Why should you do groundwork?
Updated: Oct 24
Groundwork is the basis of good horsemanship and communication with your horse. It is learning to understand each other. If you don't have any means of pressure and coercion, all you have to do is ask politely.
Groundwork is the conversation with your horse about what you can expect from each other.
The horse learns to understand you by seeing you: it reads your body language, your facial expression, your hand and leg positions, your movements and your energy.
From the ground you can fine-tune and introduce very fine aids that you can use later on the back. In this way you teach your horse to become reliable in a pleasant, honest way - really reliable, and a real bond, without having to but with will to.
My vision differs even from the popular Natural Horsemanship that is often practiced by groundwork trainers. Let me sum up what horsemanship means to me.
True horsemanship is: * Being with horses. * To take care of horses, regarding their natural physical and emotional needs. * To care first for the health of horses - before caring for achievements. * To make the life of the horses with humans livable and fair. Without fear, without pain. * To respect horses and to learn from them about dignity and wisdom.
* To see humans through the eyes of the horses, ready to be judged by horses.
Through the eyes of the horse
There is only here and now.
There is only the sun and the rain, the grass and the shelter, the energy and the calm. There is only the we, the herd and it’s survival. Here. And now.
Whatever you do with your horse is YOUR concept. Your YOU is a concept that the horse won’t understand. It is simply not important - and it stands in the way of the herd, the we.
You can choose to look through the eyes of a horse and find yourself in the we - to let go of the I, the concepts, the good and wrong, the needs and musts.
Tell me, have you ever looked into the eyes of a horse and have not seen the endless, deep and silent dwelling waters from where the being originates, reflecting your face and inner you as accurate, beautiful and painful as it can be?
Look deeper, be brave, there’s no one here to judge you.