As a continuation of my post “The Importance of Groundwork” it’s very important that on the ground we get connected to our horses feet. In doing so what you accomplish on the ground will transfer when you get on their back.
Whenever you pick up on your halter rope, reins, or even position your body a certain way it should result in some kind of action with your horses feet. Whether it’s stopping, walking, backing up, moving over with his whole body, moving his shoulder or hip, etc. you should get some kind of action with your horse’s feet.
True responsiveness, softness, and lightness should directly transfer to its feet. The object of everything we do is to get your horse to be willing and to yield through it’s entire body without bracing that goes all the way to the feet. If you put pressure on the shoulder to move it over then the feet should move willingly and freely as a result of that pressure.
As we watch a horse out in the field it naturally does most of the maneuvers we will require it to perform. We are wanting them to do those same maneuvers willingly, freely, smoothly and without any resistance when we ask. All of this starts with groundwork!
Tips to Remember:
- Make sure while working on the ground you establish boundaries with your horse. His feet do not move unless you ask and only move when and where you want them to. They must respect your personal space.
- While doing any kind of training ALWAYS train both sides of your horse. Each side needs to be equal in “free”ness and willingness.