Fun Groundwork Exercises for Horses

Every rider has heard trainers preach about groundwork for horses. You may have ever heard phrases like “if your horse doesn’t respect you on the ground, he’s not going to respect you in the saddle.” I know I sure have?


Groundwork For Horses Basics

Before you jump into the “fun” groundwork exercises, it’s important that you and your horse have the basics down.  In my opinion, there are two absolutely essential skills your horse must ...


If your horse is loose in an arena or “in-hand” (either has a halter with a lead or a bridle on) when you begin your groundwork his focus should be on you.  If you are giving him verbal or ...

A few that I like to do with my horse to reinforce boundaries are backing up in-hand and moving the haunches in-hand.  When ...

Groundwork For Horses: Moving Away from Pressure

Groundwork For Horses: Verbal Commands

Groundwork is primarily based on body language and physical cues, but it can be supplemented with verbal cues and commands as well! The obvious ones are ...

Jumping Exercises

If your horse understands the basics of groundwork, you can also incorporate groundwork exercises with jumps! These could be in-hand exercises or “free” exercises.  There are many different kinds of ...

Groundwork For Horses: Obstacles (bridges, stairs, etc.) 

It’s also possible to do groundwork exercises with obstacles other than jumps! You can teach your ...

Groundwork is so important when you are training your horse!  It helps not only establish boundaries and respect, but it also helps build a relationship between you and your horse.  Once you have this respect and this relationship, your time in the saddle will be much better.


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