Ground Skills – Developing Independent Feet
Playing with your horse on the ground is highly
beneficial for the partnership. I often ask people if
they do this, especially before riding? Usually the
answer is “no” but sometimes the answer is “Yes,
I lunge him regularly”. If you only lunge your
horse, you are missing a huge teaching
Everything you want to do in the
saddle can be taught to your horse on the ground.
When you transition to the saddle, the horse will
already have an understanding of the maneuver,
and so will you.
As humans, we need to become aware of our body language, our energy and our intent. Horses are
primarily non-verbal creatures, they communicate with each other using body language. If we can
learn to be clear and concise with our energy and focus our intent on the area of the horse we want to
move, we can un-lock a subtle form of communication that is so light it is magic. This awareness of
our body language will transfer to how we communicate in the saddle, because how we approach a
task on the ground will improve our thinking about how to approach it while riding.
Having skills on the ground, affords you the
availability to get off your horse if you are
having trouble and fix it. It is much safer to
work through issues on your feet rather than in
the saddle. You can cause your horse to become
mentally and emotionally connected to you,
which will allow you to shape the physical. We
use different lengths and weights of rope and
eventually test our skills and connection with
“no strings attached”, liberty.
Imagination is key!