Your Cart is Empty

Groundwork Equipment to Take Your Horsemanship to the Next Level

January 21, 2022 3 min read

No matter a horses’ age or experience, groundwork can increase respect, connection, and safety for both horse and rider.

Since horses are living, breathing teammates, they experience changes in energy and mindsets as they live their lives with us. Because of their dynamic nature, groundwork gives horse caretakers a chance to slow down the normal routine and establish meaningful boundaries for our animals.

Here are some common pieces of groundwork equipment you can use to take your training sessions to the next level.

Soft Rope Halter

Rope halters have been a staple around the world for centuries. Their simple construction makes them widely accessible and their light feel provides an advantage over other kinds of halters. While nylon and leather halters have their uses, their wide nosebands mean a horse can easily brace and resist groundwork cues.

Rope halters commonly feature two knots on the sides of the nose and can include up to four knots. These knots lay on nerve channels in a horse’s face, and when pressure is shifted a horse will interpret a clearer request.

Purchase a rope halter with a removable lead so you can select the best lead rope for the occasion.

You can add BeneFab’s Smart Poll Pad to your rope halter, encouraging relaxation and creating a gentle buffer on the poll for horses who are more sensitive. You can buy a BeneFab Smart Poll Pad HERE.

Weighted Lead Rope

A lead rope is often the only direct line (no pun intended) of communication between you and your horse on the ground. Choosing a lead rope that suits you and your horse in length and thickness is important.

Look for a lead rope with a double braid. A double braided lead has an inner core surrounded by the outer rope, giving a nice weighty feel. A rope with more weight will fall away easier, giving a horse the release they’re looking for as soon as possible in training. In contrast, a light, flimsy rope may kink and give less-clear signals to a horse on the ground.

Choosing the lead rope snap and length is a personal preference. Natural Horsemanship businesses sell lead ropes in lengths varying from 14-22 feet. Consider the kind of work you’ll be doing and what length will best suit your needs. Sometimes, more than one lead might be necessary.

Training Stick with String

Because horses are long and humans aren’t, reaching the back end of the horse when standing at the shoulder can be difficult. The training stick is meant to be an extension of the arm, not something the terrify a horse with.

A training stick can be used to entice movement in our horses, gaining their respect by moving their feet. The stick should be at least four feet long with a comfortable grip. The string on the end should be at least four feet long.

Training Flag

Consider this piece of equipment a more attention-getting version of the training sticks with strings. Often used on unstarted colts, these flags encourage movement with very little effort and can be used to desensitize a horse to flapping objects. Look for a training flag that is at least four feet long.

Activity Balls

Activity balls are essentially sturdy yoga balls. They can be used to teach horses bravery and encourage playfulness. Horses lower on the pecking order may be initially afraid of these balls, but with work most horses’ ‘cow sense’ will kick in and they will herd the ball.

It should be noted that aggression towards the ball is not acceptable and horses should be monitored closely.

Groundwork improves both horse and rider, honing skills that increase responsiveness and safety. 

Happy training!




Also in Blog

How To Exercise a Horse with Navicular: Effective Techniques and Tips
How To Exercise a Horse with Navicular: Effective Techniques and Tips

September 26, 2023 4 min read

Exercising a horse with navicular disease can be a challenging task for horse owners and trainers. Navicular disease is a degenerative condition that affects the navicular bone and surrounding structures in the hoof, causing pain and lameness in horses.
Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies
Dog Cancer Symptoms: Key Indicators and Early Detection Strategies

September 21, 2023 5 min read

Cancer in dogs is an unfortunate reality that many pet owners face. Early detection of signs plays a crucial role in providing better treatment options and increasing the chances of overcoming the disease. Familiarizing oneself with the common symptoms of cancer in dogs can significantly help pet owners take timely action, ensuring their canine companions receive appropriate care and support.
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back
Horse Topline Exercises: Effective Techniques for a Stronger Back

September 14, 2023 4 min read

A strong and healthy topline is crucial for a horse's overall health and performance. The top line, which encompasses the muscles that run along the horse's spine from the withers to the croup, plays a vital role in supporting the rider's weight and maintaining proper balance.