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Ground Manners = Undersaddle Manners?

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  • #61
    As one old cowboy told a friend of mine (after she had launched into a long description of how he rode great,but was a pita to handle)
    "Ma'am, if he's disrespectya on the ground, he's disrespectya under saddle"


    • #62
      Originally posted by partlycloudy View Post
      "Ma'am, if he's disrespectya on the ground, he's disrespectya under saddle"
      I'm curious to know what makes you think he was right...?


      • #63
        Originally posted by mayhew View Post
        I understand what you mean. By "cute" I mean to say that they are of absolutely no threat to any person on him. A child could ride out those bucks.
        I kind of thought maybe "cute" was used out of context.

        You are being very open to all the good suggestions and opinions and I commend you for wanting to better your relationship with your horse on the ground. I believe if you do that, your horse will be more enjoyable to ride... but that is just my opinion and my experience, fwiw.

        Edited to add: I am not saying you need to drink the koolaid. There is a difference between a horseman and a marketer.
        Dreaming in Color


        • #64
          Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
          My horse warms up really slow. At first he is kick (drag) along slow. He stops to scratch his knee, admire the view, shape clouds.
          Haha! Add in a few coughs, sneezes, and a hey, look there's a shiny new rock over there, and it sounds like my horse. Except, he doesn't really ever get that shot of adrenaline, maybe on a few rare days.

          Back to the subject of the thread. I don't necessarily find a correlation between ground manners and riding manners. How many schoolies have you seen drag a kid all over creation on its own agenda on the ground, then pack it around like a saint once the kid is in the saddle?

          With respect to my current horse, I do get clues to his mood while I am handling him on the ground. Although I have often been fooled into thinking he was going to be wild while tacking him up and had him be kicking quiet and vice versa. Generally, I find that I am safer on my horse's back, than on the ground. This does not mean, though, that he doesn't get ground rules enforced. He just seems to accept my guidance much better when I am in the tack.

          OP, yours definitely sounds like he respects boundaries ... just not with you. I bet if you work on them, you will have a much better horse for it.


          • #65
            fburton...I don't know if he was 100 % right about every horse, but he was right about that one.


            • #66
              Originally posted by partlycloudy View Post
              As one old cowboy told a friend of mine (after she had launched into a long description of how he rode great,but was a pita to handle)
              "Ma'am, if he's disrespectya on the ground, he's disrespectya under saddle"
              Well, my coming from a long line of cowboys and their wisdom, I disagree with this old guy.

              Originally posted by fburton View Post
              I'm curious to know what makes you think he was right...?
              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


              • #67
                Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                This sounds like my guy too. So long as I take him out after he has had his breakfast, he is great. Before his breakfast? Well, I've stopped trying. He is prone to ulcers so I think that may be a part of the problem--he needs food in his stomach to cut down the stomach acid.
                I once had a wild hair to take a bucky horse (who looked 'xactly like a prehistoric horse) out before breakfast, trying to find a way to streamline my training time during the day (bad move coming up!).

                Anywho, walking away from the barn to do a short trail ride, he dragged his hoofies and bum so badly, it was like driving a hay wagon with no steering. Lug this way and lug that way. Finally, I'd had enough and turned around, about a mile from the barn, he whizzed around and we were back at the barn in 1/4th the time!!

                Learned my lesson...
                GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                • #68
                  Originally posted by salymandar View Post
                  Haha! Add in a few coughs, sneezes, and a hey, look there's a shiny new rock over there, and it sounds like my horse.
                  Oh yes the nose blowing... like he's trying to pull start his motor.


                  • #69
                    I think part of the problem is that a lot of people learn to ride. So they learn to "make" the horse do what they are told to do because they have someone there telling them exactly what to do and when as needed. People don't get that kind of ground manners training. Most of the average horse owners have no idea how to correct poor ground manners, and with many horses that begets a slide into bad ground manners. The owner just lives with it and figures out how to work around the poor/bad manners. But then the person mounts up and they know how to correct bad behaviour and get the horse working, so they do. Even if it takes a bit of discussion first.

                    If you improve the ground manners it tends to make the horse yield to the person as rider sooner than if the horse walked all over the person on the ground because the horse is in the habit of responding to the person. It generally doesn't eliminate the discussion.

                    Schoolies with bad ground manners and good saddle manners? They're just lazy. They've figured out the minimum effort required when asked to do their job, and being lazy they know it's more effort to argue and then have to do it anyway. Much easier to just jog around the ring when asked. It's not really good manners.


                    • #70
                      Found this thread because on a whim today, had my OTTB mare have a session with a western/NH trainer today. I actually respect this guy, and am open to NH, in the context of classical training, not voodoo. Anyway, my mare is a kind soul. She's easy to handle and ride, no real issues. But I used to ride lots of babies and sales horses, and my boss taught me what NH trainers call joining up. She was a big time jumper who broke her back, and now buys/sells to BNTs. Anyway, driving a horse until it turned and looked at me meant in two years and over 75 horses, never got thrown (fell off once when horse dead missed to a jump). When I bought my mare, I tried the same trick, and eh, she never really got into it. I could get her to look at me, but not walk with me. I stopped messing with it because I never saw a hole in her work or attitude.

