Hey everyone, I'm Hannah and I'm one of the brand new #Select17 girls and I'll be working with Tottie throughout the year. I suppose this blog post is maybe a little different to the usual horsey blog posts you see, but I think it is something that we should all think about with our horses and ponies, riding is fun from show jumping, dressage, cross country, barrel racing and showing but all of these are done in the saddle which I understand is why we have horses in the first place, riding is our hobby after all!
So what is ground work and why do we need it?
Ground work with horses can mean anything from grooming your ponies, leading them down the street, natural horsemanship such as Parelli and things such as clicker training your horses. Ground work is about bonding with your horses and ponies and creating an equal partnership together so you can develop things you learn on the floor in to the saddle. The main point in ground work is building trust, relationships, respect and leadership so you can develop a bond with your horses.
The goals of ground work with your Horses:
When starting ground work you need to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve, personally I love to teach tricks in a natural positive way so my horse is always happy!
You do ground work with your horses for a variety of different reasons
1. To develop a relationship and bond, so they can cope with daily human contact and activities such as loading your horses in to the trailer, hoof trimming/shoeing, vet/ dentist treatments and of course daily handling.
2. Overcoming certain fears which can help when riding, for example my gypsy cob Paddy doesn’t like rattily sounds which was creating a problem out hacking he was spooking in to the middle of the road which could have potentially been dangerous. To help prevent this I got Paddy to walk across plastic sheets to get him use to the noise, and after 3-4 10 minute sessions there was a huge improvement we can now hack out calmly and safely.
3. To give your horse new challenges and new interests, hacking out and constant ridden work for your horse can cause boredom, by giving them physical challenges on the ground it can help improve their physical, mental and emotional abilities.
4. Help with lunging and work in hand, by developing ground work it can help in ridden horses can start to understand a lot quicker.
5. Fun! It’s all about having fun and ground work can be super fun, I love learning my pony’s new tricks and methods!