Winter Is A Good Time To Talk About Ground work
I know some people understand ground work and it’s importance and others don’t. I’m going to try to help you understand why we do it and why it is such a crucial responsibility being a horse owner.
Your Horse Needs To Have Basic Skills
Most people board there horses. Well, maybe not most, I don’t really know the numbers. So we will say a lot of people board there horses at a boarding facility.
At a boarding facility, yes, you are paying for your horses basic needs to be cared for. Hay, water, clean stall, turn out, walked back in, blanketing… so on and so fourth.
Barn staff should not have to fight with your horse to have good manners. They have enough work to do besides having to correct your horse’s behavior. It is your responsibility to make sure that your horse has basic good manners. So that he can easily, and most importantly safely, be handled by barn staff.
Your Horse Should Live Up To These Basic Expectations To Be Handled Easily By Barn Staff!
Allow you to easily get the halter and lead rope on.
Politely wait until the handler is ready to bring them out of the stall.
Walk politely at the handlers shoulder without pulling.
Back up when asked to.
Go quietly through a gate.
Stand for the halter to be taken off.
Go quietly back in to their stall, following the handler not pulling
Skills That Have To Be Worked On/Taught
All of the things I mentioned above are just the skills your horse needs to be easily and safely handled around the barn. Hopefully, you have a horse that is already mannerly. Even if he is, it is your job to keep holding him to that standard.
If you let him slip in these areas, he thinks that he has control. Our horses should never think they are in control of any situation. Obviously, they are big animals and if they really want to do something, they can do what they want. BUT! If you handle your horse assertively and expect that they respect you, they will have a much better chance of behaving properly and seeing you as the boss in sketchy situations.
Ground Work Exercises
There are specific exercises you can do with your horse to reinforce your basic expectations. Or if your horse doesn’t know them at all, exercises to teach them.
Ground work is essential to you and your horse. It is important to establish assertiveness before you ride. If you have a horse that is obnoxious on the ground, your first priority should be get the ground manners fixed. Your horse will learn to respect you and it will carry over into your training under saddle.
There are ground work exercises you can do to specifically target certain behaviors under saddle. We aren’t there though. First, I want to teach you how to have the most well mannered, safe to handle, horse in the barn!
Step By Step
I think that if I wasn’t familiar with these types of exercises that I would find it overwhelming to learn them all at once. In my next post, I will break down the first step in working on your horse’s barn manners. Getting the halter on and off! I plan on breaking it down so much that you will understand not only the how, but also the why!
What National Day Is It?
Today Is A Lot Of National Holidays!!
National Create a Vacuum Day
National Homemade Soup Day
National Thank a Mail Carrier Day
National Girls and Women In Sports Day
National Hemp Day
National Optimist Day