mhuffman

Best Groundwork Exercises

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Oh, I'll enjoy this topic! I love learning more groundwork!! I enjoy leading, actually. It doesn't sound like much, but I expect a lot. I love walking/trotting with a loose lead rope and halting no pressure on the halter or voice cues. I also love sharp turns with no pressure on the lead rope. And backing with a loose lead. I think it keeps the horse in tune to YOUR body language and respecting your space.

I also love moving the head around. As in, having the horse lower its head, as if to bridle. Ideally, he should hold it there with no poll pressure, until I lift his head up or say "okay". Another thing is pulling his head to the left or right. Flexing, but not with a lead rope. Hands. One hand on the nose, one on the poll. Ideally, his head should be perpendicular to the ground and he should hold it there without my hands on his head until I say "okay" or push his head back. I think this really helps with hard-to-bridle horses and horses who are stiff or unresponsive.

Backing! Try backing through obstacles. It's a great exercise and challenging. It's like backing a car, haha. I also like picking up the legs with a rope. Any leg, anywhere. This is great for horses who are afraid of ropes (like Tucker!). It teaches the horse to stand still and remain calm when his leg is caught or held up by a rope. Also great if you drop a rein at the canter [Crazy] Keeps your horse from flipping out.

Desensitizing to anything and everything. Tarps are fun. So are umbrellas and mail boxes. And even fly-away saddle pads!!

I think everything you do on the ground is good groundwork for your horse because you should always demand respect and obedience. Just leading from place to place is good practice for any horse. I'd love to hear from others [Jump]

ETA: I also like working in an arena with my horse at liberty. I think teaching to groundtie is fabulous. I make Tuck stand still, then I walk away. When I call him, he usually comes. But when I say "ho" he stands stock still. I usually do this after our ride. It's nice doing groundwork before and after the ride. I think it's a good warm up and cool down/relaxation thing. I also 'lead' Tuck with nothing on his head. Walk, trot, turn, back up. It's great fun once the horse gets it and it's great training if your horse doesn't get it.

Edited by ShelbyLynn

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i do have a question about round penning i have been working a yearling filly on leading an just standing tied iv done that about 5 times last night i took her to the round pen to do some free lounging and she completly flipped and tryed to jump out to get back to the other horses in the pasture when i took to lead rope off. any ideas she has been with 20 other horses in a pasture her whole life and her owner doesnt stall horses should i just keep taking her away and just brushing her for longer and longer and working on her moving her shoulders and hips? shes also very pushy and i feel like im constantly trying to get her out of my space i wiggle the lead to back her and after i stop she take another step forward i dont want to have to bring in a whip if i dont have to any ideas will help alot

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I don't really know what to do about your filly trying to jump out of the roundpen [Question] but what you stated sounds like a good start.

For her not stopping with you, just smack her chest with the lead rope. Here's how I do it:

1-walk along with horse

2-stop

3-if horse doesn't stop, put pressure on halter/lead rope

4-if horse takes even one more step, slap with lead rope across the chest

5-back horse up several steps

If you follow that, you'll have her stopping exactly when you do, if not taking a step back after you stop. You can also use a voice cue if you think that will help.

Also, when you're first teaching this, make your stops really really visible. When I stopped walking, I really planted both feet and straightened my shoulders/back and stopped ALL movement. This really helps the horse read your language in the beginning. Now, my boys follow my every move, no matter how slight.

ETA: If you don't like hitting with the lead rope, you can also kick her with the heel of your foot in the chest. I was working with a really pushy 2 year old and I had to resort to that "horsey" language that he understood. It worked great. I only had to do it a few times.

Working with leading a lot will help teach her to stay out of your space no matter what. Use that lead rope to pop her! Work on turning and stopping and walking off. The more you do it, the more respectful she'll be, hopefully [bat Eyelashes]

Welcome to HorseCity! I hope I helped. If you ask questions here, you can learn a lot :smileywavey:

Edited by ShelbyLynn

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thank you so much thats what iv been doing that is my biggest pet peave is horses on top of me mainly cuz im 5 foot tall an most horses are bigger then me and the first time i got run over was when i put in the arm length away rule, and all the horses iv worked with have always figured it out to stay back with just me backing them off of me. idk if its her being in a herd and not being worked with or wut i havent been able to figure her out i did take her to the round pen again an just lead her around it calmly for about 5 minutes and went back to the barn. i think wut im going to do is work her for short 10 minute sessions till she calms down a little bit their are 2 other yearlings i need to work so im just going to alternate all of them in 10 minute sessions and slowly make sessions longer and longer as they get use to being out of the herd

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It's probably just her pushing her luck. She's still young, and probably hasn't been worked with enough. So I'd push right back :winking:

