Ground Driving with Purpose Clinic Full Report

Ground Driving with Purpose Clinic Full Report


Anita has sent us an excellent report of the Clinic and don’t forget there are another two coming up this summer with places still available.



Ground Driving With Purpose

 3rd/4th/5th  June

Six students arrived on Day 1 of the first GDWP course along with six very different horses. The horses ranged from an  8hh miniature to a 16.2hh thoroughbred with the rest being every shape and size in between.

 Whilst chatting through our previous driving experience (some with a little, most with none) it became clear it was going to be a challenging and interesting course for students, horses and our instructor David Zünd!

Although our experiences varied there was clearly a common goal – to enrich our horses’ lives by giving them a job to do, by putting purpose to our Parelli principles.

Most wanted to eventually be able to harrow a school or drag fallen logs off a field, clear away poles and equipment after use, someone suggested dragging the wheelie bins to the bottom of the drive! Lots of ideas for us to work towards.

We started by getting our friendly game really solid. Friendly game in motion in all zones but particularly in zone five. That progressed to friendly game with the horse  in motion and with us in motion too. We also tested out our halt, could our horses stop straight and not drift? Could they stop straight, not drift and not step back? Could they do all that and maintain it whilst we played friendly game in all zones? At the beginning most could not, by the end of the course they all could.

Moving on from a solid foundation David had us introduce dragging of cones. Firstly we dragged them and then we made it the horses’ responsibility. Adding in all we had learnt in the earlier sessions we checked out how they may react when traces were introduced. Then came the big moment when some of the horses were first put into harness. How smart they looked (apart from my thoroughbred Xeb who looked like a Romanian cart horse which brought lots of laughter from everyone!). David was so thorough in his preparation of us and our horses that when he hung of the traces with us semi-dragging him along the horses just took it in their stride as the natural progression of this new Parelli “game”.

Before long all the horses were in harness and could drag David along on the traces. Introducing the swingle tree was the next stage which once again, due to the great preparation caused little concern for our horses who by now all looked ready to be taking on the final all important task of dragging blocks from the swingle tree.

There was great delight from us all when the first of our horses was truly dragging (solo) their allotted blocks and pallets. By the end of day three, without exception, the horses had all, in full harness, dragged an object around the arena as if harrowing it. An amazing sight. Little Charlie Brown (8hh) even dragged the “pallet” his owner normally used on the back of a quad for harrowing the arena.

All the students had a fantastic three days and could not believe how much progress was made in such a short time. This was a course that brought out the very best in the students and horses and reflected the inspirational instruction from David Zünd.

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"There is something about this place where you can be immersed and surrounded by great horsemanship. Live it, breath it, watch it, feel it, getting away from usual distractions, and laughs, did I mention the laughing? I for one will be back many times."

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