Why Groundwork? Part 4 - Performance Groundwork

Good groundwork leads to good manners, self carriage and good ridden work = good horses 😊


Groundwork has been taught for centuries as part of the preparation for the ridden or driven horse. These days there are loads of different programmes that teach different forms of groundwork. In this blog series I have attempted to categorise them to show the benefits of each type 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣


In Why Groundwork? Part 1 I looked at the different categories of groundwork


Category 1 - Foundation Groundwork 🔤

Category 2 - Fitness & Function Groundwork 💪

Category 3 - Performance Groundwork 💃


In part 2 I looked at Foundation Groundwork and in part 3 Fitness & Function Groundwork. For this final blog in the series, I’d like to look at Category 3️⃣ ....


Performance Groundwork 🎠


Have you seen beautiful demonstrations of liberty or in-hand work? This is where groundwork makes the transition from teaching something for a purpose to an art form.


The images that spring to my mind are The Spanish Riding School with beautiful demonstrations of high school movements (haute école) and performers such as Jean-François Pignon with his incredible displays of multiple horses at liberty.


Demonstrations of this level while wonderful to watch can lead you to believe that Performance Groundwork is not relevant to you and your horse. However for us at home performance groundwork might include teaching fun things at liberty like circling, changes of direction, sideways, bowing, and tackling different obstacles like weaving in and out of poles/barrels.


These sorts of tasks are within easy reach for most people and their ho