Training & Colt Starting
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
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
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
Leg yields, haunches-in and half pass
Stopping with softness and accuracy
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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