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Translated into French:

101 GROUND TRAINING EXERCISES
for Every Horse & Handler
by Cherry Hill

101 Exercices au Sol
Travail du Cheval au Sol et en Main

Cherry Hill

101-Ground-French-484hCherry 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.

101-Ground-350w 101-Ground-back-350w

“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”.  

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Good afternoon,
Like you, I am a big fan and lover of horses.
I am currently reading Cherry Hill’s book: How to think like a horse and this is the result of a picture my mom took of ” us” 🙂
Its such a wonderful book! And I am sure I will get a couple more of Mrs. Hill’s books.
If possible, please share this picture with the : How to think like a horse Team.
I hope they like it and find it very amusing as I did.
Thank you very much and continue your wonderful work!
Maria
Think reader
Hi Maria !
We all loved your photo and especially Cherry Hill !! Thanks for sending it !!
Paula, manager of www.horsekeeping.com

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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″
255 pages
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.

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Hi Cherry,

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!

Merri

Hi Merri,

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.

More articles:

Teach Your Horse Respect for Your Personal Space

Personal Space – Don’t Crowd Me

To read more about horse behavior, refer to How to Think Like a Horse.

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Introduction

What Every Horse Should Know by Cherry Hill

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.


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January 2012
Translated into Czech:

What Every Horse Should Know

NAUCTE SE POROZUMET
RECI KONSKEHO TELA

Cherry Hillova

Publisher: Vydala Euromedia Group


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Dear Cherry,

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.

Thanks. Denver

Hi Denver,

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

Spooking

Sacking Out

In addition, it sounds like you and your horse would benefit from you reading

What Every Horse Should Know.

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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.

 

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Cherry,

My question is about a riding-school horse: in the scenario below, what if anything should I have done differently?

At this school, students ride a different horse every time. Over weeks or months, a student might ride the same horse again. This was the first and only time so far I was assigned to this horse.

When I first entered her pipe-stall, she acted friendly and let me remove her blanket. But when I re-entered the stall with halter and lead rope, she nipped at the air in my direction. She did this every time I slowly moved the halter toward her nose and she became more aggressive.

My job was to catch her, lead her to cross-ties, and tack her up in time for a riding lesson 30 minutes later.

I reasoned that I should not reward her nipping by backing off or going away (to get help!). Instead I growled (yelling or shouting are expressly forbidden in this barn) and let her know she couldn’t get rid of me, by keeping my fingertips on her shoulder, at arm’s length, and following her as she rotated around her stall, away from me. After some 20 nips, she gave up and let me put the halter on her.  After that everything was fine.

What should I have done differently?  Caroline

Hi Caroline,

If the purpose of the lessons at this schools is to test a students ability to deal with various horses, then I would say in general, you did an acceptable job. But if testing was the aim, then you would have received an evaluation and critique from an instructor who was watching. It sounds as though you did not.

If the purpose of the school is to teach students how to interact with various types of horses, then I would say the school failed. With a horse like this, it should have taken one of the instructors just a few minutes to demonstrate the best way to approach, catch and halter this particular horse in her pipe stall. Then you could have done the same. An instructor would have been able to advise you whether the horse was playing a game with you or was truly aggressive, something I can not ascertain from an email.

I am positively impressed with your savvy to not reward her with backing off from her attempts at nipping.

What should you have done differently? Perhaps after catching the horse and haltering her, you could have turned her loose, left her pen and then asked an instructor to watch as you approached, caught and haltered the horse once again.

A lesson begins the moment you begin approaching a horse. A riding school should instruct from that point on, not just when you are in the saddle.

Thanks for the good question.

 

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Hi Cherry,

I’ve noticed lately that my TWH mare seems to be rubbing her beautiful long wavy mane off.  I noticed several weeks ago that part of her mane near her withers suddenly became very short.  I figured maybe she got it caught in something and I did not really worry about it too much.  But now I’m noticing that the short part keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I suspect that she is rubbing it on something but I’m not sure what.  She is pasture kept most of the time with her buddies.  If she is not in the pasture then she is in the dry lot with her buddies with hay in hay nets.  I can’t seem to find any evidence on the fence or anything.  Her mane does not look irritated or anything, just short.  I never catch her in the act.  I’m worried that if this continues, her beautiful mane will be all straggles.  To make matters worse, I was planning to sell her in the next few weeks.  I know it can take years for a mane to grow back completely.  Is there anything I can do? 

Thanks,  Ingrid

 

Hi Ingrid,

It sounds more like your mare and one of her pasture buddies are participating in vigorous bouts of “mutual grooming” that normal social activity where two horses stand next to each other facing opposite directions and scratch each others neck, withers and back with their teeth. This results in lost mane hair right where you describe.

That’s one of the drawbacks of group turnout but the horses sure seem to enjoy it !!

As far as what you can do about it, you can separate the mare from her buddies, you can get her a textilene fly sheet with a neck extension, or you can spray a safe anti-chew product on her mane area. There are several products specifically designed for this.

 

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