Groundwork Exercises

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Jessie_13, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    Sooo....what are some groundwork exercises you guys do with your horses....I really want to form a bond and improve my boys education on the ground...He is an 5yr old, OTTB...i can't ride atm, as I am injured. I am doing some freelunging with him to help improve his fitness, but I want to take him to a few breed shows in December to get him out and about and so really want work on his ground manners and education, so any help you guys can offer would be great!
  2. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    If you can get hold of a copy of Steve Brady's book, you'll find some fantastic exercises in there.
    It teaches you (and your horse :p) cues for forwards, back up cues, how to 'park' you horse and cues for lateral work etc. It's all things that are easily transferred to exercises under saddle once you're back on board.
    Through the book and (attending clinics) I've taught my horse all sorts of things like shoulder is, traver, side pass etc both from the ground and under saddle **)
  3. Cassy Horse

    Cassy Horse Well-known Member

    Yep agree with Zaza Steve Brady exercises really helped my OTTB switch her brain back to sanity and his key is lots and lots and lots of repetition, so plenty to do whilst you are recovering from your injury!
  4. Araphra

    Araphra Well-known Member

    I do the seven games with my horses:
    Seven Games Wikihow
    The Seven (7) Games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship - Icelandic Horse Connection

    For me the "porcipine game" and "yoyo game" were the best things I ever learnt :). Once you've got your horse used to the games you can start applying it to other things... for example I'll get my horse to back up over a puddle, or "yoyo" into the trailer (only way I can get him in anyway lol). I take my horse out on the trails for a hand walk to practise groundwork to get him used to being out of his comfort zone and get used to keeping his attention on me when there's lots of distractions around.

    You can also practise doing the in-hand workouts (I'm guessing that's what you mean when you say you want to do breed shows in December?) - in particular turning into you horse (ie. turn to the right by "pushing through" the shoulder... I'm not sure how to describe that) if he has trouble with it. I find the "porcipine game" helps with this.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    oooo will have to see if I can find a copy of the book...seems I've missed the clinics for this year:(

    oh well, yep, wanting to do some in-hand, mind you i've never done it before, so not really sure how?!
  6. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Another bid for Steve Brady :)

    Dave is so much fun on the ground **)

    (I almost wish he was a mini so I don't have to ride him!) *#)
  7. info on archie

    info on archie Well-known Member

    I draw my horse to me, get him to follow me, back up at liberty, get him circling around me etc.
  8. Allz085

    Allz085 New Member

    7 friendly games are great!! Steve Brady i have done 4 of his clinics they are FAB!! the ground work is great!! I have done a lot of his work with my OTTB and has helped so so much!! Free lunge is good but i find a lot of close contact work has been a big help for me :)
  9. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Hi Jessie,

    I would be cautious about getting your horses fitness up if you are injured and not able to ride him at the mo. Firstly, when you do go to ride him he will be jumping out of his skin with fitness and you will be unfit....not a good combination. So I would stop lunging for fitness and lunge for the mind instead.

    There are heaps of books on this subject, so have a browes at the horse shops until you see one that you like the style of.

    I would work on personal space issues. Making sure he is not crowding you, pushing past you when you lead him, making sure he stops when you stop. I prefer my horses to lead to the side and behind my shoulder. When I stop so should they (with a slack leadrope). If they dont then I twirl the end of my leadrope up in front of their face until they back up. I do a few reps of this and if they have not cottoned on to stopping when I do, I will up the anti. This means that I will stop, if they dont I will twirl the rope while reversing so that effectively the rope is twirling back towards them and I will back them up smartly. If your horse is not becoming mindful after all of this than you need help with your timing.

    Other games you can play are the 'guard the feed bin' game. You go into his yard or paddock to feed him, and he is not to barge at you or try to hurry you out of the way to get his feed. If he trys any of the above you must drive him away to a respectable distance. Put the feed into his tub and keep a watch on his facial expressions. You are looking for him to look at you with a respectful face, and a waiting for permission to come forward to the feed. If he marches directly towards you as if he wants to drive you away, you must drive him away smartly (using your halter rope, twirling, or a lunge whip is a good idea to start with). If he starts to circle around the feed bin at a distance you must circle it also, but you are right next to it...guarding it. He will go this way, then that way, but you keep defending that bin, and if he gets agressive or assertive you drive him away. In time he will try a different tact. He will look at you with a pleading face. This is a good time to walk away, but keep the eyes in the back of your head on him, because if he changes his facual expression to one of pissed off ness, then turn sharply around and drive him away again and start the process again.

    It will take some time the first time, but once learnt he will be heaps more respectful of you. Doo this every feed time. It makes a difference.

    all the best,
  10. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    Oh yep, sorry, should have explained more...I had lunged him a few times before hopping on him for the first time after a year! He was perfect as he had been lunged before I hopped on and had played with going over a tarp, so brain was thinking. But the second time, I went against my better judgement and didn't lunge him first, he was sooo full of feed and not enough work, he put in a massive buck and then went straight up! This equals me with a broken wrist! He is just way too full of himself, so it's really a matter of getting all the crap out of him, so yeah for the mind. He is agisted at my friend's house, who's husband is a breaker and trainer. So he is going to put the first few rides in him for me and I am working on my own fitness regards starting my exercise program and going to ride my friends boy a few times...

    He is great around food, I will always make sure I put his feed in and he has to wait while I finish mixing it before he is allowed to have it. He's not really pushy and will always get sent straight back if he tries!

    He can be a little nervy with new things though, so want to desensitize - the 7 games look good for this...and get him really listening on the ground so that we can transfer this to riding! Respecting me and forming a bond!
  11. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Hi Jessie,

    Hopefully this link works, it is from David and Sandi Simons. I did a clinic with Sandi when she came over to WA- it was great and we did about a day and a half of ground work.

    If you horse is nervy the 'calm down cue' is extremely helpful and something that I use on all my horses.. happy reading:)
  12. Jessie_13

    Jessie_13 Well-known Member

    AWESOME! Thanks Leon, that's exactly what I needed as I want to do inhand in December and wasn't sure how to get the standing still and square!

    Printed and think i'll try some of these tonight:)*

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