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The benefits of groundwork

Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby nicxf » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:18 am

So peeps, ideas about doing groundwork from a mobility scooter??

There are some tricky things - I can't manouver quickly, and it doesn't stop instantly, there's a delay (even more so when I'm pointing downhill). And of course it can't follow a horse sideways easily without some jiggling into position. Also I've found body language seems compromised to quite a large extent - it still works with a horse who is used to looking for cues but with, for example, the riding school horses we were working with the other day (for horseback archery desensitizing) who are mostly used to ignoring humans it's far harder to get their attention from the chair. Though the RDA pony was good with it. :love: Just terrified of the bows. :cry:

I'm thinking I need to keep going on the route I'm currently trying, which is to use far more vocal cues like I do with my dog. She knows 'go front' 'go behind' 'go round' and 'step through' (don't think I'd be trying that last one with a pony... :lol: ). And will now do a lot of it automatically or look to me for guidance if she sees an obstacle and knows we won't both fit through together.

But does anyone have any other ideas? Bear in mind I only have my left hand available as the right is controlling the scooter. It's certainly an interesting challenge and one I'd be keen to see others who are experienced with groundwork try (groundwork one handed from a chair??) to see if it generates any flashes of inspiration.
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby littlewhitehorse » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:41 pm

Silke Valentin does some amazing things with her Friesian horse from a mobility scooter, but she has been at it a long time, with this horse; I can imagine it won't be so easy with riding school horses until you get them interested and connected, and responding to basic cues. I have noticed that Seraphina is fascinated by, and very willing to follow me, if I am on the tractor mower, I have never quite worked out why.
This video is not great quality but Silke uses a stick to help her and in training this would allow her to point at or touch areas of the horse or give cues
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijNneK5wxQM
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby nicxf » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:39 pm

Ah yes, I've seen her videos before, love her Friesians! I think with Gandalf I'd have a chance of getting some connection as he's starting to get more responsive as I am around him more. Just need to get myself better co-ordinated! I noticed she was doing the crossed- hands scooter steering so she had her right hand free to use, which was neat. And her scooter has wig-wag steering so it's much easier to flip it into reverse, mine has a separate switch. I'm not too good at steering crossed hands; perhaps I should practice more as it does look useful. :hmmm:

With the riding school horses we're training for archery yeah, it's going to be trickier as I don't know how much we'll get to work with them. And we discovered one at least is EXTREMELY averse to sticks. :cry: Trial and error I guess. We're going armed with halters next time so no more accidentally socking them in the face with the bit as I did to one poor pony when I had a co-ordination fail on a slope and he didn't follow me. Chevalblanc had to rescue the poor bugger.... :shock:
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby Trudi » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:52 pm

Silke is amazing isn't she.

It can be hard enough to get good groundwork on two feet with riding school pones :sad:

You could list all the things you CAN do and then decide how those things could work as cues- make sure that there is greater clarity by not using similar cues for movements that could be miscontrued eg moving the 1/4's would need to be quite different to moving the shoulders or they could be confused. Then work back in very small steps to train them.

What a fantastic project...shame you're not local- I love a project :lol:
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby nicxf » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:22 pm

Trudi wrote:You could list all the things you CAN do and then decide how those things could work as cues- make sure that there is greater clarity by not using similar cues for movements that could be miscontrued eg moving the 1/4's would need to be quite different to moving the shoulders or they could be confused. Then work back in very small steps to train them.

What a fantastic project...shame you're not local- I love a project :lol:


Well I'm hopefully coming to the clinic at Chevalblanc's as I'm Gandalf's sharer. So you're welcome to see what you can do then! Though we might have to try working in the yard as my scooter can't handle the deep sand in the school. :cry:
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby FlorayG » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:44 am

Fabulous to see -R being used properly in that video it gets such a bad name from people (and a lot of them are Parelli people, thus giving his methods a bad name by association) who have no idea what they are doing. I wonder how she trained this though, I think the horse was able to do all the moves before the trainer was confined to the scooter? So she just had to transfer her cues? In fact I wasn't sure at first how the training was done until I studied her whip movements.
Bill Dorrance was training horses into his mid 90's and I've seen pictures of him doing groundwork from a wheelchair which pretty much meant he was unable to move while he was working the horse. Plus of course he would have been unable to apply any pressure ( which he abhorred anyway) as he would just have been pulled out of his chair! hmmm...maybe we should all do some groundwork from a chair... :hmmm:
I think you could train all this from a scooter with +R and much more safely too. I think I would start from a static chair, adding in the movement once the horse was trained from that.
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby M-E » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:34 am

A lovely Vid Shelia I have not seen that one before, Just looked her up couldn't find much in English but wow she is one determine lady and that she has trained her horses all the way, if I have read right her first horse got a bit dangerous which is why she went down the P route :thumbup: loved her thing to prove that "can't" is not a word :-D
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Re: The benefits of groundwork

Postby Trudi » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:28 am

Well I'm hopefully coming to the clinic at Chevalblanc's as I'm Gandalf's sharer. So you're welcome to see what you can do then! Though we might have to try working in the yard as my scooter can't handle the deep sand in the school.


I look forward to it! Yes I think the sand could be difficult :hmmm:
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