Groundwork training for horses

When you seamlessly combine equine behavioral science with natural horsemanship, the end result is an effective way to train horses that is based both on research and extensive practical experience.

Would you like to acquire research-based knowledge on horse behavior?
Would you like to learn how to avoid problematic behavior even before it arises?
Would you like to learn how to teach new things to your horse or improve your old ways?

Does your horse walk past or over you when you lead him or when you’re grooming him? Is your horse making you move out of his way? Does your horse come into your space without permission? Does your horse poke, use you as a scratching post, pin his ears back, bite, kick or have some other disrespectful behavior? Does your horse walk off when being led? Is your horse paying attention to other things while you’re handling or riding him? Does your horse spook? Is your horse difficult to catch from the enclosure? Has your horse got areas on his body that he doesn’t let you touch? Does your horse move around when he is supposed to be standing still? Or does he cease all movement altogether? Is your horse tense or unwilling? Is your horse codependent on other horses and refuses to leave his herd to join you? Or is your horse’s behavior different from day to day? Would you like to acquire tools to avoid problems or to handle them if they show up? Would you like tips on what to do when spending time with your horse, not just for riding and driving? Or is your goal to deepen your relationship with your horse?

Among other things you will lear all of the above at the Ground Work Classes.

Sometimes the tiniest corrections are needed to make your horse’s and your lives easier. Many problems arising while riding can also be corrected via ground work. Once the relationship between a man and a horse is that of respect and trust, the horse will be more willing to respond to requests compared to when there those qualities are lacking. Ground work allows us to correct various equine behavioral problems, big and small.

Mervi Pakola Horse Academy’s Ground Work Classes are devided into two parts. Once you have completed these classes, you will have the knowledge and know-how to keep your horse under control in different situations. You will have learnt to avoid problematic behavior and to retrain minor behavioral issues. Further, you also know how to be around horses so that they will respect and trust you.

If you need to brush up your skills, you can always join a recap class or redo the basic class/ Ground Work I class.

It’s unbelievable how it sometimes feels like the horses act by just the power of your thought!

In Ground Work I you will learn, among other things

  • About Equine learning theory, their species-specific behavior and special features (explains why horses do certain things)
  • How horses learn (how do they learn, how to motivate them etc)
  • How to Train horses in theory and in practice
  • Earning the trust and respect of a horse (how to get a relaxed and trusting horse that enjoys your company)

In the practical part you will learn how to correct the horse if he is behaving in a non-desirable way and how to show him the desired behavior. In this course we will train horses to be easily handled who that enjoy being led, are relaxed with a loose rope. Horses will be taught things that make everyday handling situations easier.

Time: 4 hours depending amount of participants


You must have finished level I before joining level II training. You can participate as a listener to level II if you have not finished level I training.

Live classes only available in Finland at the moment. But you can attend our web courses any where in english!


In Ground Work II you will learn

  • Equine Training Terminology
  • More about how to gain the trust and respect of a horse
  • How to avoid problematic behavior
  • How to retrain your horse
  • Most common reasons for pain that cause problematic behavior
  • Different ways to desensitise

In the practical part of the course you will learn more exercises to gain respect and trust as well as how to ease handling. In the practical exercises you will do different types of desensiting exercises which will build trust and decrease the possibility of the fleat reaction.

Time 3 to 4 hours depending amount of participants

Groundwork classes helps you to understand your horse better and train new things to it.

Live classes only available in Finland at the moment. But you can attend our web courses any where in english!