I love to use ground work to help horses learn. It’s a great place to teach a horse something new, and it translates well under saddle. Using groundwork, I teach horses specific concepts such as “move hind end over” and also large general concepts such as “relax and be present in your body” or “focus on me, I have something to teach you”. Groundwork also offers variety and interest to insure horses do not get bored or burned out.
I often address the following issues from the ground first:
- Lack of focus, hectic or speedy behavior, spooky and reactive behavior
- Stiff, unresponsive, or disrespectful behavior
- Learning lateral work from the ground
- Willingly accept “good citizenship” skills such as having ears, mouth, head, and legs handled; pick up feet on command; bridle and saddle without tension; trailer calmly; clip; blanket, tie, cross tie, mounting block manners etc.
- Yield to pressure, forward, backward, left and right, in all body parts