                      So today, this wonderfully patient man flat out pissed her off! It was funny, and her attitude was just so transparent. She kicked out at him, reared, shook her head, and generally let it be known she wanted him to just leave her alone and let her roll! She finally stood and moved her feet for him, and her head followed him. But yeah, she was not thrilled.

                      Seeing her, she does sometimes decide undersaddle that she knows best. Best example, she hates walking on contact after initial warmup. She will shake her head up and down when mad about going on more contact. I used to think, oh, must be using too much hand! So I'd release reins a bit and squeeze her on. But trainers pointed out she was being bratty and I was rewarding it. We've worked through that, but that attitude - her not liking a change in routine - was exactly the same on the ground as undersaddle. Not sure yet if fixing this on the ground will translate, but we'll give it a go. Bottomline, she has no right to be so bratty, ever!


                      • #71
                        when i went to see my horse, he was bratty on the ground- pushy, in your face, in your space. but under saddle a dream to ride. i can FIX ground manners. i would prefer that to the opposite. and yes we fixed his ground manners pretty quickly.


                        • #72
                          I always thought that ground manners and saddle manners were related until I met JR, the QH I ride for a barn friend. He is obnoxious on the ground. Pawing, banging, head in your face, tried to kick at you (that's the only habit I successfully broke him from, and it was basically "the beatings will continue until you think you're going to die"). He is 17 hands of irritating brat. But under saddle, he is perfect. I've had one bad ride on him, and it was because he hadn't been out for almost a week. He was rushy, but no other naughtiness. He rocks the hunters and is super simple to ride.

                          On the other hand, he does this with everyone, not just one person. It might be a slightly different issue with your guy. It really depends on how comfortable you are with handling. It couldn't hurt to try fixing ground manners if you're confident you can. I wouldn't count on it fixing the under saddle stuff, though.

                          And please, for the love of all that is holy, avoid NH crap. I have never seen that actually improve a horse's ground manners.


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by big_red_ottb View Post
                            I always thought that ground manners and saddle manners were related until I met JR, the QH I ride for a barn friend. He is obnoxious on the ground. Pawing, banging, head in your face, tried to kick at you (that's the only habit I successfully broke him from, and it was basically "the beatings will continue until you think you're going to die"). He is 17 hands of irritating brat. But under saddle, he is perfect.

                            And please, for the love of all that is holy, avoid NH crap. I have never seen that actually improve a horse's ground manners.
                            And conversely, I had an OTTB who was just delightful on the ground. Stood in the crossties like a gentleman, great to longe and lead and turn out and catch and longed like a dream under saddle, as well. When the day came that I decided to get on, my right foot wasn't in the stirrup before he launched straight up and then went for my 'ground helper.' We rodeo clowned for each other to get out of the small paddock we were in. Long story short, that little guy had a very successful saddle bronc career.


                            • #74
                              I do think there CAN be a correlation between manners on the ground and under saddle. When I was horse shopping most recently, I wanted a horse that I felt I could trust. I knew I would only be able to sit on the horse once or twice. I had to feel it was right.
                              And I did. I KNEW my mare was kind. Even though she was all business, she waited patiently for her cues and did her best to please.
                              A couple other horses I tried were just very affectionate and not bothered by anything. They were very well behaved, willing to try, and not at all spooky under saddle. And, I think both would take good care of their rider.
                              Poor manners are a sign of disrespect, or at a minimum lack of training. With a problem in one area, there are often problems in another, though of course you'll find plenty of exceptions...
                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #75
                                I'm a big fan of well behaved horses, and do think there is a correlation between under saddle and ground manners.

                                I do agree that there are definitely exceptions to every rule, however.

                                There are a couple of horses that I have handled that are knotheads on the ground but are apparently (mostly) fantastic under saddle, and there is the case of my QH who has pretty darn good manners on the ground and is unpredictable when you ride him (last time I did, he broke my ribs - and I had just gotten on and hadn't asked for anything yet!)

                                Then there is my Bluesy, who is pretty much well perfect. ;D (I've even had a clinician tell me this too, so...it's not just me) He's got wonderful manners both on the ground and under saddle. He's always been such a kind horse.

                                And I have done a lot of ground work with him. I can have him in an arena, or the field, or what not, with no halter or what ever, and his attention will be on me and he will move away from what ever pressure (whether by touch or by me stepping into his space) that I place on him. To me this isn't NH, but just basic communication and moving away from pressure.

                                I love doing ground work and teaching manner, and I have a fair amount of tricks up my sleeve, but I definitely admit I am still learning!

                                I wish I could help you with your horse, OP, -but- it's very hard just to give advice/help without actually being there and seeing what exactly is going on. Also, there's no guarantee that I could help even if I was there!

                                So I don't know if that was much help - but I hope the best for you and your silly pony
                                Let us eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die.


                                • #76
                                  I never used to think one had a lot of bearing on the other

                                  till I started to watch a guy name Warwick Schiller (youtube).

