Introduction:Simple steps of groundwork exercises that everyone should be able to do with their colt or older riding horse, this is called "circling up."
You should start on your colt's right side. Hold the lead rope in your outside, left, hand and walk down by his side and then step to the sadle. The halter rope is in front of you, across your stomach and resting on your ouside hip. Your right hand is holding on the cantle of your saddle.
You hold on to the saddle because you might have to walk quite a few circles, and in this position your horse can't step on your toes and he can't get you out of position. When your horse is standing with his head around and is soft on the lead rope, then you release and move to his other side. He needs to be light, to where he does not weigh anything at all.
You are on your horses left side, then you start again with the lead rope across your stomach and held against your outside hip in your right hand. Walk down his left side, behind his shoulders. Keep your lead rope the same length, which causes him to bend his neck. You then reach up and take ahold of the cantle of your saddle.
If your horse were really troubled, you might take a moment to rub him with your left hand, to encourge him to stop, then return it to the cantle if you were to get out of position. Once he has stopped his feet with his neck bent and soft, you would release the lead rope. If he is heavy on the lead rope, you should hold and wait for him to give before you release.
Once your horse is circling up comfortable, you might just stand off to the side and ask him to take his head around from the ground. You would then check this out on both sides. If he had to move, you would just circle him up. If he stands quietly, you wait on him to bend his neck around and get soft and give. Once he gets soft on the lead rope, you then release.
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