What is a Groundwork ?

Essay by bo_bo October 2004

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What is a Groundwork ?

Anything you do with your horse from the ground can be placed under the heading groundwork. If you're in change of a horse's wellbeing, your daily groundwork routine may include mucking him out, turning out, grooming, feeding, etc. And if time permits, perhaps a little quality realtionship-building time too! All these tasks are made much easier if your horse is well mannered to handle.

The perfect horse will walk by your side when you're leading him, stand still while being groomed or tacked up, promptly move over when asked, lift a hoof as soon as you touch it. And the list goes on. While many of us don't own the perfect horse described above, regular, considerate handling should ensure he has respect for his handler and is a pleasure to work with on the ground. What's more, if he doesn't respect you on the ground, how can you expect him to have respect for you when you are on his back?.

Quality Time

Get closer to your horse with someof these relationship-building exercises.

If you own or loan a horse, then hopefully you will know his personality better than anyone else. Do you own a horse who is a real 'people person' - the type who is always first to come over in the field and subsequently won't leave you alone? If so, he'll probably enjoy your time together, but if he's a bit of a shy boy, or simply prefers the company of his horsy friends, then your quality time together may need to take a different format. here's some groundwork ideas on how to improve the relationship between you and your horse.


Most horses get itchy and will appreciate a thorough groom. Again, assess your horse's personality...