ground driving, lunging, retraining questions
I have a new trainer for my 3 1/2 YO Morgan x TWH who suggested we go back to ground driving to work on her steering. No problem I said.
Since my last trainer was not so gentle w/bit, this one said ground drive in halter... So I tried and the filly is nose diving and not stopping.
My gut says go to working the whoa on lunge line before ground driving again. Any suggestions?
That is usually what I go to when there is an issue. A good rope halter and line-similar to PP or CA use, and very similar techniques. Get horse out on a circle, then ask for the whoa. Ask, tell and DEMAND. Just like any other principle. Make sure that when the horse stops, they stop facing you. also, and then give them a second for it to "soak in", before sending them out again. Easier for me to show than explain, unfortunately. But, if your horse does not stop when you say-gently pull the head toward you and say whoa again-if the horse still goes-pullt the head a bit harder and step toward the butt either swinging a rope toward it or use a lunge whip/"carrot" stick. If the horse really doesn't listen, the stick may have to actually make contact...but they usually get the idea pretty quickly. If they start to step toward you, get big and make them back up.
Thank you, that is what/how I do it - we honestly haven't done a lot of lunging in the past few months b/c we started riding at a walk and then walking trails in-hand. I'll spare you my speculations on why we need to back up to ground work and just say THANK YOU again for replying. I thought the best place to start was back at stopping on the lunge, I just wanted another opinion on the matter.
Last night I went and bought a new rope halter and a 12 lead - I have a 9 foot, too short and a 20 something foot = too long, so hopefully this will be just the right length so I have better communication with her.
And yes, I will remember to give her a minute to let it soak in - that is something I need to be very aware of for sure.
"Whoa" is the same in every circumstance
I teach "whoa" to all of my horses as part of daily leading. I use their halter and lead, or sometimes I just press on the nose above the cartilege when I lead with a rope around the neck, every time I lead them. I try never to lead to or from the stall without asking for a halt and asking for several steps backwards. I felt this was necessary bc my 3yo KMH grew into a 16'3hh, 1,400 pound animal with the potential to run over me as he towers 3 inches above my 5'4" head! The English vocabulary and halter work transfers to ground work and to work under saddle, where I transfer ground work commands and aids to reins and legs and weight.
NOW, nobody rushes out of the stall for turnout, or pulls me around with their heads. They were, at one time, much more nervous. This has taught them patience, just like not teasing a dog with a ball encourages the dog to wait for you to throw it.
Just this morning I spot cleaned the shelter and made 2 of my horses wait in their stalls until I was done. No fuss, maybe some pawing, but neither one tried to yank my arm out while being led. In FACT, I also command my horses to push the gate open if I wish for turnout, which they know how to do. You can teach your horse to do practically anything, which are usually labelled, "tricks," and every obedience builds on the other obediences.
Halting on command is a BIG DEAL!! It is worth thoroughly educating your horse to do this perfectly, every time. MUCH more important than leads or collection, IMHO. Hope this helps. =D
I agree - she stops on a dime as long as she's in my hand. If I stop she stops. Problem is she no longer stops w/voice only and she needs to do that like she used to.
No point trying to work on anything else till we got a horse that stops!
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