Hang out with us a bit….we have something important to say.
Ladders are really important. Sometimes they get us places that would be really, really difficult to reach without having one. Sure we could be dropped from a helicopter, or parasail there, or throw a rope perhaps and climb it; stack a really tall tower of boards.
You get my drift.
If you want to keep someone from accessing somewhere easily you remove the bottom rungs (or block them off) on the ladder. We see this at water towers and McDonalds, etc.
Where am I going with this?
So many times we hear people say they don’t do groundwork, it is a waste of time, it isn’t needed, it is boring. and sometimes in fact often times, it works out fine. The horse becomes ride-able and use-able. But you see….there are holes. You may not find them until way later, but they are more than likely there.
If I remove the bottom 3 rungs of this ladder, it is still a ladder. But the integrity of the strength is compromised. It probably is still use-able and functional. but overall it is weaker. It is also somewhat more difficult to get to the top of it.
You may be one of those trainers who has done fine without groundwork. But one day you will have a horse that chumps you day after day, that you may be tempted to say is an untrainable horse, and it will almost always be because it needed those bottom rungs of the ladder.
Not only does groundwork start the foundation of practical horsemanship, it builds rapport between you and the equine. (the caveat being if done in a fair manner) It gives you time to assess the horse’s personality and learning style. It allows you to tweak your program so that the learning process is positive for both you and the equine.
We strongly encourage you to move toward new ideas and not always stick with “this has worked for me for years”. If that is so in everything, turn back in your cell phone and go back to the phone tethered to the wall by that curly cord.