Written by Buck Brannaman, this is the first book in his long awaited book series. Groundwork takes you step-by-step, starting your colt from the ground. With Buck’s common sense advice and over 90 photographs illustrating his techniques, this is surely a primer for anyone interested in learning the fine art of groundwork. Some chapter titles include “Lass Rope Work,” “Changing Eyes,” “Roping a Hind Foot,” and “Horse Roping,” among others. This book can be referred to over and over, and can go anywhere with you. Keep a copy in your truck and also next to your bed.
(hardcover, photos, 91 pgs.)
Excerpt from the book:
Hooking on a colt is something that is useful to know for a variety of reasons: For catching, promoting good transitions, and for basic respect — for each other. To begin, concentrate on driving the horse around the round pen soft at all gaits. Simply adjust your position in relation to the horse to slow or speed up. While driving the horse you should start to notice him consider looking toward you, but watch that he doesn’t fool you and turn into the fence. For example, let’s consider that you’re moving right to left, he looks a little toward you, at that moment you should move left while backing. This will have you increasing the distance between you two, this is called drawing. Perhaps he will move off the fence and stop while he looks at you. Sit tight, don’t approach, let him soak.
If he doesn’t hook on like this, move back in behind him and help him travel onward. Watch closely for these opportunities to draw him again. Keep offering this friendship and he will eventually take you up on it. Help him to continue even if he doesn’t hook on and gently toss your halter at him while holding the end of the halter rope. Don’t think of pinning him on the fence as if to trap him, instead think of pulling him off the fence with an invisible rope, and to pull you must back up. Once he has turned in and hooked on — try to approach and pet him. If he can’t stay still just start over and hook him on again. Soon enough he’ll stay and when he does, pet him on the forehead. You can then send him the other way and hook him on from the other side. Once the horse has been hooking on for some time, try to step off to one side to give him the choice of leaving or rolling his hindquarters away, thus arranging himself to stay. You might have to slap your chaps with your coils to help the hindquarters step away. Don’t be alarmed if he leaves at first — just hook him on again.