Groundwork Training with Your Horse

Good Horse Training & Good Ground Manners all begin with proper Groundwork Training.

Horse training success is all in the work from the ground. A good, long-term relationship between you and your horse is built from the ground up, literally.

Groundwork training is about teaching your horse how to behave around you and other humans and that you are the leader, their protector and their friend.

These things go hand in hand when building leadership respect and trust.

The time you dedicate to building a proper foundation and establishing control on the ground is well worth the effort involved.

Why should you bother with groundwork training?

Well, safety issues are a good start. An untrained or poorly trained horse with bad habits such as biting, kicking, rearing and charging is dangerous.

A horse can kill a person with this behaviour. The horse can injure himself, for example, by rearing and banging his head on a low ceiling.

Groundwork Training - The Basics

Horses do knock themselves out, cut their heads on a nail or sharp corner and require stitches.

Just think of the vet bills or the panic you’d feel in this situation.

Or think of the legal implications if your horse kicked someone, injuring them so they were unable to work.

These things do happen.

Teaching a horse good ground manners is teaching a horse that those things are unacceptable and unnecessary reactions.

The horse that won’t stand still is a danger.

One day you’ll be caught in the wrong spot, he’ll get a fright and someone will be hurt.

The horse that keeps leaning into you and treading on your foot is not fun.

The horse that tries to kick when you pick out his feet is going to injure you one day.

Good groundword training builds good ground manners and is about teaching your horse to respect your personal space.
  • The nervous or disobedient horse is also a danger.
  • The jumpy horse that shies and knocks you over is a liability.
  • The horse that loses his mind and tries to run every time he sees a plastic bag is more than a nuisance.

Groundwork - The Basics

Ground work training teaches good manners and is about showing your horse that scarey things aren’t so scarey when you’re around and to have confidence in you.

To trust that you, as leader and protector, will always keep them safe.

Good groundwork training makes the transition to ridden training much smoother and much, much simpler.

You will have learned to read your horse’s mood and understand what to do to counter unruly moods.

You will have taught your horse obedience and as a result, your riding sessions will be a lot more fun.

Taking the time to lay the firm foundations of good groundwork, means that you will be training a horse that is willing to please you, that is easier to train, that is a joy to work with and not an obstinate animal that is always acting up.

You know that when you choose to own a horse, you’re making a commitment for many years, so make sure you have a well-behaved and easy to handle friend.


The Basics Of Good Groundwork Training … (See groundwork-basics)

There are 6 basics to teaching a horse good ground manners. Be the leader; Be Repetitive; Be Consistent; Gain Trust; Be Fun and Provide Comfort

Apply these basic principles whenever you are around your horse and you will be well rewarded and on the way to enjoying many happy times with your horsey friend.

Good consistent groundwork training builds good ground manners right from the beginning and will result in a horse that is a joy to own and will keep you as safe as possible.

Encouraging good ground manners will teach your horse to:
  • Look to you, as the leader, for what to do when he is unsure or feels unsafe.
  • Not crowd your personal space (no kicking, biting, charging, leaning, treading on your feet etc).
  • Respond appropriately to whatever you are asking him to do.
  • Have calm confidence in the outside world because you will protect him.
  • Stand still patiently and calmly.
  • Allow you to pick up and pick out his feet.
  • Stand still and allow you to groom him.
  • Accept being bridled, haltered and led, calmly.
  • Accept being saddled without moving off.
  • Refrain from nipping, kicking, charging or rearing to get his own way
You should spend copious amounts of time with any new or young horse and get these groundwork basics right before you start to ride it.

Despite how eager you will be to just hop on and go, wait and spend a few weeks or even months working on groundwork training and good ground manners. It will pay you back ten-fold in the end.

Local Riding; Remember this
Your horse is learning every time you are and being a good horse trainer is about the quality of the training,.. not the quantity.