Monique provides a one of a kind training experience. Specialties and areas of focus include colt starting, ground work, problem horses, sale horses, and performance horses (of all disciplines)
Groundwork A Note About Groundwork—And Why We Do It Let me share a personal experience which vividly demonstrates the importance of proper groundwork. Rachel had been taking riding lessons from me for several years. A few years ago Rachel was riding a wonderful mare named Coco. During the ride, Rachel experienced a seizure and fell from her saddle. Unfortunately, Rachel’s foot caught in her stirrup, and she was in a very precarious and dangerous position. Had we not done the proper groundwork with Coco, who knows how her horse would have reacted? Even if Coco had continued on a slow walk, Rachel would have suffered very painful injuries. A trot or a gallop would have been disastrous with Coco dragging Rachel around the arena. Because of our careful groundwork, however, Coco simply stopped and waited for us to free Rachel’s foot. When starting colts at the DDT, we try to prepare them for as many real-world experiences as possible. One technique we use is to rope a colt’s legs together to teach the horse what it feels like when something interferes with its natural gait. The colt “understands” the feeling of an obstruction to its gait, and it learns to “give” or relax in such a situation. A horse that receives such training is much likelier to react calmly instead of fearfully if she ever gets caught in a fence or in a hay net, and believe me, if for some awful reason you find yourself on the ground between your horse’s legs, you will be very grateful for her calm, controlled reaction. Another helpful training method uses tarps, ropes, and trash bags to simulate surprising or startling objects that could spook a horse while we are on or off of them. Gradual exposure to flapping tarps and bags, especially around the belly and flanks of the horse, allows her to become comfortable with conditions that might otherwise cause her to bolt or become skittish. You might not appreciate the difference this makes until you see an untrained horse react poorly to someone who is just putting on or taking off a coat or jacket! And if your horse wants to kick at a flag or a bag that’s hanging from a stirrup, she is likely to do the same thing if it’s another object, even your precious head, that’s in the same position. Groundwork makes all the difference in creating a safer, more enjoyable horse in the long run. This is not to say that we will be “dulling” your horse. Your horse will still be alert to her surroundings, but the groundwork of proper desensitizing can prevent injuries or save a life, as it has done for us more than once.
Here are a few groundwork tools Monique might use for you and your horse while working with you.
Use of multiple arenas and pastures.
Use of high line, patience poles and tying, which teaches your horse to stand quietly and comfortably helps keep you and your horse safe in different environments, such as shows, in trailers, etc.
Working on the lead rope
Using the round pen and hooking on as a tool to better the horse and rider connection
Proper safe and respectful lunging
Use of flags, tarps, logs, ropes
Trailering in different trailers
Disclaimer there is an up-charge for dangerous behavior. Monique values her life and children and doesn't put herself at unnecessary risk.
Using her background in natural horsemanship taught by Buck Brannaman, Monique seeks to make horses safer and happier, and ultimately help you have a better connection and relationship with your horse.
Monique teaches riders horse behavior and how to have a better understanding of what the horse’s needs are. Often, the horses are telling the human what it needs but people misread that communication.
Monique tries to help build confidence and fill in holes that other trainers might have missed. The goal is to work from the ground up. She starts with the fundamentals on the ground and teaches the horse to follow and respect the human on the ground. Once that foundation is built, then the riding piece starts. All horses are different and the time frame for this kind of work can vary greatly. The work is different every day and what takes 1 hour one day might take 5 minutes the next. Monique tries to do everything on the horse’s time. She has a forward and direct approach and will let you know if a horse and rider don't seem to be a good fit.
Monique’s Training Program This program is designed for young or problem horses to get consistent work where they can truly learn to be horses. This includes incorporating horses into the herd. Monique tries to provide as many different experiences as possible to help the horse be comfortable in as many situations as possible. Most horses will require a minimum of 60 training days and Monique Horsemanship does groundwork prior to starting any riding.
This program addresses the following areas as well as many more advanced skills:
Starting young horses
Basic ground manners
Teaching your horse to tie safely
Horses that feel insecure and unsafe when you are at the show
Horses that are nervous on the trail
Each horse is an individual. Monique designs the program around the horse's needs. It's important to understand that 30 rides may take longer than a month’s time depending on how many days a week Monique agrees to work with your horse. When it comes to horses, working on the horse's time is the most important factor. One day might be 5 minutes of work for the horse and other days might be a 4-hour trail ride.
Tools and Things The Following are the tools and services that Monique Horsemanship uses and provides to clients. This is just a list of skills and tools used in her training program. Safety
A one-rein stop will be used in starting your horse for safety.
round pen for safety.
Availability of other professionals’ assistance with starting your horse.
Using tarps, ropes, bags, flags and any other items your horse might find scary to make your horse safer in all environments.
Riding your horse,once safe and suitable to do so.
Ponying your horse from another horse. This gives your horse the opportunity to see a human from above before being ridden. It also teaches your horse even better leading skills.
Ponying your horse in the pasture or down the road. This exposes your horse to things they might find scary with the support of another horse, while also letting them be outside an arena and exploring new environments.