Archive for the ‘Ground Training’ Category
Posted in 101 Ground Training Exercises, 101 Ground Training Exercises - Spanish Translation, Books, Bridling, Catching, Desensitization, Exercise, Free Longeing, Ground Driving, Ground Training, Halter Training, Handling, In-Hand Work, Long Lining, Longeing, Personal Space, Press Release, Respect, Trailer Loading, tagged cherry hill, equine, ground training, horse, horse books, training on October 7, 2013| Leave a Comment »
Posted in 101 Ground Training Exercises, Books, Bridling, Catching, Desensitization, Exercise, Free Longeing, Ground Driving, Ground Training, Halter Training, Handling, In-Hand Work, Long Lining, Longeing, Personal Space, Press Release, Respect, Tack, Trailer Loading, Training, tagged cherry hill, equine, exercises, ground driving, ground training, horse behavior, in hand, lessons, long lining, long reining, longeing, longing, lunging, sacking out, training on April 19, 2012| 1 Comment »
So many of you have been asking me about my new book – well it is finally here !
101 GROUND TRAINING EXERCISES
for Every Horse & Handler
8 1/2″ x 11″
over 200 drawings and photos
comb bound and punched for hanging
“Every moment you spend with your horse is an opportunity to instill good habits and develop his respect, trust, and willingness to work with you. All horses need a solid foundation of in-hand and guide-line training in order to be safe to handle and ride”.
Cherry Hill’s comprehensive collection of 101 ground-training exercises leads you and your horse through catching, yielding, turning, sacking out, backing, longeing, long lining, doing obstacle work, and much more. Every exercise is fully illustrated and described in easy-to-follow, step-by-step language that you can refer to during your ground training work — simply hang the book in the barn or on a fence post, and your’re ready to go! The exercises include clear goals, variations, common problems to watch out for, and lesson reviews.
Posted in Bad Habits, Behavior, Ground Training, How to Think Like a Horse, In-Hand Work, Nipping, Personal Space, Pushiness, Respect, Training, What Every Horse Should Know, tagged cherry hill, equine, horse, horse behavior, pecking order, personal space, respect, training on February 19, 2012| Leave a Comment »
I am a very inexperienced horse person, but I want to get more involved with horses. I had my first official training session the other day and everything went really well. I just have a question about how the horse, a 22 yr old mare, behaved at the end of the ride. I was leading her back to her regular stall, but had to stop walking for just a second to talk to someone. She stopped and stood there relaxed for a few seconds, but then out of nowhere she nudged me on the side/arm. It wasn’t rough enough to put me off balance, but it was sudden enough for me to get a little nervous. I am wondering what this meant and when/how to react to it. I keep reading different opinions – some saying it’s affection others saying it’s disrespect. I doubt it was affection as this horse doesn’t know me. All I did was tell her “hey, no girl” in a firm voice and she didn’t do it again.
She was so close to me that I couldn’t really see what the rest of her body was doing, legs, rear etc… Any advice or interpretation? I want to make sure I did the right thing, and if not what to do next time. Thank you!
The mare was probably testing the waters, checking to see if she could nudge into your space or push you a little bit, so in a way, it is
a form of disrespect…….like if someone interrupted you while you were talking and wanted you to get going…….you reacted perfectly.
If she, or another horse does this again, stand your ground – in other words, don’t move yourself, keep your feet planted and flick your elbow at the horse to tell it to stay in its own space, and you can use a short voice command like “No” or “Go on”. The important thing is to not move yourself or the horse “won”.
If you watch horses interact with each other, they tell other horses to stay out of their space in various ways. They might do it with a nudge or a bite, kick, lunge, strike, body slam….so this mare was using a mild form of pushiness, but pushiness nonetheless.
To read more about horse behavior, refer to How to Think Like a Horse.
Posted in Behavior, Books, Ground Training, Riding, Training, What Every Horse Should Know, What Every Horse Should Know - Czech Translation, tagged cherry hill, equine, horse, horse behavior, horseback riding, training, what every horse should know on February 16, 2012| 1 Comment »
When watching horses, we often say, “…he should know that…..” somewhat like we heard our mothers say as we were growing up, “You should know better.” I guess once we get to a certain age and have learned XYZ, you’d think we’d also know our ABCs. But often that is not the case. Frequently the basic lessons are missing and that is so often true with horses. Basics are the building blocks; they are foundation for everything else that is to come. If there are holes in the foundation, at some point the horse, the person, or the barn could come tumbling down.
Sugar is a sweet gelding that can really turn out a pretty western pleasure picture as long as his stable mate accompanies him to the show and stands ringside. Oh, and Sugar has this silly habit of moving during mounting so needs someone, well, two someones, to hold him while his rider gets aboard. And one more thing – he must routinely be sedated before he loads in a trailer. Then there’s just that one foot that he jerks away from the farrier………Sugar has holes, things he really should know. Things that he should have learned at the beginning. Although he can walk, jog and lope with the best of them, there are important basics missing from his training.
