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Ground Manners = Undersaddle Manners?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by BansheeBreeze View Post
    I'm confused about this quote...

    "However, undersaddle, he is great! We have about ten minutes of minor arguments while he is warming up, and then, I have to stop him."

    I don't consider 10 minutes of arguing to be a "great" horse under saddle. He's obviously still testing you out. The head on you is a big sign of disrespect. I don't think it ALWAYS translates that a horses ground behavior translates to their under saddle behavior but in this case is sounds like you really do need to work on getting him to behave on the ground and I bet it will make him better under saddle. However you need to be the same herd leader when you are on his back as you are when you are on the ground. Horses are always testing us!
    You are right, Banshee. What I meant is that after the first ten minutes he is great. The first ten minutes are anything but great.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by mayhew View Post
      Does the way a horse behaves on the ground translate directly to the way he behaves under saddle?
      In my experience, not so much. I have one horse who is very pushy on the ground, but anyone capable of sitting upright and holding reins can ride him. I also have a TB who is an absolute doll to handle from the ground but takes a very tactful rider. And I've had lots of in between too. Ground manners are very important to me, but I'm not sure they're the best predictor of undersaddle behavior. Consequently, this is why I also feel that excessive groundwork as far as "longing for respect" or "joining up" etc. is not always effective.

      Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a time and place for ground work. It can be very helpful to long line or longe a horse so they can work without the added weight and balance issues a rider ads, especially when learning something new or just starting out. And it's important for a handler to demand obedience both under saddle and on the ground. But I feel that respect in the saddle has to be earned in the saddle, and vice versa on the ground. Groundwork exercises can help build your confidence to attack the undersaddle issues. They can also give you an idea of how the horse will react undersaddle, but again, IMHO it's not always the best predictor or indicator.

      Comment


      • #23
        when i bought my horse he was HORRIBLE on the ground, as others had let him become pushy. But under saddle he has always been wonderful. i figured i can work with ground manners, and i did. he is a lot better now, but i make sure the Barn staff all know not to let him become pushy at all. i love my horse he is awesome now.

        Comment


        • #24
          The two horses I had which were Grey Badger bred, the first 1/4 mile was always a 'challenge/interesting' to put it nicely. If you could hang on, no matter how, then you had a good ride afterwards and a great work ethic. But, day after day, it was the same. Then I heard or read those up close bred Badgers were the challenging type and it's just in the blood to do such shenanigans.

          All the other horses I remember, they might have been knotheads to start but after a few days, a week at most, they settled down and could be rode without the circus beforehand. With the Appy mare I referenced above, I tried to leave her alone as much as possible, just saddle up and step aboard. The previous owners were aghasted when they found how I mounted. They'd roundpenned her till the cows came home before mounting and never did understand how it had backfired on them and the mare. She flat wanted to be left alone and get the ride done.

          So, in a way, I can understand how manners on the ground translate into in the saddle but on the other hand, maybe not so much. So very clear, I know. :-)
          GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            So, to get him to respect me on the ground I have yelled and waved my hands when he is really pushy. I have even slapped his neck, and he comes back to me all excited like "yay, mom, hit me more, hit me harder!" Hitting this horse does nothing. Yelling at this horse does nothing. The whole twenty-seconds-of-hell thing? He LOVES it. What do I do?

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            • #26
              Originally posted by mayhew View Post
              So, to get him to respect me on the ground I have yelled and waved my hands when he is really pushy. I have even slapped his neck, and he comes back to me all excited like "yay, mom, hit me more, hit me harder!" Hitting this horse does nothing. Yelling at this horse does nothing. The whole twenty-seconds-of-hell thing? He LOVES it. What do I do?
              I'm sorry, maybe you didn't mean it this way, but the way you describe it, that's funny, I don't care who you are!!

              On a more serious note, if that's how you meant it, I'd say you have it figgered out. That's just him, love him or not. Maybe he should read the book....
              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

              Comment


              • #27
                probably not

                But bad ground manners kind of suck the fun out of the ride and make you treat the horse differently, because, by the time you get on, you're already in a pissy mood.


