Here's a pretty good example of the groundworking I do. This is a 16 hand, big strong 3 yr old filly who plants her feet and refuses to go on the track. The first day, the first thing she did when I asked her to move was come at me with both front feet. She's very intimidating and she knows it. We had a little discussion about Rule #1: Staying out of my space.
This was the end of a 30 minute session on Day 6. I wanted to set up a situation to provoke her to balk so we could work through it. I laid out a carpet, about 4' wide. I knew she would balk about going over it. I started with the carpet rolled about 1' wide. Don't want to make the exercise too difficult, you want to tilt the odds so you can win. If I had started with the carpet fully unrolled it would have turned into a fiasco. The beginning is shown in Parts 1,2, & 3. When I had her walking (being able to control which gait I want, ex making her walk when she wants to trot is part of the control of her feet) over it, I would gradually make it wider.
By this point, she has crossed it several times both directions, at gradually increasing widths. This is the first time fully unrolled. She had already walked across it counterclockwise, but what you do with one side you must do with the other. Horses have "2 brains", prey animals with eyes on the side of their head, they process info separately on each side. (That's why you can pass an object fine going one direction, but coming back the horse might spook. Just the way it is)
(btw that little cuddle session at the beginning of this segment is really the ending of the prior segment. I'm rewarding her for walking across it... finally... in the other direction.)
So she has walked across it counterclockwise several times, now we've reversed. I start by asking her to walk. She's getting tired, and it's up to her... she can do it easy or we can work some more. You can see she chooses to again act defiant. I let her trot past it several times to get a good look at it. I have the wall to block her left side, I gradually close the gap on her right. This is where #1 Stay Out of My Space comes into play. She knows if she gets too close to me, she'll "run into" the whip. She tries to back up, turn left/right so she can bolt, I keep yielding her hindquarters (lesson #2) so she faces me, and cue again. Her only option is to go forward. She jumps it a few times, hmm that requires a lot of effort, at one point she tries to walk, but no I did not tell you to walk, did I? Walking has to be my
command. When she finally does exactly as told..."good girl". We're getting the seed planted in her head that just doing what you're told is a lot easier than fighting about it.
I end the session with "desensitizing exercises" which means I told you to stand (which she's more than happy to do now that she's tired) and you will
stand while I flick the whip over and around you. (You can balance this exercise according to what you are training the horse for. The other horse is being re-trained to ride, so I'll do a LOT of desensitizing exercises on him. There will be another video on that)
Those are the types of exercises that teach a horse to go forward on command. Still needs lots of reinforcement so by the time I hook her, her brain is programmed to just do what she's told. Notice also, she did a lot of trotting for 30 minutes. The sessions almost always end with the horse needing to be cooled down and blanketed, just like coming off the track from jogging, so the horse is getting conditioned back into shape at the same time the attitude is being adjusted. There's no "down" time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T7popeQNRE