Before you go riding, spend time on your groundwork. Your rides will be safer and a lot more fun (for you and your horse).

Groundwork doesn’t have to be boring. Some things you can teach your horse include…

  • Fetch objects (eg, pick your hat up off the ground)
  • Bend around a series of cones at liberty
  • Follow your movements/dance with you
  • Jump over an object at liberty
  • Confidently walk around an obstacle course
  • Line up at a mounting block (to make it easier to get on)
  • Stand and wait without being tied up
  • Be brave when walking through water or over bridges
  • Put hoof upon a hoof stand for the farrier
  • Fancy dressage movements (eg, Spanish Walk)
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises (gets your horse physically ready for riding)

All these activities improve the communication between you and your horse.

Never go out for a ride if you are worried that your horse might not do what you ask. You need to be sure that you and your horse have an excellent connection before heading out to places where you are likely to meet new things and situations.

You want your horse to really listen to you and to be expecting cues from you telling them what to do. Groundwork is a perfect way to build this type of connection.

There is nothing wrong with staying at home and just spending time with your horse doing simple, fun groundwork exercises. These will do wonders for your relationship, and your rides will be safer and a lot more enjoyable!

Have fun. Create an amazing bond with your horse ❤️
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