Ground Work Programs at Giant Steps

We’re happy to say ground work programming expanded during the second half of 2018! Participants in our ground work programs are usually those who are nervous to get up on the horse but want to work with them from the ground, ¬†or those who want to ride but at this time do not meet our weight requirements.

Doing ground work can overcome fears by establishing a relationship with the horse. You have to be just as confident to lead a horse as you do to ride a horse. It is also a soothing, quiet time that can center and bring balance to the participant. Our participants include an emergency response worker, a parent of a previous rider, veterans, and many others. These participants are able to take the peace that they find working with their horses and transfer that to their lives outside of the barn.

Working on the ground with the horses is also a great physical workout. First we pick feet, brush the coats and comb out manes and tails. We then spend the rest of the lesson leading the horses through set patterns in the arena, walking for about half an hour. All this exercise helps participants with their fitness goals, and work toward meeting our weight requirements.

One ground work participant who was aiming to ride met the weight requirement and was able to finish off the fall term riding. Another participant who was a little nervous to start riding has completed a few weeks of ground work lessons and is hoping to ride her horse in the very near future.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ground work program please contact Jen McWherter at the barn.