                My current horse had zero ground manners when I got him. He hasn't done the first thing wrong under saddle. I've had him a year next month and he has improved immensely. He's a Roman nosed, draft cross and big. He has learned to respect my space. He still knows he can out pull me, but he's figured out he gets out faster to the grass if he just steps up and behaves himself. He figured out I could snub him to the front of the stall and would, if he didn't turn to me to get the halter off before bolting over to his feed tub. I have to be smarter than he is, but he figures it out really quickly.

                My last horse was nearly 18h of pure muscle. He had impeccable ground manners, and could be a pig under saddle when he chose not to play.

                Of the two, I prefer my ride to be good.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  Thanks, GR and all of yous.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                    I'm sorry, maybe you didn't mean it this way, but the way you describe it, that's funny, I don't care who you are!!

                    On a more serious note, if that's how you meant it, I'd say you have it figgered out. That's just him, love him or not. Maybe he should read the book....
                    LOL, I'd give it to him, but he'd eat it.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                      You are right, Banshee. What I meant is that after the first ten minutes he is great. The first ten minutes are anything but great.
                      Ok so you said you have "arguments" in those first 10 minutes. Arguements are good on your behalf, because it means you aren't just sitting up there letting him do whatever he wants right? You are arguing back with him, and not letting him walk all over you, and then he is great! So take that same principle and apply it to the groundwork. When he pushes your buttons on the ground, argue back! Let him know that he is not going to get his way and push you around on the ground either.

                      Yelling and waving your hands or slapping him obviously aren't working (and wouldn't work with most horses, you don't want him to be afraid of those things anyways.). Next time he tries to disrepect you, pop the lead rope good and hard and make him back the heck up, back up several steps. Say NO! loud and clear while you do it. If he acts like he's ignoring you, do it harder, and you might have to go to a chain or rope halter for more effect. This isn't abuse, this isn't being a big meanie, and it's not going to hurt him! This is a simple, easy and effective way to show the horse that what he is doing is not acceptable. If you don't put your foot down and do something about it now he will only get worse and could end up putting you in a dangerous situation or getting hurt.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Many horses have horrible ground manners and are fine under saddle because people concentrated on training them under saddle and didn't pay much attention to teaching them ground behaviors.
                        why don't you stop worrying about it and just re-train him?
                        bad ground manners have nothing to do with "respect" and a lot to do with "lack of training"= he doesn't understand what you want him to do because you didn't tell him, or have let him do X for years so he now thinks he's supposed to be doing X.
                        I find a clicker and rewards to be the fastest, clearest way to communicate with an animal about what you want the animal to do. If you don't like clickers and think horses should never be given treats, you'll have to figure out some other method of communication- you can use a verbal marker to tell the horse when he's got it right, or try "negative reinforcement", aka release of pressure. Negative reinforcement is popular among horse people, and tends to work fairly well if you're careful about your timing of when you release the pressure.
                        Negative reinforcement means that if the horse is in the "correct" place or doing the "correct" thing he's comfortable and when he isn't in the "Correct" place he's experiencing mild discomfort from a tight lead rope or other form of pressure like a whip; so whenever he "gets it right" the pressure immediately goes away.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                          FineAlready, he is not young at all. He is 14. He should be in the prime of his career, however he was sold through two board bill situations and I am bringing him back, and, to be quite honest, I baby him like he is a newborn. I'm a special ed teacher, so I apply the same methods to him that I do with my students. Ultimately, we get to the same result (in our case, 20 m circles at all gaits) but it takes A LOT longer to get there than it should.

