What is Groundwork?
Groundwork is non-ridden therapeutic activities with horses. The term groundwork covers a broad spectrum of activities, examples include
• Leading (the handler moves the horse by leading with a head collar and rope)
• Lunging (the horse is attached to a lunge line controlled by the lunger and moves around you in a circle at the end of the lunge line).
• Long reining (the horse is controlled by the handler who is behind the horse. The handler controls the horse with two lunge lines)
• Working horses in hand (the horse can be worked on the ground in a head collar or lunge cavesson with a rope and be taught different movements including rein back, halt, and lateral movements)
• Horse agility (is a discipline where the horse and human navigate in partnership a course of obstacles)
• Approaches such as Join-Up®
• Observing horses (this involves tuning into the behaviour and reactions of the horse, noticing the feelings and thoughts that come as a consequence of this observation)
• Being with a herd/horse (this involves tuning into the behaviour and reactions of the horse, noticing the feelings and thoughts that come as a consequence of this observation)
• Skill based activities (this is where particular obstacles may be set up or specific activities to support a learning or therapeutic opportunity for an individual)
Groundwork is an effective intervention tool to address various factors in a client’s life. Examples include empowering human development, emotional growth, self- awareness, self-compassion, and reflection.