Horse Problems Australia,
Post Office Box 89,
Surrey Downs, SA. 5126.
PH. (61) 0882515250
GROUND MANNERS EXPLAINED
I hate horses with bad ground manners. It is probably my pet hate. At least 85% of all horses that I meet in Australia, do not have good ground manners.
Ground manners affects and transfers to ridden manners. So often, what you get on the ground is transferred directly to the ridden work. They mirror each other. So, what an appalling situation or am I just too picky? I may be but I rave about these matters as they are the sorts of things that cause all of the problem horses that I have to deal with. As Robert Redford said in 'The Horse Whisperer" "I only deal with horses with people problems." How true that statement was.
I know one shouldn't generalize or lay blame, but part of the reason for this website is to attempt to massage the minds of those in charge of the Horse Industry. To get them to think about things other than swooning around champagne tents at Horse Shows.
In Australia at least, the bad ground handling of horses came from England. From the Racing Industry, the Military and the Police. These days it is perpetuated down through the generations and the biggest culprit now is the Pony Club Movement. On and on goes the teaching that causes ignorant horses on the ground and a terrible lack of control under halter. This transfers to everything in the horse/human relationship, the pecking order, respect or lack of it and indeed, danger of injury and in the future, Risk of Litigation. Anyhow, enough of that.
The one who has done and is still doing the greatest work in influencing a new brand of thinking in this area is Pat Parelli. His '7 Games' should be taught to every kid in the world and if they were, horses would not only get a better deal but riders' would have such an improved lot in life as well. So you can call this article a bare faced blatant plug for Parelli. Meanwhile, here are some questions for you:
These and many others are signs to look for when assessing if a
horse is ignorant on the ground.
(See Leading the Horse) for a complete and extensive lesson on the matter.