In order to communicate our body language in our interactions with horses there are certain tools that can be used to aid the process either directly or indirectly. Many different disciplines and styles use different tack but the fundamental principles behind the tack remain the same.
To start you need a place set aside for working with the horse, usually this is a round pen or an arena but if you do not have one then you can do without but you will need to have a decent space of flat ground where the horse can move.
Here is a list of the basic tools that you should start out with, later i will go more in depth on the use of each.
- 14-16 ft Rope – This is your basic necessity. You should be able to work a horse through each exercise and level of Horsemanship with only this rope. It needs to be durable and flexible with a diameter between 1/2 inch – 3/4 inch.
- Rope Halter – The rope halter should be made with rope at or less than 1/4 inch in diameter.
- Saddle – of any style as long as it fits the horse, to begin I strongly recommend riding bareback to learn how to use your balance and legs properly.
- Bridle – made with solid leather and a basic O-Ring snaffle bit (Unless if you are using a hackamore), I recommend solid loop reins but if you have split reins that is fine as well.
An optional piece of equipment that I use when doing groundwork is the ever popular Clinician Stick and String, this is very helpful and i highly recommend using it but the end of your rope will work.