Check out Buddy’s new horsemanship DVD: http://www.buddyuldriksonhorsemanship.com/gear/ground-work-dvd/
Buddy’s first educational DVD is released! Read more and order a copy
When you think things are going good and your ready for your horse to advance to something new, have 2 or 3 horsemen and or horsewoman critique you. Use someone who is really honest and does not care about hurting your feelings. Be delighted with negative feedback not hurt. We all need praise and told how good were are doing but the good does not need fixing. Seeing yourself through other teachers eyes can really help you with your horsemanship.
The reason most folks bought their horse was to have fun. It is much more enjoyable when you feel safe. When your paths of communication are open, you get the response and respect you need for whatever job you choose to do. If you are working cattle, roping, trail riding or showing, it will all be more fun if your horse wants to be with you and your partnership is working smoothly.
Safety of both horse and rider are our prime concern. A horse that is respectful, happy to be with the human and feels no need to either defend itself or take over the partnership will be safe, eager and fun to ride.
Calmly leading, yielding to pressure, turning, bending, freeing up the hindquarters and all four feet are some of the components of ground work. You will learn a philosophy that, when applied, will begin to improve your communication and safety in the saddle. As your horse learns to respond lightly in the halter, you will have the beginnings of the trust and respect you need to solve problems under saddle.
When I do my ground work I try to have the same feel I have in the saddle. When the horse is going in a circle to the right I want to roll the hindquarters over (disengaging), (the lead rope should go from halter to right hand to left hand) I bring right hand to midsection between belt buckle and chest. If horse does not respond I will lift my hand untill the horse runs into halter. Your goal is to get horse to respond with the slightest feel. There should be plently of slack between the horse and you (halter and hand) as your hand comes to midsection the horses nose should tip in, hindquarters tip out. Inside leg should go in front of outside leg. When you release or quit asking the, the final step with the horse should be BACK.
Example: I ask, right hind goes in front of left hind, I ask, it goes in front. I quit asking it stept back! This is very imporant!
Learn how a horse thinks, responds to pressure, release from pressure, and threatening situations. Knowing how to be there to support your horse will help you understand and fulfill your responsibility as a rider and help keep you safe. Your horse is a feeling, thinking, herd animal that requires a leader that he can respect and trust at all times. You can be that leader. You will begin to understand how everything you do in the saddle is influenced by the groundwork you do before you get into the saddle.
Discover exercises that will teach mutual respect, mental and physical softness, communication, the principles of pressure and release and gain control of the feet and therefore the movement of the horse. Check out Buddy’s clinics to learn in a laid-back, positive atmosphere.
It is amazing to me that there are not more injuries and deaths of trail riders out there. People think because their horse turns, stops and is gentle to be around that it is broke. Almost every “problem horse” I get is a trail horse. A trail horse must be able to move their hindquarters and leg yield at the walk, trot and lope. They must have control of front quarters and have a good back-up. The better you and your horse have this foundation, the less likely you’ll see bucking, rearing, runaways, jigging and barn sourness. Yes it is extra work, but in the long run your ride will be safe and more enjoyable.
Trailer loading, shoeing, shying, kicking, biting, hard to catch, and hard to bridle are a few of the problems riders encounter. Many of the problems that arise between horse and rider can be traced to lack of mutual respect. This manifests as tenseness, the inability of the horse to move its feet freely and calmly, and resistance in the mind and the hindquarters. When feelings of resistance, defensiveness and fear anre alleviated, most problems will disappear.
Suppleness, collection and balance are mental states that are reached when the horse “turns loose” to a rider through trust and respect, both on the ground and in the saddle. The mental attitude will be reflected in the quality of movement and in the softness and liveliness of the horse’s response to you and your aids.
The Guy in the Glass
by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.
For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.