Give Groundwork a Try

Trying to keep busy? Check out some of our favorite groundwork drills.
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During this time we're taking extra precautions and self quarantining to keep others in our community healthy. We want to offer daily tips that'll help you pass the time during your self quarantine and even give you a jump start to your spring cleaning.

Today's tip is less about cleaning and more about enjoying time with your horse. Groundwork is just as important as actual riding. Take time before or after your ride to work with your horse on the ground. If you don't have access to an indoor arena and the ground isn't dry enough to ride, give some of these drills a shot. 

1. Build Trust with Your Horse

Warwick Schiller shows a tarp to his horse in an arena.

Rather than forcing a horse with desensitizing techniques, Warwick likes to build his horse's confidence and let him know that it's OK to trust him.

In this Problem Solved department featuring Warwick Schiller, Warwick explains why he likes to use methods that build a connection and trust with your horse rather than forcing him to do something he's not comfortable with. Check out his tips here

2. Harmonize Your Horsemanship

The connection you have with your horse can be greatly strengthened when you match your energy level to his.

The connection you have with your horse can be greatly strengthened when you match your energy level to his.

Are you a high-energy person? Or is your energy lower-key? Is your horse high-energy? Or does he have more whoa than go? Learn why it's important to match your level of energy to your horse's here.

3. Self-Lifting Feet

Use this drill to get your horse to pick up his feet to make your farrier's life a little easier.

Use this drill to get your horse to pick up his feet to make your farrier's life a little easier.

Does your horse like to push his body weight into you when you try to pick up his feet? Here's a drill you can practice in your barn so picking up feet becomes a breeze. 

4. Gain Control from the Ground Up

Ryan Cottingim longeing his horse.

Working your horse on the ground will help build the relationship between you and him in the saddle.

When you work with a horse on the ground, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of communication that takes place between you and your horse. Even if you have only a half hour to work with your horse on a given day, the feedback from your horse during that time can be just as valuable as the feedback from an hour-long riding session. Check it out here.

5. Disengage the Hindquarters

Brad Barkemeyer works with a horse on the ground.

Watch Brad Barkemeyer teach a horse how to disengage his hindquarters.

Work on teaching your horse certain signals so he learns how to disengage his hindquarters when you're on the ground. Watch it here. This video is part of our Horse&Rider OnDemand program. You can sign up for a FREE 7-day trial and join our 12-day OnDemand challenge.

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