The most overlooked and underestimated thing when it comes to groundwork?

There are a few things that are really important when it comes to working with your horse from the ground.

  • Be in the correct position in relation to your horse
  • Distance from your horse
  • Never back up infront of your horse when he starts walking against you
  • Use adequate pressure (you can tell what is “adequate” by observing the way your horse reacts)
  • Your decisivenes and attention

Do all of these things correctly and you will progress super fast. It will be easy for your horse to understand you and respect you.

There is however one more very important thing

This thing will allow you to get better results, faster. This “thing” is a good halter.

Halter is a link between you and your horse when you do ground work. You communicate through the halter. A good halter will make your signals easy to understand. A bad one will make them almost imposible to decipher for your horse.

One key thing for a training halter is the way it fits. A good rope training halter should fit nicely around his head. It should not be lose in the front. This way when you pull on the lead rope when your horse is going on a circle the halter will stay put and not twist around on your horses head. In some cases even sliding over his eye.

a bad halter that slides over horses eye

Extremely sensitive horses that never pull outside of the circle, or never try to run away when you have them on a lead rope are going to be fine with a web halter. Your results are going to be a bit worse and everything will take a little longer, but it is going to work.

However young horses, that you are just starting to work with, especially those who tend to pull on the lead rope, or try to run away while on the lead rope, should be trained on a good quality rope halter.

Here is a reason

I always think about why I do what I do and why I use the gear that I use. Over time I have trained horses using various different types of halters. What I got confirmed, time and time again, is that rope halters are just significantly better when it comes to training purposes.

Rope halters make your signals much easier to undestand for your horse. He will be able to understand what you are asking.

They make things easier to understand because they allow you to vary the pressure that you are using more than other types of halters.

You can think about brakes in a car. You can have very strong brakes that are easy to control. You will not be using their full potential vast majority of the time, but when the time comes and you actually need them, you will be glad that they have that extra potential when you need it.

It is like with rope halters. A rope halter is just as comfortable as a web halter. You can create the same amounts of pressure with it. It allows you to talk to your horse when he wants to listen and is already well trained. However when your horse starts misbehaving, tries to run away, or you are just working with a young horse that is still learning, with a rope halter you still have room to increase the pressure.

It allows you to solve problems before they even really pop up

For example, your horse acts up and tries to run away while on a lead rope. With a rope halter, you just increase the pressure, your horse doesnt run away and stops fighting with you.

Because he has seen that acting up didnt work, most likely he is not going to try it again. Problem solved before it really poped up.

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Web halters or other types of halters do not allow you to vary the pressure as much.

With a rope halter your horse is going to be perfectly comfortable when he walks behind you on a lose lead rope. However he is not going to be comfortable if he starts heavily pulling on it while he tries to get out of the circle while lunging.

A padded halter makes pulling on the lead rope comfortable. Horses often pull on the rope while wearing a paded halter just for fun.

What I have even heard from an equine bodyworker is that some horses get so used to pulling on the lead rope while doing ground work, that they get neck pain as result.

A young horse is always looking for a way to get rid of the “pressure” that you create. With padded halters the easiest way to get “rid of your pressure” is often just not getting rid of it and bearing it.

With a rope halter, you can vary the pressure and teach your horse to go on a lose lead rope much easier. Your horse will be going on a lose lead rope and learn to react on a low pressure.

A halter is a crucial piece of training equipment. You probably put some thought into chosing a bit. The same effort should go into a chosing a halter.

You can get a good halter from quite a few brands. If you want to see what I consider the best halter available, take a look here.

The most overlooked and underestimated thing when it comes to groundwork?
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