INTRODUCING GROUND WORK : w/ Elīza Slokenberga

In an attempt to make my brand more educational to the people who follow, I've been interviewing riders who specialise or prioritise certain aspects of riding! Or in our case today, not riding...
Today we're going to be discussing ground work! And the benefits of introducing it into your own routine, how it benefits your relationship with your horse, and just a general gist of it! We'll be talking to a rider who has now begun to prioritise ground work over riding, and how it has benefited her and her horses relationships. I had arranged some questions for Elīza to answer in an interview, and these were her answers... 
Tell us a bit about yourself and your horse:
 Hi! My name’s Elīza and I’m from Latvia. I own a 9 months old foal named Queen of hearts. I’ve had her since December 8th 2020.
What’s your discipline?
I used to do showjumping at my old stables, I jumped for two years. Now, I focus on ground work as I have a younger horse that can’t be ridden yet!
How long have you been around horses?
I’ve been around horses since I was just 4 years old, horses are a very special part of my life.
What topic are we discussing and why it is relevant to you?
Today we will be talking about groundwork with horses. In my personal opinion it is extremely important. Whether you yourself ride or you’ve been around people who do, you often see horses terrified of things as simple as a plasic bag! This is majorly due to the horse not trusting their rider, and then we humans think it's just the horse's fault, or that it’s a skitty but it's not.
What do you believe the benefits of a ground work is?
In my opinion, if you begin introducing ground work into your routine with your horse, it beneifits both the rider and the horse. Both you and your horse will begin to develop more self-confidence and trust in each other.
What made you start prioritising ground work?
Once I started getting really involved with it I started seeing major improvements in my communication with my horse and i started to get more and more excited! I began to see us progress in every thing we did.
How has that developed your skills as a rider?
After we had developed our bond with ground work, when it came to me getting on and riding him, he was much more relaxed, and together we came to overcome many different situations, because he trusted me.
What effect does ground work have at creating a bond between the horse and rider?
As I had mentioned  before the biggest benefit in ground work is that you are creating a bond with your horse. When I started doing more groundwork, i immediately knew that i wanted to relate my future directly to it. Because seeing the joy of a horse, and how a 500-pound animal trusts me, can’t be replaced by nothing else and is truly rewarding!
Whats some advice that you would give someone that wants to start incorporating more ground work in their routine?
I definitely recommend doing so and if you do start, to not give up when difficult stages come to you. Take your time and everything will eventually work out. For those who want to start this, I definitely recommend working in phases. At the beginning lightly introduce it so your horse can become familiar with it. If you don't get the results you want at first, just continue to push for what you’re asking for, but don’t do push too much the first time, because the horse will understand it as an unenjoyable experience.
Thank you so much for these questions, and if you have any more, i would love to answer them too. Have a great day!
- Elīza Slokenberga
 Find  Elīza on instagram:

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