people difficulty with. I just haven't been able to get him to back up on the ground and side pass, or switch direction on the lunge line.
     
    10-29-2013, 11:28 AM
  #13
Showing
To get him to switch directions on the lunge ask him to whoa, then step back a couple of steps (removes pressure) the direct him to go the other way. Keep your lunge line arm higher than your shoulder when directing him. Hold the lunge whip out sideways to see if that will encourage the turn. If not move it a little closer. Reward even small tries by turning your back to him for a few seconds. (removes pressure). As for backing and side passing, you need to learn to accept small tries. Pinch the skin on the point of the shoulder of the foot that is farther forward. At the same time use the halter to bring his nose back toward his chest. If he even rocks his body back without stepping, immediately release the pinch and pull on the halter and rub the pinch spot. Repeat until he takes a step. Now, that foot will be back so use the other point of shoulder. Once he gets the hang of it he will back when you point at his shoulder.
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    10-29-2013, 01:59 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
The reason I asked if you were already riding, and was it going well, is because it would mean you already had a pretty decent bond. I don't see a real point in doing a lot of ground work if things are going ok in the saddle. I do it rarely, and then only to tune up things like back up, lead by, circling.
Now, of course, I did it quite a lot when I was learning how to do it. And though I am by no means anything close to an expert, I did not try to teach myself how to do what I now can do. I had someone who has good timing , feel and knowledge teach me, over and over and over again.
Becuase, you will do it incorrectly a lot! And it can literally train in negative things. Ground work done wrong can make the horse duller, not more responsive. Can bore and irritate the horse and sour his attitude. Can put you in a LESS dominant position.

So, to me, it's best to learn this under the direct tutelage of a knowledgeable person, or, just enjoy riding your horse, since you already seem to be doing well there.
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    10-29-2013, 02:24 PM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by gssw5    
Clinton Anderson has a book called Establishing Respect it is relatively inexpensive and will give you some ideas for starting groundwork, but he also explains why being your horses leader and gaining his respect is important. You can also go to giddyupflix.com (I think that's the name of the website) and rent training videos to watch and learn how to do what you want to do. As far doing liberty you must first gain your horses respect, teach him the basics on the ground and he has to have a good draw to want to stay with you.

Or your other option might be to find a trainer who can help you learn what you want to learn.

Groundwork is important and teaching your horse from the ground gives you a great foundation for riding. It is also a skill you carry with you to every horse you ever own, or handle for the rest of your life.
Yes! His books/dvds are awesome for groundwork & beginners. I know the resent ones you can't get via library interloan but some of his older ones you can like Groundwork for respect, round-penning starting under saddle etc.
     
    10-29-2013, 03:13 PM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
the reason I asked if you were already riding, and was it going well, is because it would mean you already had a pretty decent bond. I don't see a real point in doing a lot of ground work if things are going ok in the saddle. I do it rarely, and then only to tune up things like back up, lead by, circling.
Now, of course, I did it quite a lot when I was learning how to do it. And though I am by no means anything close to an expert, I did not try to teach myself how to do what I now can do. I had someone who has good timing , feel and knowledge teach me, over and over and over again.
Becuase, you will do it incorrectly a lot! And it can literally train in negative things. Ground work done wrong can make the horse duller, not more responsive. Can bore and irritate the horse and sour his attitude. Can put you in a LESS dominant position.

So, to me, it's best to learn this under the direct tutelage of a knowledgeable person, or, just enjoy riding your horse, since you already seem to be doing well there.
Well with him I've noticed when I lunge for a short period before I ride he's a lot better under saddle. And he just needs to learn to back up when on the ground and switch direction on the lunge line are his main issues.
     
    10-29-2013, 03:17 PM
  #17
Super Moderator
How well does he lead? I ask this becuse leading is very fundamental to backing and lunging. Will he stay behind you, with a float in the rope? Or does he drag on the line and feel like you must PULL him forward? Does he barge ahead of you, or walk so close that his shoulder bumps into you. Can you send him through a gate, then follow and have him turn around, face you while you do kup the gate, and wait for you to retake the lead. When you turn directions, does he lean in on you, or does he make it hard for you to turn right ? Can you lead him from both sides? Will he try to stop and graze the whole time?

All have to do with him having a focus on you and a feel for following the rope. And backing up will be much easier if he has that focus and feel.
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    10-29-2013, 03:24 PM
  #18
Green Broke
It's silly to say that a 22 year old horse can't learn new tricks! He absolutely can! If what you say is true about his stubbornness, it may just take a little extra work. Good luck!
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    10-29-2013, 07:44 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
how well does he lead? I ask this becuse leading is very fundamental to backing and lunging. Will he stay behind you, with a float in the rope? Or does he drag on the line and feel like you must PULL him forward? Does he barge ahead of you, or walk so close that his shoulder bumps into you. Can you send him through a gate, then follow and have him turn around, face you while you do kup the gate, and wait for you to retake the lead. When you turn directions, does he lean in on you, or does he make it hard for you to turn right ? Can you lead him from both sides? Will he try to stop and graze the whole time?

All have to do with him having a focus on you and a feel for following the rope. And backing up will be much easier if he has that focus and feel.

He actually has really good ground manners he's very lazy so sometimes it feels like I am pulling him forward lol but that's his only fault on the ground he's pretty much really good otherwise. The reason for his backing issue is a bad experience before I had him a really rough lady owned him and would hit him to back up but he reared once because he was scared and almost fell.
     
    10-29-2013, 11:56 PM
  #20
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I don't see a real point in doing a lot of ground work if things are going ok in the saddle.
I disagree with that personally. I see so many horses who have shocking manners on the ground, because people have only concentrated on ridden training.

I teach 'lunging' as just a progression of leading or driving, at gradually increasing distance. So I'd teach a horse to back or turn first with direct(fingertip, etc) pressure on the bit I want to yield. Eg. Nose or chest for back, flank for turning HQ away. I then teach the horse to yield with indirect pressure - eg. Pointing my finger, stick, swinging a rope, etc. I use direct pressure to 'back up' my requests if they're ignored or not understood.

Once the horse is good at yielding to indirect pressure in all ways, then it's just a matter of 'testing' it out at bigger distances & calling it 'lunging' when the horse is at a certain distance & doing it in circles!

Sidepassing is taught in the same way. It's generally easier for the horse to understand yielding forehand & HQ separately, so when they're good at that, I alternate steps of fore & hind yields until the horse is alternating so quickly as to go sideways. Once I get sideways, then I 'refine' the cue until it's one cue around their belly, rather than near their shoulder & flank/hip. This is also where your leg will be for ridden sidepasses. Once you've got the behaviour, then you can gradually improve specifics, such as stepping the feet across correctly. It's also helpful to start with a fence in front, to block forwards as an option.

Don't discount the possibility of physical problems with regard to backing up - perhaps hock or sacro probs mean the horse is actually unable to walk backwards easily.
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