Monday, July 19, 2010

Ground Training - More Leading

I was asked by a lady what she could do about her horse not leading well. Apparently her horse doesn't keep pace with her when leading, nor does he (an Arab Gelding) willingly trot off when asked.

This lady, who rides in endurance rides, say's she needs her horse to walk and transition to a trot when asked because it is a requirement for vet check stations during enduruance rides. She says she has also seen alot of endurance horses balk at being troted in hand once they have ridden into a vet check station.

I asked her how much she works on this and she said not much, but she leads the horse from his stall to the tack room a couple times a week and he almost always willingly loads into the trailer.

I told her it's a issue of spending more time on leading her horse. I understand that days will go by between conditioning rides for endurance horses, so between those rides halter your horse and do some ground training. This will always freshen up his mind and change his routine. Right now, everytime he gets pulled from his stall he gets ridden fast and long - he probably ain't looking forward to that, at least all the time.

Don't let any interaction with your horse pass you by without using it for a training session, whether it's just a few minutes or even 20 seconds long. You should be able to walk your horse off under halter, stop immediatley, back upon voice command, walk forward again then transition to a trot. Sometimes you may need a lunge whip to cue your horse - using it with your outside hand and in an underhand grip to reach back and tap (tap not whip) his butt or hocks.

Horses can't be that ground led reflect bad not on the horse but the owner,.....and it is simply a mater of time spent teaching the horse to do what you are asking him to do.

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