Originally Posted by gamingirl22
I'm sorry, but this is my first horse (That is not a miniature) and I will have alot of questions like these, probably. But thanks so much for your help guys! I really do appreciate it. Since the weather has been so horrible here lately, I've just been working with her on ground manners and she is fantastic on the ground! Once spring comes, my aunt and my cousin will be able to come over and give me some training advice.
Don't apologize for asking questions! That's what the forums are for. Just as long as you have an open mind and are willing to take the advice you receive.
Working on ground manners is a great way to start teaching your horse to respect you and trust you. I personally love Clinton Anderson's ground work DVDs and TV programs, just because I feel that he explains every thing very well so that even a beginner horse owner can understand why he is cueing the horse, what he's doing, and when he's doing it. Timing and consistency are very important.
Always make sure you RELEASE pressure the very instant your horse does something correctly.
For example: Let's go through an exercise of getting your horse to yield and disengage his hindquarters. You will want to have some sort of stick or whip in your right hand, merely to "make your arm longer". Hold the lead rope with slack in it, in your left hand. Don't hold the horse tight under the chin because we don't want to make him think we are forcing him to stand there. We want him to be able to move and make a mistake ... that's how we correct it and thus they learn.
Stand off to your horse's left side (never stand directly in front of your hrose, it is not safe). When you are ready, you will want to "crouch" and "glare" with your body language directly at your horse's left hindquarters. Give your horse 2 seconds to respond. If he does not, then raise your stick at the hindquarters. Give them another 2 second to respond. If nothing, start very lightly tapping your horse's left hip with rhythm. After 2 second of nothing, very very gradually tap harder and harder. The VERY INSTANT your horse moves their hindquarters away from you, you need to stop tapping, take away the whip, take away your crouching stance, and turn away from your horse. THAT'S the pressure release for the doing the correct thing.
Now in the beginning, even if they shift their weight in the correct direction, stop and praise. Eventually, the most correct movement will be the left hind leg crossing in front of the right hind leg, disengaging the horse's forward motion. But you've got to start with baby steps.
If you horse crowds you with his head, use your left arm and hold it high to "block" your horse and keep them out of your personal bubble. If your horse moves forward, that's okay. Maintain your exact position (so move with your horse) and focus only on when those hindquarters disengage.
Of course, repeat this exercise on the other side. You can also use this same concept to disengage the shoulders and move them away from you, to turn the horse when lunging, etc
Here's one free clip on YouTube I found of CA. Yes, it is a trailer loading lesson. But most trailer loading problems stem from a lack of ground work. So he gets into ground work exercises and you can see how he is asking the horse to move, the precise moment he releases pressure, etc. TIMING IS CRITICAL. If you do not release the pressure soon enough, the horse learns to brace against you. If you release too soon, the horse does not learn to respect you.