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.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s easy to follow and the step by step exercises make sense with the easy writing style that Buck has. It’s like he is speaking out loud at one of his clinics., explaining the process in a way that’s simple yet detailed enough to cover the basics well. I refer to it frequently when working with new horses.
Noah Culp (verified owner) –
Absolutely amazing book sold by amazing people! Fast Shipping and couldn’t be happier to be a customer of Eclectic Horseman
Katie Erickson (verified owner) –
As always Buck Brannaman never disappoints. This is a good book for anyone starting a horse for the first time, or someone who needs a refresher !
Concise information, easy to read and lots of pictures. Found it helpful in working with my horses.
This book is a great reference for a solid groundwork program. I recommend it frequently to folks struggling with a horse or for folks just needing some ideas on how to improve their horse.
Ronny Vargas (verified owner) –
This is a great book, it was recommended to me by the MSU Colt Starting Program. It’s concise and I used it to start my two stallions …
I would highly recommend this book; for all levels – especially those new to colt (horse) starting.
brianearlhoward (verified owner) –
Liked Buck Brannaman since early 2000. Have read all his books. Always learning something new or looking at something different. After I’ve read a book or article by Buck. This book was a little hard to track down but glad I did. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to improve his or her horsemanship. Hope review is helpful . Brian Howard
After years of dreaming of starting my own colt, I finally took the plunge and bought myself a yearling filly. This book was an absolute Godsend to help us get started on the right foot. My copy is a little dirty from toting it down to the round pen with me so I could properly follow Buck’s instruction and not miss any of his steps. And here we are, 2 1/2 years later, and that foundation we put in at the beginning of our journey is paying off in spades as we continue on in the saddle. Buck definitely takes great consideration of the horse, and this book was written in such a way that both horse and human could comprehend. A superb resource.
Wonderful book that I used to get a good start on my adopted BLM Mustangs. The work is absolutely essential to create a happy and safe partner. They are both 19 now and stilll do this ground work as needed! :)
I bought this awesome book while attending a clinic in Montana. It has assisted me to continue to work with my horses and remember the words of this great horseman.
This is a great book for all horseman to have on your shelf. Whether you are starting a horse or are looking to help build the trust in a already establish relationship, you can find a exercise in this book that will help. I find my self going back and referencing Buck’s words frequently.
Short and to the point! Amazing how well these methods get ahold of a young horses mind, with this book, a little effort and common sense and it’s no time at all until your young horse is looking to you for answers! A must for every horseman.
This is a good resources for fundamental groundwork exercises. As others have mentioned, it’s especially useful in combination with DVDs or before/after attending a live clinic though it would work as a standalone reference as well.
A great book! I find it useful to take to the barn to check myself if/when I have a difficulty with and exercise!
This book aged well. For certain types of learners, it may help to try and find videos of the exercises so you can see how they flow between the pictures presented herein, but this is a great resource to have in your pocket, especially once you have a loose idea of how a certain exercise is supposed to go.
Nona Perez –
I love this little book – concise, to the point, with clear images of what he is doing. It is a great companion to his Groundwork video (which I had on VHS and finally replaced with the DVD).
This is the reference I always go back to when I have a problem. At first I found it difficult to comprehend but now many years, several clinics and several horses later it is an invaluable resource.
Ethan Caltabiano –
Great book from Buck as usual
I love his style of practicality but remaining sensitive to the horses needs in the meantime
Good Reference book to refer back to, great for beginning your horsemanship journey with some of Buck’s other material to help understand his work.
Sara Hunt –
A great way to supplement other Buck texts and videos. On it’s own it’s a little hard to take what he’s doing and put it into practice, but when combined with video context (I have the 7 Clinics series), it’s a great way to help solidify what you’re watching.
I suspect the package with the Groundwork DVD is probably the golden ticket!