                          ETA: I get what you are saying about ten becoming fifteen, becoming twenty, becoming twenty-five. I am NOT willing to deal with that. In terms of groundwork, what did you do?
                          I sent you a PM in response to your PM before I saw this, but the short version of it is that I did a lot of sort of a made up version of Western or QH showmanship (which I really know nothing about, but learned from watching). Pretty much did walk trot work on the ground with me leading him, required a lot of yeilding of the haunches and backing up, then trotting and halting, etc. My groundwork didn't really include lunging, and I don't really consider lunging to be "groundwork," although I suppose it is certainly work you do from the ground. I didn't do the groundwork to get him tired - I did it to get him thinking about following instructions.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                            FineAlready, he is not young at all. He is 14. He should be in the prime of his career, however he was sold through two board bill situations and I am bringing him back, and, to be quite honest, I baby him like he is a newborn. I'm a special ed teacher, so I apply the same methods to him that I do with my students. Ultimately, we get to the same result (in our case, 20 m circles at all gaits) but it takes A LOT longer to get there than it should.

                            ETA: I get what you are saying about ten becoming fifteen, becoming twenty, becoming twenty-five. I am NOT willing to deal with that. In terms of groundwork, what did you do?
                            How is your classroom control? My mom is a special needs teacher and doesn't baby her students. She is pretty strict with them, actually. She says many dont get enougu discipline. And they adore her. Kids who graduated years before run up to her all the time. Many of her kids end up as baggers or greeters. We joke she knows a kid at every store.

                            Why do you baby him? Because you feel sorry for him? Why? He is fine for now. And since he respects your farrier I don't think it is just him. What does your farrier do to get his respect?

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              You are very very right Banshee! Thusfar if I groom and tack him up in his pen I haven't used a lead rope, and have nothing to resort to other than a yell or a slap which he seems to enjoy. I definitely will put a halter on him the future.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I agree with SarEQ. Don't baby him. He works for YOU. He's YOUR employee, not the other way around.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                  You are very very right Banshee! Thusfar if I groom and tack him up in his pen I haven't used a lead rope, and have nothing to resort to other than a yell or a slap which he seems to enjoy. I definitely will put a halter on him the future.
                                  Have you ever seen a boss mare chase another horse off? They're not like "Hey! Stop it!" about it. They are like, "GET THE EFF AWAY FROM ME (or that other horse, or that hay, or whatever) RIGHT NOW!" And then the boss mare goes back to grazing like nothing ever happened. She expects that the behavior won't be repeated, and that's what you should expect too.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by SarEQ View Post
                                    How is your classroom control? My mom is a special needs teacher and doesn't baby her students. She is pretty strict with them, actually. She says many dont get enougu discipline. And they adore her. Kids who graduated years before run up to her all the time. Many of her kids end up as baggers or greeters. We joke she knows a kid at every store.

                                    Why do you baby him? Because you feel sorry for him? Why? He is fine for now. And since he respects your farrier I don't think it is just him. What does your farrier do to get his respect?
                                    Oi vey. I'm much better outside of the classroom with individual kids than I am in the classroom with a whole bunch. Outside of the classroom, one on one, I am good. Inside the classroom, not so much. Yeah, I do baby him because I feel sorry for him. And you're right, he's not living in that feeling three years ago, he's living in ten seconds ago.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                      So, to get him to respect me on the ground I have yelled and waved my hands when he is really pushy. I have even slapped his neck, and he comes back to me all excited like "yay, mom, hit me more, hit me harder!" Hitting this horse does nothing. Yelling at this horse does nothing. The whole twenty-seconds-of-hell thing? He LOVES it. What do I do?
                                      If he is pushy while handling, I would put a chain shank over his nose, and have a real CTJ moment at the first sign of pushiness.

                                      When he paws the ground while tied, I would tie him somewhere that the ground is hard or put a rubber mat down, and tie him there all day long if you have to. Leave him tied until he stops pawing and stands like a gentleman. I don't mean give him 12 inches of rope. Tie him normally, so he can have normal range of head motion, but not too loose that he can get hung up in his lead.

                                      If if you have to do this every day for a month before he realizes that pawing gets him nowhere, that is what I would do.
                                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Great thread. A friend's young horse is having some similar trouble, especially in the wash rack, and I may direct her here for ideas.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                          May I make that my signature?
                                          Of course!

                                          Dolphin bucks are cute, but now and then they feel like Killer Whale bucks.
                                          ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

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