In the December 2005 issue of Western Horseman, champion trainer and clinician Terry Myers, Ostrander, Ohio, shares his groundwork exercises and safety strategies to teach your horse how to stand still – and not pull back. He recommends teaching your horse to tie using a large, truck-style inner tube tied to a secure, deep-set post along a smooth, flat wall. Teaching your horse to tie with the inner tube helps your horse know to move forward. The inner tube will give, then pull your horse back into position faster than your own hands can correct and reward. Your horse won’t feel the constant resistance of the rope; instead, he’ll feel pressure, then release when he moves forward and stops pulling back.
Midwestern Trainer and clinician Terry Myers recommends teaching your horse to follow a rope before teaching him to stand tied. The lessons will help him move forward toward the object to which he’s tied. However, if your horse has spooked during past tying sessions, he might have extra fear associated with tying. If groundwork and tying to inner tubes and highlines isn’t helping your horse, the following exercise might give him extra cues to help him to move forward and stand still.
The November ’05 issue of WH featured four of trainer Andy Moorman’s favorite drills for improving a horse’s collection. Here’s another collection-enhancing exercise used by the Venice, Florida, horsewoman.
During the interview for our June 2005 print feature, “A 10-Maneuver Groundwork Test,” Texas clinician Jody Cunningham of Grapeland also discussed escalating cues when working with horses. Here are his tips for bringing pressure to bear on your horse in effective, appropriate ways.