But before we even begin to make a list of what we think a horse should know, let’s celebrate all the splendid things a horse inherently knows. I’ve discussed why horses do what they do in detail in “How to Think Like a Horse”. There I give you a bird’s eye view of a horse’s evolution, physical traits, senses and behaviors. But there is so much more.
Horses bring with them beauty, nobility, grace, curiosity, generosity, honesty, and forgiveness. Horses have amazing physical attributes, keen senses, strong instincts and they are very social animals. Such rich character is a great gift to us.
As we develop our horses with a partnership as a goal, we need to preserve those things that make a horse a horse. In that way, there are no losers. Both human and horse emerge winners. If you work together for safety, effectiveness and unity, it will be a satisfying and successful experience.
I’ve written many step-by-step training books that guide you through specific lessons. Those how-to books can help you master the nuts and bolts of horse training. But this book also focuses on the behind-the-scene goals that are necessary for developing a trainer’s consciousness. Understanding training concepts is helpful for seeing the big picture. As you read you’ll see that certain themes reoccur throughout a horse’s life – from foalhood to the senior years.
Whether you are handling a foal for the first time or asking your riding horse to cross a creek, in the mix there will be measures of fear and trust, willingness and patience, leadership and mutual respect, obedience and confidence, generosity, patience, and harmony. Seeing how all of this works when it comes to handling, working with and riding horses, will help you become a more complete horse trainer. Understand the concepts, master the skills, develop the horse.
This book is devoted to those universal lessons that every horse should know whether a trail horse or reiner, dressage horse or jumper, rodeo horse or ranch horse. In addition, each horse discipline will have its own set of specific skills that the horse will need to learn.
Throughout my life with horses, I’ve been a “be here now” and “back burner” trainer. When I work with a horse, I am in the moment. But afterwards, I take a bit of time to review what happened, where we are, where I’d like to be, and what skills and principles are necessary to get there. Then I put all that on the back burner until the next time I work with the horse. Things have a way of reordering themselves in the subconscious. That works better for me than overanalyzing and becoming too detail oriented while I am working with the horse.
It is my hope that you’ll read this book from cover to cover, reread parts in between training sessions, add something to the pot and put it on your back burner to simmer. Skills are great to master but concepts really bring about those “Ahhhh” moments. You’ll see how each concept can be thought of separately yet they all intertwine to make the whole horse.
Mastery of the concepts will help you design your own custom training program. You can use the subjective and objective goal chapter at the end of the book to help you get started. The checklists there are designed to help you find an entry point for your horse and they will provide you with some ideas of what you need to review or work on next. You’ll be constantly making and revising individual “To-Do” lists for each of your horses.
Horse training is not strictly linear though – at any one time, several things are occurring. In addition, each horse comes with his own set of influences: age, sex, breeding, health, soundness, condition, previous handling, temperament, and attitude. A particular horse might pass certain tests quite easily and need much more time to master others while his full brother might be vice versa.
As you design a program, you will also need to keep in mind your own temperament, experience, talent, timing, physical abilities and goals. To get help with how-to lessons, please refer to the training books listed in the appendix.
Thankfully horses tell us every day what they need to learn. Their voids become quickly apparent because until they are taken care of, they will crop up in all sorts of places. A horse that has never learned to stand still might paw and move around when tied to a hitch rail, move back and forth when the farrier is trying to shoe him, sway side to side and move up and back in a trailer, or starting walking while a rider is mounting. He has missed the basic lessons of Whoa and Patience
That’s why no matter what age a horse is, it is a good idea to start from square one to evaluate what he does and does not know. This is especially important if, when looking for a horse to buy, you test ride a horse and find him to be well suited to your riding needs but really don’t know if he is OK with clipping, bathing, trailering or shoeing. By testing him on the basics, you can see whether his schooling is complete or deficient.
No horse is perfect and no horse performs everything perfectly every time. Horses are living beings, not machines. Each horse comes with natural talents and challenges – some things come easily, others are tough. Our role is to fortify the strong portions of a horse’s nature and help the horse develop and become more confident in the weak areas.
As you look at accomplishing your goals, you will want to keep these things in mind.
1. Break larger things into smaller achievable goals.
2. Do simple exercises well rather than more advanced maneuvers in poor form.
3. Be consistent. (Always be training.)
4. Be patient.
5. Preserve a horse’s curiosity, willingness to learn, good attitude, and spirit.
6. Work for balance and quality of movement.
7. Let results be your measure, not time.
8. Feed a horse according to his age and work requirements.
9. Exercise a horse daily.
10. Give a horse a job, a purpose.
11. Practice regularly.
12. Use reward and yielding to reinforce a horse’s good behavior.
Posted in Bad Habits, Behavior, Biting, Desensitization, Ground Training, Nipping, Personal Space, Respect, Training, What Every Horse Should Know, tagged attitude, biting, confidence, equine, ground training, horse, horse behavior, spooking, training on January 28, 2012| 2 Comments »
I have an 8 year old mare standard bred. She is very nippy and can be aggressive. She bit my forehead a couple weeks ago. I had a bruise.
