Thursday, June 12, 1997

Basic groundwork question?

I bought a horse, my first one, several months ago from a stable where there are too many horses and they weren't getting the greatest care. My horse is 4 years old and was underweight, broken but he has bad habits (laziness) and had several different riders before I got him (they used him for intermediate teen lessons, which is a translation for letting the kids exercise the horses...). He was like a big dog. When I got him, he got used to me quickly and followed me all over, although he did not like being ridden.

After a couple months I moved him to a very nice stable where his diet greatly improved and I got him some supplements too. I have not ridden him for awhile (about 2 months) and was recently sick and we did not even do groundwork for a couple weeks, it happened to be raining whenever I went out there. I am waiting to find out if a particular trainer will work with us. I have tried to do groundwork the past two days and now that he has beefed up he is a little different. He still greets me nicely and will walk alongside me nicely, but when I try to do any Parelli games (porcupine or driving game, or lunging, aka circling) my horse pushes right up against me and stands there. If I pursue making him do anything, he just pushes even harder and begins circling me, while leaning right up against me. I have trouble stopping him or getting him to move back away from me. He obviously knows that this is keeping me from getting him to do some work. I can't push him away with the carrot stick, he pushes back too hard. The yo-yo game is no longer working either, he just walks right at me in spite of the swinging rope. I don't know how long my prospective trainer is going to wait to call me. I don't want to just let the horse go without some interaction every day. I also don't want to end up in the hospital. I am not getting on him because I'm 45 years old and am 'beginning again' with riding. He likes his little baby bucks and has fast, spirited gaits. I am not feeling like I am in good enough shape to get on him without a trainer's help. Any ideas on getting him to stop ramming into me and circling? Oh, the farm owner said he keeps breaking out of the fence, too. :( But says he's pretty normal for a 4 year old that is now feeling better due to health improvements.

Answer on Basic groundwork question?

My simple answer is to stop playing silly games, get a longe line and whip and get him longeing, keep him away from you with the whip and if he comes through it, use it against his front legs.

He is feeling well, and needs to be made to work off some of his exuberance. Playing games only makes Parelli rich.