You and Your Horse: Building a Relationship Through Horse Groundwork


Groundwork exercises for horses can help you establish effective communication with your equine partner. You’ll discover that groundwork exercises help you and your horse develop a deeper level of trust. This trust can strengthen your relationship and connection with your horse and, in turn, elevate your riding.


Ready to get started? Here are some exercises as you embark on your horse groundwork journey:

  1. Leading Exercises – First up is working on your horse’s leading skills. When you practice leading a horse through a variety of obstacles including poles, cones and tarps, you’ll help your horse learn to trust you and follow your cues.
  2. Yielding Exercises – It’s important to add yielding exercises into your horse groundwork routine. Teaching your horse to yield hindquarters and shoulders with appropriate exercises will help your horse respond to your cues while developing more body awareness.
  3. Horse Desensitization Exercises – Start introducing your horse to a variety of objects and sounds to help desensitize them to distractions. Integrating horse desensitization exercises into your groundwork can help your horse remain calm and focused during training, riding and other activities.
  4. Horse Lunging Exercises – Teaching a horse to lunge can help improve your horse’s balance, flexibility and responsiveness. When you regularly lunge your horse, it can help develop communication and a deeper connection between you and your horse.
  5. Horse Liberty Work – Liberty work is working with your horse without any physical restraints. Taking time to introduce liberty work into your groundwork regimen can help take your trust and communication with your horse to the next level.


It’s important to keep patience and consistency top of mind when working on horse groundwork. Always end your session on a positive note and remember to reward your horse’s efforts. Over time, as your bond with your horse deepens, you’ll find your communication is enhanced both on the ground and in the saddle.

Read more