Groundwork exercises for horses

People who own a horse like to communicate with their horse because a horse is more than just a pet. A horse is a companion who makes you feel special when you spend time with her.

If you want your horse to communicate with you effectively, then you need to train her properly. Training helps you build a relationship with your horse. There are many types of horse training and one of them is groundwork exercise.

Groundwork exercises for horses have become a crucial part of the horse training.Groundwork exercises for horses

These exercises develop a relationship of trust and partnership between you and your horse. These exercises are healthy for the older stiff senior horse as well as a young horse while the chances of getting hurt are less.

Groundwork exercises for horses

Groundwork exercises play a significant role in horse grooming and training. These exercises prepare the horses to learn to respond the commands of their trainers resulting in a great understanding. In fact, they are essential for a safe ride on a horse.

If you own a horse but you don’t ride her because she is not trained then don’t worry because, in this blog post, I shared some common groundwork exercises that can help you to bond you’re your horse.

Once your horse is trained, then you can go for a horse ride.

Many groundwork exercises have introduced a number of techniques to train horses but the most beneficial and common are:

1-Circular movement
4-Lowering its head
5-Forward down

Circular movement

This activity is a great approach to start groundwork exercise with your horse as it is very easy and convenient activity which your horse will definitely like to repeat. Circular movements begin with asking your horse to stroll around you in a circle while holding her eight-foot strap loosely.

Moreover, you may need to truly drive her forward with your non-verbal communication, or you may need to help her unwind and back off. Repetitive acts will create a connection between you and your horse.

The objective of this activity is to let your horse move around you ceaselessly without you creating any physical pressure on her. In short what I meant to say is that this activity is all about making her move with your body language.

Another great way to make your horse respect you is by moving her feet forward, backward, left and right and continuously repeating these small steps. These steps will enable her to become more respectful towards you as she starts developing the habit of thinking to follow you which will make her feel more secure and more trainable.

This activity truly concentrates on utilizing your non-verbal communication to send the horse far from you and after that motivating her to come towards you.


Backup is a great activity to communicate with your horse and train her. The better you train a horse by backing her up, the more conscious and responsive she will be in everything that you want her to do because backups create a level of trust between you and your horse.

This activity starts by halting your horse and then facing her and stepping towards her, in response to this pressure, you will notice that your horse will back up. After this attempt, you may gradually decrease the pressure that you are applying and let her understand your signals so that she can move backward.

In this way, you will be able to communicate with your horse in a better way.


When you want to train your horse to follow you, you try to lead her. This exercise will enable you to learn how to master your horse and how the horse can consider you as her leader. To start this exercise, walk in front of the horse in straight, left and right directions while keeping an eye on her.

3 Fun Horse Riding Exercises that Help Bonding

Due to the level of respect and trust you already have developed with her, she will follow you still if you are pretending to be unaware of her actions. Using this approach and reattempting it will build her confidence and teach her to look upon you as her leader. So, it will become easy to command your horse and she will follow you unconditionally.

Lowering her head

While riding on your horse you have to take care of her health as well. This technique addresses one of the relaxation methodologies and it starts by commanding your horse to lower down her head by using different gestures. It will help her to relax.

Another way is to push the halt of your horse gently in a downward motion. When she starts obeying you, try to decrease the pressure in further attempts so that she can learn to lower down her head without halt’s pressure and learn to understand your gestures. These acts will enable her muscles and her brain to rest for a while which energizes her for the further ride.

Forward down

If you want your horse to feel your presence and responds you then you must learn this technique for your horse. This technique can help to teach your horse to feel your presence and respond you properly.

It begins with holding the halt of your horse in hand and move your body back toward her hind end and take a few steps towards your horse. Meanwhile, you may need to apply some pressure by lightly touching your horse with the rope by raising your hand.

With multiple attempts, your horse will readily turn on the forehand in response to your gestures. You can learn about some other exercises here.


If you want to build a relationship of trust and love between you and your horse, groundwork exercises are one of the incredibly useful ways to do this. It will help you to train your horse to follow your instructions.

These groundwork exercises are beneficial for the older and young horses equally. Always keep in mind that groundwork takes time, especially when you are teaching your horse new exercises because it’s an interesting as well as a tiring job but it surely pays off.

Don’t forget to watch this quick video to learn more:

Please comment below if you have any questions or comments!

Enjoy riding your horse. 🙂

If you liked this post, become a VIP and get exclusive content, blog updates and store deals right to your inbox:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.