She spooks easily and I need help. She is western. The worst part is when I saddle her. She is sensitive and is cranky. Please help.
It sounds like your mare needs to develop respect and confidence. Respect for you and confidence in herself and her surroundings. Biting and spooking are just symptoms of a horse with a lack of respect and confidence.
Have you visited my Horse Information Roundup? There you will find MANY articles related to your questions. Here are just a few
Biting and there are six more article related to Biting under Behavior
In addition, it sounds like you and your horse would benefit from you reading
Posted in Bad Habits, Catching, Desensitization, Free Longeing, Ground Training, Halter Training, Handling, Horse Handling and Grooming, Pulling, Spooking, Training, tagged cherry hill, equine, ground training, halter horse, haltering a horse, safety, spooky horse, tie horse, training on January 2, 2012| Leave a Comment »
We recently brought home two horses. The 4-year old mare is a sweetie and not issues but the 7-year old gelding is nervous and spooky.
Three days ago during feeding he spooked and broke his halter. (The mare flinched at something and the gelding turned it into a panic, rearing back until the halter gave way.) I was moving slowly and deliberately around them so I am not sure what caused the mare to flinch but the gelding seems to be a bit of a basket case.
I have worked for two days being very gentle but insistent with the halter and still have not been able to get it on him. I don’t want to press the issue because he doesn’t know me that well yet and has only had a few days to get used to our pasture. While he was eating, I had the halter nearby and would move it around so he could hear it jingle. When he quit freaking out at every noise, I held it so that he would have to put his nose in the halter to take a bite from the bucket.
I didn’t push the issue but slowly would move the halter around and by the time he finished eating I was scratching his jaw on the right side but was not able to get the strap over his head without him moving away from me. I didn’t want to chase him, thinking this would cause further issues, but I was calm to the best of my ability and spoke soothingly to him. Am I on the right track? Do you have some advice that would help me to make this process go more smoothly? Thanks! Kathy
Although you need to proceed with caution around horses for both your own safety and that of the horse, often sneaking around and being overly cautious seems to make horses more nervous and suspicious.
To me from what little you say, I’d say this. The gelding never learned to stand quietly when tied. And actually before that he never had been taught to be confident in the world of man, so is suspicious to the point of panic.
At 7 years of age, that is quite behind the program and now being a full grown, strong horse, it makes things especially more challenging and dangerous.
What I would do is start from square one with the horse free in a small, safe sturdy pen. You will have to have the time it takes with a small goal each session. Don’t use feed to distract or bribe the horse.
Perhaps at first just the goal of being in the enclosure with the horse without him trying to get away from you or turn his rump toward you.
Then a goal of him allowing you to come up to him and touch him.
From this point you can continue the lessons in the small enclosure or move to a small round pen (maybe 50 feet in diameter) where you can free longe the horse around you at a walk, trot, halt.
Eventually you will progress to putting the halter on the horse after you have halted him and walked up to him. It can be with you or an assistant holding the horse with loop around his neck or it can be with you solo and the horse free. You will put the halter on matter of factly, not using grain.
Just halter the horse using normal, safe procedures.
If the horse tries to move away, let him and send him around you free longeing. Then stop him, walk up to him and begin again.
Once you have successfully haltered the horse, unhalter him. And rehalter him. Do this until he no longer flinches or wants to move away. Haltering and unhaltering then will be you main lesson until it becomes second nature.
There are many articles on my Horse Information Roundup that will help you – just look in the Ground Training section.
And a good illustrated reference on proper handling techniques including haltering, tying and much more is Horse Handling and Grooming.
Best of luck. Cherry Hill
Posted in Behavior, Catching, How to Think Like a Horse, Training, tagged catching a horse, equine, ground training, horse, horse behavior, horsekeeping, management, pasture on October 19, 2011| 2 Comments »
We know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Some horses at some times also know this. But it is interesting to observe the other routes horses take which must be perfectly normal to them.
Right now we have our 3 horses out on 3 separate pastures. In the morning when I jingle my mares, I first go to Aria’s pasture and when I rattle the metal gate her head comes up, she does a turn on the hindquarters until she faces me and then walks a straight line to me, sometimes not so fast as I’d like, but basically a straight line. Her walk to the gate is downhill.
Then I go to Seeker’s pasture gate – of course by then, she knows “its time” so she has started walking up to the gate. Her trek to the gate is all uphill. The path she chooses is quite interesting in that she probably covers twice as much ground as she would if she came straight to the gate. It is obvious that her choices are based on ease of travel. Instead of coming directly uphill toward the gate, she weaves back and forth…….like a sensible mountain trail horse I guess.
Then there is the energizer bunny Sherlock. When Richard goes out to call him in, as soon as he whistles, Sherlock kicks into his floating, ground covering canter, but because he loves to move, he takes the scenic route. There is no doubt that he is definitely on his way to Richard but he might canter the entire perimeter of the 20 acre pasture on his way there. Very fun to watch. And even with all that traveling, he probably takes less time to get there than the girls do when I call them !
Horses. What a treat to observe.