How do I Introduce my Horse to Ground Tying?
Note: The following excerpt is the transcript from a question I answered from my Facebook Live made in the Steady Horse Facebook Group on 7/3/19. Read the text below to learn the answer to the question.
When I start to ground tie my pony, I like to start in a round-pen and I’ll take my pony to a round-pen what I’ll do is I’ll start by working my pony I the round-pen. I’ll work them: walk, trot, canter on my lunge line, get them moving and get them doing some transitions upwards and downwards and all that kind of stuff.
The idea is to work them just enough to where they have a little bit of incentive to want to stand still and relax. It’s not about running their legs off, but it’s about working them so that they’re like, hey, it’s kind of nice to stand still. Let me appreciate this opportunity. So then after I work them, I’ll take them to the middle of the round pen and I’ll drop the lead rope and step back and tell my pony the stop cue.
If my pony goes to walk off, I won’t just let them walk off. I’ll make them walk off. Then I’ll send them out with the trot and get them working and moving, doing my transitions upwards and downwards.
Then I’ll bring them back to the middle again and give them another opportunity to stand still and relax because we only have two choices here. One choice is for them to stand still and rest. If they walk off, go back to work. So you kind of get the picture here. These horses are so smart that you have to be very clear and concise with your cues, make sure that you’re executing it consistently, so it’s not like sometimes you don’t send them off and other times you do.
Make sure that you’re very consistently sitting them off when they start to step off, but when you’re standing still take the pressure away and your horse is going to realize, man, it’s really nice to stand still when she drops that rope and tells me to stay, because I don’t have anything to do.