If your horse does this, He’s bolting with you!
Bolting is that scary word that strikes fear into every equestrian on the planet. Even if you’ve ridden a horse REALLY bolting multiple times, I don’t know anyone, not even professionals that love the feeling. When your horse takes the bit and you just know all bets are off. That feeling sucks. We haven’t all felt this, but I can almost guarantee your horse has bolted with you…From the ground.
Growing up groundwork was instilled in me as much or even more important than riding when it comes to the training of a horse. As a predator/prey relationship, walking the fine line between fear and respect is just that, a fine line. And once you place our gangly selves up there on our horses, it adds a whole nother level. GROUNDWORK. IS. RIDING. Just with our feet firmly placed in the arena sand.
As a professional, I’ve found that groundwork is one of the most overlooked beneficial training skill you and your horse can work on. A LOT of “problems” can be fixed very easily with more of a focus on groundwork. And this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on the ground during your training!
With that said, let me elaborate. It’s all about getting more particular and expecting more out of your horse than just “good enough”. If you can’t control or influence your horses feet from the ground, how do you expect to influence them from the saddle?
So if your horse needs to be reminded to walk next to you, to slow down, to not jig, to stay out of your space, your horse IS BOLTING ON YOU. Expect excellence in your horsemanship, Which means excellence on the ground too! We can influence our horses just as much on the ground as we can sitting on their back. Trust me!
Read this blog Leading Groundwork Skills https://katrinanatwick.com/2021/11/25/level-up-your-communication-by-practicing-this-skill-hint-you-do-it-every-day/ for ideas on how to test your groundwork skills!