Had another good day with both Pepe and Casino. I spent the time with each of them working on the ground. I teach these skills in clinics and I think that folks, at times, think that they are good ideas but when they leave don’t really apply themselves or their horses to really working on them. True it can get a little boring, but the benefits or huge.
I have horses here that I have not worked on the ground in years, that, if I go out and we start, go right back to the program like they have never left it. The reason I bring this up is, ground work is the foundation, the place from where we will build everything else in a horses life, and if we short cut it or leave it out, the consequences will show up later. What consequences you ask? A ill behaved horse, one that wants to walk all over you, or wants to decide where you go. These may not seem like any big deal until your horse steps on you, or pens his ears at you when you go to feed him, or when your leading him, and you stop, he keeps right on walking dragging you along.
I teach horses to respect me as the leader of the herd, ON THE GROUND, not in the saddle. Once we are in the saddle the horse, although he may not know it at the time, has the upper hand, the advantage. We are more at the mercy of the horse when in the saddle. It’s harder to fix problems in the saddle because we are a little worried that if the horse gets in a ……. match with us we may lose. So what happens is we let things go when we are in the saddle thinking: “It’s really not that big a deal that my horse does not stop when I want to or get off my leg when I ask”. We get to thinking that he will figure it out in time. And he may, or when we have had enough and we start to press the issue, whatever it might be, and our horse throws a fit we also may wind up on the ground.
On the ground is where you want to find out your horses weaknesses not in the saddle. So ground work is so important and yet is probably the most over looked aspect of horsemanship. Don’t let it be for you.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.