With all the issues people have been having of late in here with their horses, including myself, and groundwork has been mentioned a lot so I did some searching around the net and came upon this article. Its quite interesting
Yes, I did say walk your horse like a dog. By that I mean lead your horse by the halter and take him for a walk like you would your dog. I have done this over the years with my horses and I think it is one the best ways to bond with your horse.
The first time I did this was way back when, when I got my first horse and I didnít even have tack to ride her. I decided I was going to take her for a walk around the neighborhood. I did this just about every time I visited her. The main reason we bonded so quickly was probably because of the quality time I was spending with her but I also think that the trust came with me leading her. She was unfamiliar with her surroundings and looked to me for security. I was the lead horse essentially.
When I got my second horse I did the same thing even though I did have tack to ride her. I did this so she would familiarize herself with me and her new surroundings I took her for a walk around the neighborhood. I did this often and even walked her when I was pregnant with my baby daughter.
I believe that taking my horses for walks is what accelerated the bonding process. I was able to be on the ground and read them better. I could find out what spooked them while I was on the ground. I was also able to reassure them because I wasnít afraid of getting dumped. My horses learned to trust me as the lead horse on the ground so when itís riding time everything goes a lot smoother.
Not all horses are easy to lead though. When I first got my Diamond she was a bit clumsy and didnít always respect my space. In other words she stepped on my feet a lot. Our walks fixed that issue and I was able to teach her to respect my space and save my feet.
I recommend everyone trying this and see how it changes the relationship between you and your horse. I especially recommend this for the horses that are always expected to ride when taken out of the stall. Change things up a bit and walk your horse like a dog.
I think im going to give this a try :) sure can't hurt ;)