So after bringing out all of my jumps yesterday to try and sell them, I had some motivation to get the arena groomed. And with a freshly groomed arena, this is the perfect opportunity to work on groundwork exercises.

And once the arena was all beautiful, partly from the dumping of rain we have had almost every day, I decided to work with both of my horses on the great ground.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

I love when the ground is perfect. It just makes it so much more fun to get out there with the boys.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

On a side note, I am so glad we bought the new tractor. All of my arena implements hook up to it easily, and I can drive it. This was definitely worth the investment.

Ground Work Is Good

If you are trying to build your confidence, there is nothing like a few good lessons of ground work to help build your confidence. Even if you are afraid to get up into the saddle, working from the ground can help get you into the saddle, when you’re ready.

For Frisby we worked on yielding the hindquarters, because I am not very good at giving him the correct cue.

Thankfully he is very forgiving, and understands what I am asking of him.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

I can also perfect what I am asking with him first, and then try and do the same with Ethan.

Having The Right Tools

Just like everything else when it comes to working with horses, having the right tools makes everything so much easier.

Knotted Rope Halter

Groundwork Exercises

I really like using a knotted rope halter over any other type of halter, especially for doing ground work. Knotty Girlz is the nicest I have found at the best price.

Groundwork Exercises

The knots are situated over pressure points that apply pressure and release it quickly when your horse does the right thing.

Yacht Rope Lead Rope

The heaviness of the yacht rope lead also makes it perfect for groundwork. And the length of it allows you to lunge, or lead.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

But it can be a bit of a struggle figuring out where you want it to go on the ground. But it’s a lot easier than a 30 foot lunge line!

Clinician Style Stick and String

When I am working with my horses on the ground, I do use a clinician style stick and string a lot. It is the perfect blend of a lunge whip, with options.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

It has a nice handle with a little bit of weight. The stick is very helpful for all aspects of lunging my horses.

Dressage Whip

But when I am working on smaller movements, like getting them to yield the hindquarters, or tuns on the forehand I prefer to use a lightweight dressage whip.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

It has some length to it, but is very lightweight. This way I can maneuver myself around my horse easily without tripping on the stick and string.

Ground Poles for Groundwork

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

Another helpful tool to have is a few ground poles.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

I have my traditional poles, but I also have a few other types of poles to use.

Homemade Foam Squishy Rails

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

I made these squishy rails last winter. And while they live in my jump locker most of the time, they are really fun to bring out into the arena.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

They definitely are something curious for the horses to work over.

homemade squishy rails

Homemade Pool Noodle Rails

pool noodles

And I made these a couple of months ago using pool noodles.

I was trying to find an affordable alternative to wooden jump rails, but they are better suited for a ground obstacle.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

They also ended up costing about the same amount of money as buying some landscaping timbers. And they also sag a lot more than I anticipated. Which is ok, and I can work with it.

But they really are fun to use as ground poles.

Have Fun And Work With Your Horse

Just getting the poles set up, and getting out in the arena is a lot of fun, even if you aren’t in the saddle.

And depending on how many poles you have, you can set up a lot of different obstacles to work with. All from the ground.

And eventually, when you build up your confidence level, and are happy with how you and your horse are working on the ground, you can get into the saddle.

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

The big goal is to get out there and work with your horse. Whether that is from the ground or in the saddle. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you actually do it!

Challenge Day 11- Groundwork Exercises

So stop making excuses, and get out there with your horse. (I am talking to myself here)

And find what motivates you to make you do it!


I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you.

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