Groundwork is the foundation of good horse training, whether you are showing a reined cow horse, working as a cowboy, packing a mule, trail riding, or training for the public. Having a good round pen program is very important as the more capable we become at training stock from
the ground, the easier our whole job is and the more we learn how a
horse or a mule thinks. This in turn makes it easier and safer to convey the training to the animal from his back when we ride.
This DVD does a great job teaching people horse and mule language.
Western Horseman 2003 Review
If you want to pack through the backcountry, this DVD series will start you on the right path. Phil and Debbie Page, instructors and owners of the Rocky Mountain School in Dillon, Mont., offer safe, reliable information for packers, guides and horse people of all riding levels.
As with other disciplines, the foundation for packing begins with ground work in a round pen. The better you can train your animals from the ground, the more effective you'll be in the saddle. To help you understand how horses and mules think and react, and to aid in developing trust and respect with your animals, the Pages demonstrate techniques for facing up, longeing, suppling, moving laterally, and changing leads and gaits. The 2-hour DVD also covers desen-sitization, rope work, trailer loading and the first ride or pack trip.
Filmed in Montana, the videos offer scenic backgrounds and decent sound and videography. A limited amount of quality instructional information on packing and outfitting is available through other avenues, but these videos cover the gamut.
About Rocky Mountain Guide School
Phil and Debbie Fage founded the school 5 years ago. Each has a lifetime of experience working with horses and mules, and guiding and packing in the Selway Wilderness and Salmon River country in Idaho. The two also cowboyed on some of the biggest ranches in the lower 48 states, such as the Wine Cup and the YP in Nevada, and the MC in Oregon.
The school's cirriculum covers all aspects of packing, guiding and Backcountry living, but the emphasis is on horsemanship and packing.
Besides running the school, the Pages train young cow-bred prospects and resell them as solic, broke, versatile mounts. Their goal is to make a more versatile horse that can pack, work cattle, rope or show.
Phil and Debbie credit horseman Roy Yates and Bob Avila as two of their biggest influences, but the couple always tries to keep an open mind Regarding horsemanship and they adapt their horsemanship as they find what works best for them. Both stress the importance of putting the horse in a trainable frame of mind. Groundwork, with the horse working at liberty, is a big part of their horsemanship program.