Groundwork for Yourself
Horse and Rider|Spring 2021
You practice groundwork with your horse, but here you’ll learn how you can apply the same principles to yourself to become a more confident, effective rider in the saddle.
CATHY WOODS, WITH MICHAELA JAYCOX

When you’re working with a young horse, chances are you spend some time on the ground developing fundamentals before ever swinging your leg over the saddle. Groundwork builds your horse’s strength, balance, and ability to follow direction, which are all important skills to have. But it’s also a great way to help build his confidence.

Groundwork doesn’t have to stop with your horse, though. You can also apply a form of groundwork to your own routine to build fundamentals that’ll help you in the saddle by practicing meditation and yoga to prepare you mentally, and physically, for your ride.

Why It Works

Meditation and yoga can be a great way to become more in-tune with your horse. They allow you to collect your thoughts and be more aware of your body alignment, balance, and breathing prior to a ride. Your horse listens to your body language to understand what you’re asking him to do, and if you grip the saddle when you ask for a lope off, or fidget around when you’re telling him to stand still, he’s going to feed off of your behavior when you’re in the saddle.

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