It completely depends on the setup and the horse. For example, when we break, there typically isn't a ground person after the first week (after the horse is comfortable being mounted). Sometimes we don't use a ground person at all. Sometimes we have a horse that is funny about being mounted and we use a ground person for a longer period of time just for mounting. But, if I were breaking horses in a situation that was not set up for young horses I'd want a little more help from a ground person or person on a pony horse.
Setup is really important. If you have a good setup, i.e. you can start in the stall, move to round pen, move to enclosed arena, move to small paddock, move to bigger fields or unenclosed arena in a stepwise fashion you really shouldn't need much help from a ground person. If you are starting out with just a stall and a field/open arena, you probably are going to need more help.
beehoney has right idea.beat me to it.
would like to add,with me its when i am mounted on lungeline and horse has good understanding of cues and direction and HALT.lol even with out being on line i would still atleast have someone near by just in case.
Thanks! The reason I ask is because I am in the process of starting my resale pony and last night was her second ride - she did great and we even trotted around the ring off the lunge. But fiance thinks I am going to die and that he needs to be there when I ride her. I do love when he comes out with me but I can only convince him to about once or twice a week and at that pace her training is going to take forever! She was totally not fussed about mounting or riding in general after only 2 rides. OTOH, it was only her second ride so I'm sort of second guessing myself. There is always someone at the barn when I ride so I wouldn't be TOTALLY alone while riding.
I think, in all the times I have started horses, that I have never had a ground person. As long as there is someone there to call 911 if the shit hits the fan, I'd say you're good to go.
There's always someone at the barn, and she's been so great about everything so I will just go ahead and continue on by myself. I think fiance has visions of a bronc session in his head which is why he insists on being there at her head. When he saw me trot off the lunge yesterday (I told him I would only walk) he said "I hope I'm not video taping your demise!"