The key to developing a cooperative, polite attitude from your horse is ground work through good horsemanship or natural horsemanship. If you gain it on the ground, it is easier in the saddle!
Among many other ground control exercises, we teach two in particular that are very important. They are so powerful that they can change your life with your horse very quickly. We use these two particular exercises in many situations. As an example, you can see these exercises being used to great advantage in our horse float and horse trailer loading dvd series.
Some riders say that their horse is fine once being ridden but rude on the ground. This may be true in some instances but in others, they merely have problems that are not recognised for what they are, such as not standing still, walking or trotting before being cued among other issues.
Regardless, ground work helps to keep you safe on the ground and make life easier. It teaches you how to handle a horse safely and proficiently. Many times, riders are taught the science of riding but nothing about controlling the emotional side of the horse both in the saddle and from the ground. Ground work is the prerequisite to controlling that emotional part of the horse.
(also make sure you keep scolling dow to see the video clips)
There are many benefits to ground work, it develops respect, partnership and makes handling the horse a pleasure. It is especially good for fixing float loading problems.
Below is a series of pictures which show one of the advanced ground exercises. In this sequence, we progress from resistance and pushiness from the horse to gaining emotional control, self collection and preparation for soft riding responses. Not everyone will want to achieve this advanced level as the beginners to intermediate levels are often enough to get the partnership working together.
Video Clips Below
(Note: click the 'play' arrow once. The centre should spiral, if it doesn't start, click once more. If you accidentally end up at youtube, click the 'back' or if it has opened a new web browser page, click X in the top right hand corner to close page and return here)
Norm discusses the two exercises and demonstrates a snippet.
Video clip below
Intro to the start-up of the 'yield to pressure' exercise.
The 'yield to pressure' exercise is especially useful for preparation for riding, float loading, any horse that is hard-mouthed, rushes through the bit, increases speed without being requested and a miriad of other problems.
The full exercise is not shown here but the start-up procedure is shown in this video clip. This can also be used to start up when lungeing.
Also, click this link for 'Yield to Pressure' further explanation