In this DVD, Buck demonstrates groundwork techniques with a two-year old filly in preparation for riding. Through years of experience, Buck has learned to take nothing for granted and is thorough in his approach. Each technique has a purpose and a place in the training progression. He clearly describes what he’s looking for in the horse and what he’s not – and is always ready to reward the slightest try.
Buck begins from the catching process in a round pen and progresses to haltering and leading. The essence of leading is drawing. In a short period of time, this filly easily learns to circle up, yield in both the forequarters and hindquarters, and to change eyes. She learns to move backwards in response to the halter with proper flexion.
Ground driving is not something commonly seen in most places. Buck shares its value and the story of how he learned this skill from his mentor Ray Hunt. In the video, he demonstrates this principle with his young horse using ‘imaginary lines’.
Buck often uses his rope as a tool to help this filly ‘turn loose’ to his suggestions. He says, “Any kind of yielding relates to riding.” Buck teaches her to not only to lead by the neck, but also by a foot, and from the cinch. These skills come in handy later on when it comes time for her to be shod and saddled.
By now in the process this young horse has learned not to fear the feel of a hand, a rope or of a grain sack over different areas of her body. She readily stands still to be saddled for the first time. Buck encourages her to move and explore the new sounds and sensations from the gear. She is concerned at first but quickly returns to her previous lessons and turns loose.
Lastly, Buck demonstrates how he teaches a horse to come up to a fence for mounting. This not only improves on leading and yielding but also on standing still. For a young horse, it is a very safe opportunity for them to experience a person above them for the first time.
All of these exercises could also be done from a saddle horse. However, as Buck says, “You don’t overpower the horse, you help them learn.” Experienced horsemen and new riders alike would benefit from the concepts and methods demonstrated in this video.
Time elapsed: 2 hours