Training     Guidance     Leadership     Confidence

For training to be effective, leadership must be demonstrated.

The horse is an animal that has certain needs relating to leadership. In order for a herd to survive, it MUST have an effective leader. The leader must be smart enough to direct the herd in its daily activities and keep it safe from harm, find food and water, and know when it is time to move or to sleep.

When there is an effective leader, the horses in the herd are quite happy to be followers – just eating, drinking, sleeping and playing – not worried about anything except doing what they are told by the leader. The herd cannot be without a leader. If the current leader fails, another horse will – without excetion – step up to do the job.

We teach riders/owners to be the leader, even if it is only a herd of 2: rider and horse. The horse must believe that the human is the leader in all respects or it will assume the responsibility of ensuring the safety of both. This often means that the horse is on heightened alert for potential danger and reacts accordingly: if it thinks there is danger, it will flee; sometimes the rider is left behind if not well attached!

When the horse is on heightened alert because it believes itself to be the leader, it is not paying any attention to what the rider is telling it. The rider becomes, in part, the reason that the horse could be in danger in the first place by taking it out of its perceived safe place (stall, paddock, pasture).

Whoa 10 sec video

Our resistance-free, trust- based methods train the rider to be the leader. We train both the rider and the horse the essentials of leadership and followership. We work to build trust. If trust was lost between you and your horse, we help you find it.

There are some rules that we follow during our training:

  1. The trainer/rider/owner must not get hurt.
  2. The horse must not get hurt or be sore.
  3. Both trainer/rider and horse must be more relaxed at the end of the session than at the beginning.
  4. LEAVE EMOTIONS AT THE DOOR.
  5. Do not have a timetable for a training session (i.e., it takes the time it takes).
  6. ALWAYS read what the horse is telling you and adjust the plan accordingly.
  7. Have a plan, but be able to deviate from the plan.
  8. Bring only TIME, PATIENCE, DESIRE TO LEARN to the training/riding session.
  9. Stay open minded, read and study a lot, and keep learning. It will benefit the training.

When we start with a new client and horse, we start at the beginning, even if a horse has been under saddle for some time. We observe the horse, we have some conversations with the horse, and then we make sure the horse accepts that we are the leaders.

Once leadership has been established – and this is manifested by the horse’s greatly improved manners – we usually want the owner/rider to become involved in the training. After all, it is the owner/rider that will be maintaining the training once the horse returns home.

We work with:

  1. Unstarted horses, even older ones (the oldest one that we have started is 9!). Any breed.
  2. Started horses that have developed behaviour problems: biting, kicking, bucking, won’t listen, won’t stand still, won’t tie, pushy, etc.
  3. Owners/riders that have lost their joy for riding a particular horse.
  4. Riders that have had a fall and are unsure of returning to the saddle.

We also work with boarders and help them to have a more enjoyable and safe time with their horses.