From the Ground to the Saddle
- August 21, 2016
- Wendy Greenough
All “Feet First” clinics emphasize the value of ground work and several hours are dedicated to preparing your horse to ride. Tom Wagoner has introduced several techniques to use while practicing ground work. He highlights the importance of your practices and the consistency of your cues from “The Ground to the Saddle.”
“I try to make my cues on the ground similar to my cues from the saddle. When I roll my wrist, I want to disengage the hips. I roll my wrist the same on the ground as I do from the saddle, to get the same result. I also try to be aware of my body language. I do not use techniques on the ground if they are not practical to use in the saddle,” says Tom.
Generally, Tom begins his ground work by looking for 3 basic maneuvers. He wants his horse 1) to step in his tracks while traveling in a circle on the end of the lead rope. This means the hind feet should follow in the front feet’s steps. This is the first test to see if your horse is balanced and if the front and hind end are moving with an equal stride. 2) To place the inside hind leg in-line with the outside two. This means the horse will allow you to have your lead rope in time with the inside hind leg. Then you will place the inside hind leg up underneath, causing the horse to track with the outside two. This will help round the horse’s body and prepare for a perfect circle. 3) To place the outside front in-line with the inside front. This means the horse will allow you to have your lead rope in time with the outside front and place it in-line with the inside front. Now, with steps 2 and 3 complete, your horse can travel in a perfect circle with the shoulder, rib, and hip elevated.
These three steps are the introduction to prepare from “The Ground to the Saddle.”
This video clip will explain step two and its purpose to help prepare for a quality turn around.
Until next time, enjoy your ride!
About Wendy Greenough
Horses are the cornerstone of my family, occupation, and lifestyle! I am fortunate to be the daughter of renowned horseman, Tom Wagoner, who is also the founder of Feet First Horsemanship. Tom has always been my main influence while training horses, and I'm...