In hand exercises - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-11-2020, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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In hand exercises

This may sound strange, but I loooove doing groundwork. I read and watch all kinds of trainers, but rarely do any of them do much in hand work. I want to know more and broaden my horizons.

What do you guys like to do for groundwork or in hand work? I don't have any specific discipline I'm working towards, I just like to learn new things and try them out with my own horse.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2020, 02:10 AM
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Pretty much anything you can ask for in the saddle you can get them to do from the ground. Just need a different aid to cue. The different dressage movements broken down would be an example.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-11-2020, 02:03 PM
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I did and still do a lot of in-hand work with my mare. Right now we are working on shoulders-in and haunches-in from the ground. I also work from the ground on her bending on a circle and stepping under herself properly. I don't do a lot of lunging, but rather walking with her on the ground, doing circles and changing direction and bend.

She likes to throw her head up when she backs up, so I am working on backing her from the ground and asking for her to keep her head down.

A lot of the obstacle courses we have done I do from the ground as well - so taking them over tarps/bridges, etc.

As @QtrBel said, nearly anything you ask for under saddle can start on the ground.

I find that doing some of these ground work exercises before I school under saddle really helps to loosen her up and puts us both in the right frame of mind for our riding work.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-11-2020, 02:15 PM
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I taught my Pony to free lunge -- he lunges in a circle around me without a lunge line and without being in the round pen. I guess it isn't something that is terribly practical, but I personally really enjoyed thinking about how to break it down so that he would understand what I wanted, and then teaching it to him. He picks things up really quickly so teaching him things is usually really rewarding.

You can free jump a horse, apparently a lot of horses enjoy that.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 04:54 AM
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^AC, yeah, good to be able to work out HOW to teach this, but the biggest thing about true liberty(not counting when they're confined to a yard/arena, that's not liberty) is that you need to work out how to get them to WANT to play your games!
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 08:55 AM
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If you are looking for more fine detailed in-hand work, the French school's system of in-hand bridle work is great. Trainers like Phillipe Karl. The Spanish school is closely related and you'll find it there too. Not in-hand work, but I'm also a big fan of long lining. I've been doing that almost exclusively with my horse for the last few months.
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