Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ground Driving Duster

I have gone back to ground driving all the colts I start, as well as the training horses that I ride. I find that when I drive the young horses with long lines, they not only get used to the ropes around their legs, they begin to give to the bit better and learn how to turn. For the older horses that are in for training, it helps to develop a working mindset, as well as refresh them on staying soft and turning when they feel the pressure of the bit.

Duster, my 2 year old, bridled easily today, already accepting the bit in his mouth. But on the lunge line, he is slightly fighting the pressure of turning with the long lines. I don’t blame him, as this was his first day driving. This is only the 2nd time with a bit in his mouth. He is a smart guy though. He refused to turn, and as he refused and shook his head, he continued to feel the pressure on his mouth. When he gives and turns his head the way he is suppose to be going, he released the pressure himself, rewarding himself for doing the right thing. When he turned his head the way he is suppose to be going, and the pressure was gone, he dropped his head and moved on.

My first day of ground driving him went very well. I ended up being able to ground drive him on a straight line, turning in serpentines, and driving him in a circle around me. When I was behind him, I moved the ropes against his side, slapping the ropes gently on him, and shaking the ropes. Nothing I did with the ropes spooked him.

He is quietly bully, but he gives in and accepts his job. I wonder if he is going to do the same when I get on him! This week, I plan on ground driving me, desensitizing him to the bag on the lunge whip, and stepping up and down off of him. Maybe I’ll be able to ride him at the walk. Fingers crossed, as I want him doing as much as he can, preparing him for the Peter Campbell clinic this next weekend.

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