While I'm limited with a knee injury ('taking it slow' to avoid tearing the ligament, but I can still ride lightly with a brace max 2x per week), I was hoping to spend some time doing some groundwork to bond with my horse. I've been thinking about grooming, obviously, and trying out some massage techniques like TTouch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yHiTW5yYYY).
Any other ideas?
Thanks in advance guys
Showmanship patterns. I had a trainer over for a private clinic several weeks ago to show me what it was all about. I didn't really think it would be fun, but teaching my horse how to set up correctly, how to cue her to move each foot and place it exactly where I want it, and move through the pattern really pays off. After you get proficient on the lead, try it without a lead.
Y'know, getting your horse to stretch his nose back to his flank, down his chest, out forward, that sort of thing. I also have gotten in the habit of pulling his front legs forward (really before we ride, so I can make sure no folds of skin got caught in the girth) and he seems to like it as he usually lets out a nice sigh when his legs stretch out.
Just doing random leading exercises, like getting him to move his hindquarters away from me, then leading off at a walk, halting when I halt, backing when I tell him, walking off again...we also jog some and do transitions that way but if your leg is injured, you might want to leave out the jogging.
You could also set up (or get someone to set up) a 'trail class'. I mean, a lot of the 'trail class' obstacles I've seen could theoretically also be done from the ground (I mean, the opening a mailbox, putting on a coat, going through a gate ones kind of lose their points from the ground but walking through then backing through patterns of poles, walking over bridges, going through curtain-type obstacles and over tarps...that sort of thing still applies).