Training & Colt Starting

The Horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave.
— Ronald Duncan
 
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My training program is inspired by the methods of legendary horsemen Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. I use the horse’s natural way of moving, thinking, and learning to get optimum performance while maintaining a sensitive and willing relationship between horse and rider.

I work with horses in all stages of their careers, from colt starting and restarting, to fine tuning mature horses, to helping horses with specific problems or holes in their education.

It is important to me that the owner learns as much as the horse in order to carry on with the progress the horse made during training. Lessons are included in training packages so the owner and horse can be a successful team after returning home.

My goals are to create safe, willing horses and inspire others to pursue the art of horsemanship.

The horse’s education begins on the ground, which prepares them for what they will be asked for under saddle. Some groundwork topics include:

  • Personal space, trust, respect and attention

  • Understanding pressure and how to yield

  • When to move and when to be still

  • Softness, flexibility, balance and responsiveness

  • Addressing fear and spookiness

  • Saddling and bridling

  • Farrier and vet preperation

  • Trailer loading and tying

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Under saddle, the principles established during groundwork are used to transition the horse from fundamentals to advanced maneuvers. Some topics under saddle include:

  • Stand to be mounted and dismounted

  • Hind quarter and forequarter control

  • Softness to the snaffle bit in all gaits

  • Move or stop the feet promptly

  • Lateral movements for balance and control

  • Understanding seat, leg, and rein cues together and independently

  • Move quietly and balanced at all gaits

  • Backing with lightness

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  • As the horse develops under saddle, the fundamental movements will build upon one another to create advanced manuevers geared toward higher performance. Some advanced manuevers may include:

  • Carry the soft feel lightly in all gaits

  • Collection

  • Leg yields, haunches-in and half pass

  • Turn arounds

  • Stopping with softness and accuracy

  • Backing arcs

  • Lead changes

  • Arena and trail work

My program helps develop the characteristics of both horse and rider that are required for success in any discipline, regardless of breed or event.

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