Maybe something you could do in the roundpen, is do groundwork other than longeing...if you are longeing? But try to make it really really stress free. Like you said, just lead her around calmly and do easy stuff that she knows. And keep your sessions short so she doesn't get stressed or bored. It sounds like you're doing well! Maybe someone else has more ideas [Question]

Good luck [smiley Wavey]

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horsefeathrs whos training program was that video from i just got a chance to watch it and it was amazing i would love to learn the training program

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im thinking about going back to square 1 and just brushing her and picking up her feet getting her better at being handled and keeping her calm away from the herd who has the best training videos on herd bound horses i think that is her biggest problem she is so worried about the other horses she could care less about me and what im asking her to do. i have a problem horse video from john lyons but i dont know if it has herd sore horses

thanx for all your suggestions

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The pecking order rules are pass down to each member in the herd on what is acceptable or not acceptable behavior and how to respond at certain times. Each horse learn what their ranking are within the herd and even the young horses.

There are reasons to seperate one of the member from the herd which maybe to punish and correct bad behavior, etc.

Most times there are no real loud crys or reactions from the seperated horse of wanting to be with the group. The horse will only stand back and observe the herd and the ALPHA's actions understanding he may soon return.

When it does happen, the horse rejoin the group and he or she take their rightful place and this process become familar over time and the horse knows to just wait until it is OK.

You might want to consider establishing your role over the horse as it's ALPHA.

Convincing her that you have control over her feet, not matter in which directions and speed of gait.

This is what all horses understand right from the very start and its because of the herd leader to which is to attain and gain control and their respect and bring about a feeling of security to the herd.

Us humans must do the same thing with out horses and establsih ourselves as the leader so that they can learn what is expect of them.

Be clear and consistent and also be fair but firm.

In time there should be unity within your herd.

I hope this insight helps.

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neocowgirl-

Im not sure...I have a messege in to lady to find out where she learned her stuff. Im pretty impressed with it. But I have a feeling it is no 1 program but a combination of many trainers plus her own experience....It kind of reminds me of nezcorov(sp?) haute ecole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHaEzGz0HeE

Edited by Horsefeathrs

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ya iv started to get after her a little more she was taking complete advantage thats shes bigger then me last night and i smacked her in the chest with the lead rope and she dident take a step forward and she started licking and chewing i think thats all she needed just me to put her in her place

thank you every one for all ur help

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im at my wits end with this filly i got her out of my space and leading really well in the round pen around my truck even out of the middle of the herd up to the barn so i figured id try letting her loose in the round pen last night, let her loose and she started pushing the pannels and trying to jump over them i thought i had her trusting me i could pick up all her feet, rub her all over, she stands quiet and relaxed to be brushed and leads with her nose parallel to my shoulder and a foot away like i asked her, and is quite content to be lead around all day. But she still is really spooked in the round pen once i take her lead rope off or even when i back off with her on the line and her owner is wondering why i havent got her lounging yet. I dont want to push her to fast but im not sure whats causing the spookyness, should i back off on the lounging and start desensitizing i tryed to find the 7 games dvd but im having a hard time finding a used one, i do have the john lyons bringing up baby but he starts in the round pen before he even halters them which i get them leading well and start in the round pen free lounging then add the lead rope and refine i just really dont want her to get hurt. some on told me put sport boots on her and just let her try and jump out but that seems way to dangrus

please help other wise i need to tell her owner i can no longer train for her

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Well if you can't do it, you shouldn't have offered...

I have no experience with babies, so I can't help you. Try making a new topic about it. I wish I could be more useful; but it sounds like you're doing exactly what I would do, so I don't know what's wrong :confused0024:

Good luck to you!

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Neo-

Your problem can definately be fixed as I have had to deal with the same thing on more than one occasion. The problem is it takes a really good amount of feel and timing. She is probably not a bad horse at all but she may be a bit over your level of experience right now and the best thing to do would be to pass her on to a more experienced hand. If you can haul her to San Antonio I could help! :happy0203: DONT put boots on her and let her try to jump. JUMPING IS NOT AN OPTION...PERIOD.

The worst case I ever had to deal with as far as jumping out of the round pen went like this:

The last trainer I worked for had that plastic white fencing in his pastures. Their yearlings had very little handling and when it came time to handle them for shots and feet trimming things would get a little rough. Leave it to 'macho men' assistant trainers to man-handle these yearlings into submission! [Duh] They would chase them into corners and try to tackle them down to get a halter on and then drag em around until they got done what they wanted. This would have been ok I guess except that this dang fencing would shatter if a yearling so much as leaned on it. The result? We ended up with a few wiley yearlings who got it in their heads that they only had to try and push against or jump a fence any time things got to scary.