                                  I've changed my mind. I think if you can't lead well, you might be lucky and get a good ride, this time. But sooner or later, it's going to catch up to you.




                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                                    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.
                                    1. To answer your questions: "sometimes"
                                    2. I think in this case, it *may* be connected..

                                    Bangs head on desk (with love...) No, no, no. Baby a 1000 pound animal = monster (baby a pony and get ready for the apocolypse).

                                    He is NOT a human (obviously). He is a 1000 + horse who requires a leader. I am not being snarky, put the mommma foot down. Let him know what unacceptable behavior is.

                                    Thumbs down is in my future but you need to establish the ground rules.
                                    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                                    • #78
                                      I have not read all the responses but I can relate to having a horse with fabulous ground manners (I thought) and being a bit of a PITA under saddle. I was never a huge ground work person but have become a pretty big convert recently, as I have seen that a) my horse WAS disrespecting me under saddle, and I was allowing it AND although they may have seemed minor, were things that would definitely cause a safety hazard in a perfect storm of $hit, as can happen, b) that working on really, REALLY giving to pressure, moving their feet so I own them makes my horses much more fun AND safe, and c) as someone else said, his ground manners were okay but not as good as I thought, as HE was still making choices and I was tolerating them. Not a good thing, IMHO, and it DID translate into how he responded under saddle.

                                      With my horses, they must see me as alpha, not to be mean but to avoid problems. I can love on them all I want but at the end of the day, I must be obeyed (and, mostly, I am!). I think that keeps us much safer (they are 1200+ lbs so if they seriously decided to disagree, not like I 'd have much chance)

                                      EVERY SINGLE time I lead them, each of them, in and out of the pasture, we stop and start and they stop and start, or trot or whatever I am doing; the focus is on ME. Absolutely no grazing (i never allow that when I am working them anyway), no looking for their buddies, ME. I make a move towards their rear ends and they step right over, disengaging their hips.

                                      And this totally comes into play when riding-was out with a friend (before I did a lot of this) and riding under RR tracks as a train was crossing. We had been dismounted and his horse knew to "track dad", disengaged his hips when he got worried so he had something to think about. I thought it was pretty cool, as his horse was much calmer and more attentive than mine was, and he told me GROUNDWORK. Or when one that I am riding is getting worried, or antsy about something, he will do side passes, or a quick single rein stop (stepping his feet over) to give him something else to focus on. But to do that, he REALLY needed to know about giving to pressure, about MY space and so on. They will back in any direction I ask, for as long as I ask.

                                      I have also learned (the very hard way!!) to avoid trouble if I can on trails. I do NOT lunge mine for hours before riding, but from time to time, I like the idea of working my guys "at home" pretty hard when I come back from a ride, if they need it, so the idea is that the trail is the fun, relaxing release, NOT the barn. The barn (in their minds,I hope) is work, work, work. I insist on heading home on a loose rein and I HATE arguing about it,and that, among other things, has helped. I hate being one someone's horse who dogs along, then turns around and "BARRRRRRRN!" starts jigging/fussing/ all the way home.

                                      Anyway, a long winded version of why I am now a big groundwork fan and how I see just how much difference it makes. If it were me, I would find someone who has some viable ideas who can help get what you want from the horse. I have sure had help with mine and very much appreciate it!!!!! I do not know a whole lot about it, so am learning a ton, but love what I have gotten so far!

                                      OTOH, I know plenty of people who do zero ground work and have very nice cooperative horses, so guess its a matter of preference!!!


                                      • #79
                                        I so thought this was true for the first 30 odd years of my life. It had been basically true with all the horses I've known. If they're good on the ground, they're basically good under saddle and vice versa. My very first young horse taught me this was so not true. She is a dream on the ground. I showed her in halter as a 2 year old and she won some blues and reds and anyone can handle her, anyone can do anything to her. The vet and farrier love her, my farrier actually shoes her with her ground tied and my vet always asks if i'll sell her. She'd rather be groomed than eat, etc. Just wonderful ground manners.

                                        She has put me in the hospital twice now under saddle. Wicked nasty buck that comes out of nowhere, will roll on you, turn her head and bite you, just mean (all medical issues ruled out) mean, mean. I do know it's genetic, her daddy is the meanest horse I've ever met, but he's mean everywhere not just under saddle and he's mellowed considerably with age. Neither of these two were abused, I know daddy and daughter's complete history from birth. They just don't like being ridden and are both smart as a whip and able to think of ways to get rid of you faster than you could ever react.

                                        It really doesn't help that she's gorgeous (blood bay with chrome) and a fancy mover. When you ask the universe for your dream horse make sure you specify exactly what you want!

                                        Member Appaloosa lovers clique


                                        • #80
                                          a slap and a yell are not going to fix ground manners. get yourself a crop, and maybe even a chain, and make him back up away from you. work on ground training. it's not that hard to get them over bad ground manners. a lead horse would never yell, just correct the behavior and move on. a lead horse would bite or kick. so don't be afraid to use the crop when needed.