Optimize Your Groundwork Series – Forequarter Exercises and Control

Last post we talked about Hindquarter Control.

I gave you exercises to gain more control and responsiveness with the hindquarters of your horse.

Today I want to move into Forequarter Control.

Forequarter Exercise (Pivoting Foundation)


To teach the basics of a pivot, I hold the horse with my right hand and face the throat latch of the horse. I hold the training stick in my left hand, with the stick coming across the front of my body. I start by tapping the horse’s left shoulder with the stick while holding the horse’s head down and slightly in toward his body so the horse doesn’t walk forward. I gently guide the horse’s face down and bump the halter in the direction I want the horse to move. When the horse responds and takes one step across, I stop, reward and repeat.



When pivoting becomes a simple maneuver, I start to incorporate sidepassing, using the foundation of the pivot exercise. After the horse is fluid in his pivot turn, I put the training stick in my right hand and—while holding my right hand out—tap the horse’s hind end as I create energy with my body in the pivot position. When the horse takes one or two steps sideways, I walk forward, stop, pivot and repeat.

Next post will focus on the Curved Back and incorporating the Chain.

These exercises are taken directly from the full course ‘Optimize Your Groundwork 101‘ available on horsegirl.me


Here are some posts we highly recommend for your reading pleasure.


I’m Jen.

Most days you will find me with a coffee in one hand, hot pink manure pick in the other with my mind bubbling over dreaming up ways to help my horse girl sisters find their true selves & ride their best life every. single. day.


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