Longmeadow Rescue Ranch Riding and Training Page

Groundwork Classes at Longmeadow


Groundwork classes focus on the study of horse behavior and body language to improve your communication and understanding of the horse. Our instructor uses natural horsemanship training techniques to develop a calmer, more trusting, and more willing partner in your horse. Classes are taught in a relaxed environment with small class sizes for more personalized learning. Students will work in pairs with assigned Longmeadow horses. Horses and students will be under instructor supervision at all times.

  • All sessions are held at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch, 480 Josephs Road, Union, MO 63084 (click here for detailed directions)
  • Students must be at least 18 years old to register.
  • Students must complete The Humane Society of Missouri’s Waiver and Release of Liability
  • Students must show proof of a current personal medical insurance plan.
  • All additional guests will be considered auditors and will need to pay the audit fee.
    1. Auditors must be at least 15 years old.
    2. Auditors less than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian may be an auditor or a student.
    3. Auditors are not allowed to work with the horses.
    4. Auditors may not tour the ranch during groundwork classes.
  • Childcare is not provided.
  • Dogs or other pets are not allowed.
  • There will be a 30-minute meal break each class. Food is not provided. We recommend bringing your own food, as the Ranch is not close enough to town to pick up food over break.
  • You may bring your own horse to class (except for the first class).
    1. All horses entering the grounds must be accompanied by proof of negative Coggins and a Health Certificate (if coming from out of state).
    2. Horse must stand quietly in trailer or tied to trailer when unsupervised. Stalls are not provided.
  • If interested in bringing your horse to class, please email Dana Sullivan at dsullivan@hsmo.org or call 314-646-5688 for further requirements prior to registering.
  • Questions? Email Dana Sullivan at dsullivan@hsmo.org.
  • Must be capable of standing on uneven terrain for multiple hours.
  • Must have reasonably quick reflexes to respond to the horse’s reactions.
  • Must be able to hold a lead rope out at arm’s length for an extended period.
  • All participants must wear pants covering their ankles.
  • All participants must wear close-toed shoes – preferable work boots.
  • Tank tops, tube tops, or excessively short shorts are not allowed.
  • Offensive graphics on clothing is strictly prohibited.
  • Participants may want to wear gloves, but they are not required.

Our four-week sessions are designed to teach you how to communicate with horses of varying ages, breeds, temperament, and skill. The sessions are tailored to the class experience level and can include topics such as:

  • Applying and releasing pressure
  • Flexing laterally and vertically
  • Establishing leadership with your horse
  • Leading and backing a horse calmly and willingly
  • Haltering a horse without resistance
  • Approaching a horse correctly in the stall
  • Round pen work
  • Desensitizing horses to new environments
  • Lateral movement
  • Disengaging the hindquarters
  • Handling a horse’s hooves
  • Lunging for respect
  • Obstacle work
  • Working with fearful horses
  • Acclimating a horse to the saddle in preparation for riding
  • Groundwork full course: $350
  • Audit fee: $150 for the full course
  • PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If you decide not to attend the class date in which you are registered, your payment will be used to provide care for the animals at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch. Or you may switch to another class session if there is still room in the class. If you are uncertain whether this class is the right fit, you are welcome to audit the classes for the $150 fee.