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‘Ask with lightness, encourage without forcing, correct with softness’

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Example Foundation of Ground Training Level 1


Alpha Natural Horsemanship

Foundation of Ground Training – The Essentials Level 1

Establishing Respect, Trust, Confidence & Leadership

Assessment Completed

Owner:          Horse:               Start Date:

 

It’s difficult to over emphasize why the Foundation of Ground Training is the most important training the horse will first learn!   The Essentials Level 1 of the Program is dedicated to preparing horses Emotionally, Mentally and physically for handling and riding. Regardless of breed or discipline this level of training every horse must know in order for us humans to earn our horse’s trust, respect, confidence and be recognized as the leader. It is critical if we are to establish a safe and enjoyable relationship. The Program is for those who are passionate and are serious about getting results. You’ve seen the softness of finished horses; this is the foundation to achieve that level of finesse.

 

Purpose:

Used for:- Starting, retraining, refreshers, evaluations and/or correct behavioral issues! Please note that Training Plans and Implementation Strategies need to be modified base of the horse's specific needs and the owner's goal!


GROUND EXERCISES – LEVEL 1 Part 1 - example of exercises used for the cue cards:


1.        Round Penning - Focus, Communication, Leadership & Respect

2.       Halter Training facing forward - leading for leadership & leading for partnership

3.       Halter Training Facing Backward - backing up with collection  & teaching the Go Forward Cue

4.       Desensitizing to the Lead Rope


DESCRIPTIONS FOUNDATION OF GROUND TRAINING Level   1  Partial Example  

 

 

1.       Round penningread attached document for the process

Goal: To teach the horse to move his feet forwards, backwards, left and right in the direction you point. You’ll teach him to “catch” you, rather than you having to catch him, by teaching him that the center of the pen – with you – is the most comfortable place to be. 
Why: These round penning exercises will give you control of your horse’s feet in the round pen, which is the safest area for you and your horse to initially build a relationship. By working in the round pen first, you can establish the fundamentals of respect without being connected to the horse. Because you’re not connected, the horse is able to get further away from you, which makes these initial training sessions much safer for you.  Anytime you’re connected to a horse by a lead rope, you have to be relatively close to him, so if he tries to do something disrespectful like kicking, biting or running over you, the chances of you getting hurt are much higher. After a few sessions in the round pen, the horse will already have a higher level of respect for you so when you do put the halter and lead rope on him, he’ll be in a better frame of mind to pay attention and learn.  Round penning is the first place I start, when I’m working with a wild mustang, a colt or an older problem horse. These exercises will also greatly improve the attitude of a horse that doesn’t want to be caught, and it’s a great way to get a lazy horse’s feet moving forward without letting him drag you around.  You can learn a lot about a horse before even putting a halter on him by doing these round penning exercises. You’ll find out how athletic he is, how lazy or energetic he is, and how willing he is to move forward and follow your suggestions.

2.  Halter Training - Leading Facing Forward:
  1. Standing at the side of the horse between the head and withers horse should be between you and the wall or fence.  Holding the lead below the shank; use verbal “move on”, cluck, lean forward & wiggle your training stick vertically & bump w/light pressure till he moves.  When your horse moves forward off your verbal cue walk on and/or cluck cues with no other pressure & stops when you say Whoa consider trained. 
  2. Horse should be between you and the wall or fence.  Holding the lead below the shank, cues; use verbal “back”, lean backwards, bump starting w/light pressure till your horse collects & lowers head, say Whoa & Stop walk horse should stop.  When your horse moves backwards just using the cue back with the lightest of pressure on the lead & stops when you say Whoa consider trained.  Practice in the open away from the fence or wall spend little time on this drill!
  3. At the stop, turn your body facing the rear of the horse waving you training stick, disengage her hind, once she pivot and faces you turn your belly button in the direction you want to walk, hold the lead up point [just like when you first ask her to begin lunging in a circle], ask her to yield her forequarters over a bit, ask her to come up to your shoulder & commence walking in the new direction.
3.  Halter Training – Facing Backwards
  1.  Standing at your horses eye, facing backwards teaching the "Go Forward/Go Button"; cues; verbal walk on, cluck, then with the training stick lightly tap your horse at the stirrup where you heel would be [#2 spot]; horse should walk forward
  2. pre cue say whoa and horse should stop when you say whoa.  At least stop you stop moving your feet.
  3. cluck, lean forward, bump & release.  Horse should collect by dropping its head and backing up using its hind legs under itself.  Again stop when you stop.

4.   Desensitizing to the Lead Rope

Goal:  To be able to throw the lead rope over and around any part of the horse's body and have the horse stand still and relax.

Why:  This exercise begins the process of making sure the horse does not fear you or your tools. If the horse is scared of you or your tools, he will always focus on the fear and not on the lesson you're trying to teach him.