Enter the round pen!

One yearling in particular had turned into quite the little escape artist by the time she was ready for the saddle. The assistant who started her liked to get pretty rough with his horses in the round pen and would often throw them down to get them to 'submit' soooooo needless to say she jumped a 6 ft roundpen.......twice! When she didnt jump the roundpen she would often break the latch to the gate pushing it open and then escaping. BIG problem. A more senior assistant stepped in to try and remedy the problem and while he is a really good trainer, he tried to work with her when she was already exhausted and mentally zapped. She buckled down and refused to move despite numerous whippings [bang Head]

sooo over lunch one day I heard two of the senior assistants grumbling about what a piece of junk she was and scratching their heads over what to do when I said 'Give her to me! I'll start her!" Glad to wipe their hands clean of her they agreed. So here is what I did:

First of all it is really important to realize that now this filly had a serious problem that would probably NEVER go away thanks to these knuckle heads. While I was SURE I would get her better, I was very realistic about the fact that she will always have a very low threshhold when it came to pressure and might even try to jump the arena when it came time to ride her in there. I put a lunge line on her and the first thing I did was to practice pulling her off her feet. After a long time starting unruly, pushy colts I have found a way that I can chase a horse forward and then pull them in a complete 180 getting them to face me without exerting myself(its a leverage thing) It was really important for this filly to realize right away that she CANNOT get away from me. If I let that rope slide through my hands even once, it was all over. I used a 14 ft lead for this. Second, before I taught her to lunge I wanted to teach her how to move her body parts. By teaching her how to move her hip and shoulder and flex her head, not only was I getting her to settle down mentally, I was putting the tools on her that I would need in order to lunge her with a good deal of control. When that was good I worked on the lunge. I was WAY more basic with this mare than I would normally be.....one circle then I would quit...she could go any gait she wanted I didnt care. when she would complete a circle I would draw her up to me and give her a really good face rub. I wanted her to think that coming to me was a WAY better option than going to the fence. Because of this I allowed her to be a little more pushy than I usally like. If she ever offered to come into my space I allowed it....i believe I was choosing he lesser evil at this point. I also taught her Clinton Andersons sending exercise(or the Parelli squeeze game) to teach her to give to halter pressure

I kept my sessions really really short with her making sure to always quit her on a good note.

I would normally only take 2 days to do my groundwork and then saddle and then ride before going to the arena. I think I spent 2 weeks with this filly before I saddled her. I never took the lunge line off of her I needed to absolutely make sure I had her on my side before I did that. It would only take one time for her to jump again and all my work wouldve been for nothing. Her first ride was textbook and she became the best filly in my string. My boss was so impressed that my string went from 4 colts to 10 colts AND he insisted that I teach the boys how to start colts!! Did they listen? NO their egos got in the way!

After about 30 days of riding her in the big arena did I finally take her back to the roundpen and free lunge. She was perfect showing no sign of her old ways.

Again even though she seems to have come through the worst of it, one day down the road she may decide 'screw it! Im jumpin the fence!' That problem will ALWAYS be there. Once they learn something like that it is in their head FOREVER. That is why it is SO important that you are very careful with your mare...you NEVER want them to think that escaping you is an option. That is why I stress.....if you think she is over your head(only you will know) There is NO shame in giving her over, if just for a little while, to a more experienced hand. I have had to do the same more than once. I think that is really the mark of a good trainer. Good luck!

Edited by Horsefeathrs

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thank you for the advice i tried something new this morning and it worked. I was concidering passing her on to some one else as i dident want her to be trained the wrong way, but i when went out to exercise my friends untrained 4 year old mare and i was thinking about what i was doing diffrent with the filly then i did with all my own horses that i trained from scratch and i relized i was so worried about keeping her owner happy and using other trainer provin methods instead of the ones i liked to use on my horses, i was tense, rushed, and unsure of myself when i worked her and i wasnt really seeing what was making her nervus it was me. So i went out and really got to know her i watched her in the pasture for a while to see where her place was in the herd was and she seemed really low even the minis outcast her so i figured me pushing her out of my space might have hampered her confidence in me, I gave her a really good brushing had her calm and relaxed and then i took her to the round pen and just let her nibble grass on the line and just watched her every little move and figuring out what it was i noticed she prefered being on the side of the round pen closest to the barn(where the other horses were) and if i asked her to move and eat at the other side she did but slightly tensed so i took her to the middle and took your advise and let her in my space more did head exercises and for the first time since i started working her i felt like i accomplished something and had fun. im also going to look for a book or video on problem solving and herd/barn sour horses as i feel that is the other half of the problem. thank you again on your advice horsefeathers

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