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ilovemydun 01-01-2008 10:32 PM

ground work
Hello :) This is in request to one of my friends. She has a 3 year old gelding who has been under saddle since june, I believe, and she was wondering if you had any suggestions on groundwork that she could use to work on making Mickey more responsive and respectable on the ground as well as in the saddle? Thanks in advance!

BluMagic 01-01-2008 10:40 PM

I just say stuff that takes lots of concentration and activity. lol. Not like strenuous work or anything. Just stuff like trot poles maybe. Lunging. Idk...let everyone help, I'm not doing the best. lol.

ilovemydun 01-01-2008 10:49 PM

LOL, i appreciate the attempt though! He does sometimes have an issue of giving to the bit. He seems to resist more when you ask him to go to the right

BluMagic 01-01-2008 10:52 PM

Maybe he's similar to Blu, a lefty horse. Blu is much better the the left rather than right as well. I think its just a training thing for him but hey that means he uses the right side of his brain, whereas, I use the left because I am right handed. lol. I think its interesting...

Spirithorse 01-02-2008 12:49 PM

Maybe your friend could do some Parelli with him, on the ground and on his back. It'll put a great foundation on him.

At this point I wouldn't worry about him giving to a bit. Try just riding him in a rope halter with one rein.

ilovemydun 01-02-2008 08:18 PM

Thanks Spirithorse. She does have the parelli levels and tried them once, but didn't really get into it. She said she was going to try it again with him, so hopefully it all works out. He's a good horse, just gotta work out those little kinks :D

Spirithorse 01-02-2008 09:16 PM

That's great! Yea, if she can just be consistant with the Parelli stuff it will work wonders!

horse_luver4e 01-02-2008 09:26 PM


That's great! Yea, if she can just be consistant with the Parelli stuff it will work wonders!
I agree! The Parelli games really helped my horse focus on me and trust me more. :)

M~R~N 01-05-2008 09:09 AM

A good exercise for every horse is to 'give to the bit.' Basically just stand at your horse's shoulder, take the slack out of the rein, and hold it until the horse gives. Don't jerk or increase the pressure, because that nullifies the effect. I spent all summer working on this with my mare who is notorious for not being very responsive (her stop button had popped off somewhere, she was barnsour, wouldn't listen), and within a couple months of consistent giving to the bit all those problems disappeared. Granted, she will test me sometimes, to see if she can get away with speeding up towards the barn, but after a few repetitions of turning in circles etc. she leaves it alone.

Another good one is just concentrating on getting the ear to drop. When Colletta was constantly racing up to the barn I would get upset and nervous every time she faced the barn, thus giving her a reason to bolt. But while in the saddle I started doing give to the bit. When a horse softens and gives they will also tend to drop their head, just a little. So by concentrating on that ear and waiting for it to drop it took my mind off of the barn and consequently by occupying her mind with a job to do it got rid of the vices.

Another rider I would suggest, along with Parelli, is John Lyons. He's an excellent rider whose exercises have basically saved how I and live around the horses.

BriLeigh 01-07-2008 07:33 PM

I think it is best to get your horse soft in your hands right from the get go. It isn't too complicated and it gives them something to think about. At a stand still just flex him each way and whenevr he gives you give back and release the pressure. It is easier to teach this the younger they are. He should learn eventually that when he gives you give. Eventually you can do this at all the gaits as well, both ways.

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