Horse Training – Extensive Ground work

The same training as round yard, but with a halter and rope. It is usually on the ground that we the handler must take away the horses tools and replace them with a more powerful tool. Co-operation!.

The horse has a right to fight to keep his tools. The handler will have to have the knowledge, the skills and a strategy to deal with the horse’s aggressive or defensive behaviour. Most importantly, he has to have the ability to persuade and convince the horse that the new tools were are trying to provide him with will give him more power and influence with far less effort and provide a far more comfortable and healthier life with his human.

The ground work is a dance. Head position and foot work are the most important. Soft hands are most important. Soft wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Centring ourselves, understanding our own space and how we should position ourselves and move accordingly.

Understanding the space around the horse and how he moves in that space. The horse is constantly aware of our space and moves in or away accordingly. Understanding how a horses energy flows. Understanding that it is the horse’s mind that controls the direction and flow of his energy.

Understanding that it is it’s head position that allows free flowing energy or not. Understanding that we must help the horse develop his muscle structure to support the weight of his head. Once we, the handlers have taken away his tools and have the correct head position, we can show and pride to our horse that our training method will make life easier for him.

We can gain his respect. We can teach him that when collected he can back up easier, go forward easier, trot and canter easier, side pass, stop and go again with ease. We can free his mind allowing his feet to move freely as we ask.

All along his muscles are developing making all of the horse’s tasks easier and easier. We can teach our horses everything we may want of them as riders on the ground. We can teach our horses everything before we even ride them for the first time. All of the above means our horse’s mind has developed. He is in control of his fear. He is understanding the method, the communication between the horse and the handler is working and the horse is far more prepared to be ridden than at any other time in the history between horse and man.

NOTE – How we are or perform on the ground is how we ride.

I can tell by watching people with their horse on the ground how much knowledge they have and their ability to pass that knowledge on to their horse. But also, I can see how they would ride and what problems the horse will have and the riders contribution to the horse’s problems.

I’ll continue this tomorrow – Shane D. Olver

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