Horsemanship from the Ground, Up
What we do
Offer a partnership
For the work we do, our horses need to appreciate their job. That doesn’t mean they always wake up ready to roll out the door and prance off to work (who does?), but it does mean that we expect them to present a good attitude and face challenges with poise. Our horses are expected to take on the roll of beginner lesson horse as well as guide horse, and all of our horses must be responsive to rider cuing without being overly bothered by constant miscuing.
“Some horses are born to be wild”
Most “problem” horses just don’t understand their jobs
We have worked with horses that have learned to buck, rear, kick, bite and run from the halter, such as Happy the Appy in this photo. We do not use bribery to coax a horse into doing what we want. We establish a relationship, in which the horse understands his job and seeks to do it. After all, sitting in the same pasture day after day is boring. Jobs offer us the opportunity to get out and learn, to explore and see the world around you. We treat problem horses with empathy, not sympathy. What’s the difference? Click HERE.
Starting a horse can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For us, starting a horse begins immediately. And while we find it a silly approach to leave horses as pasture ornaments for the first eight years of their lives, we certainly don’t promote hard exercise of young horses. Our breaking process is gentle but firm. Always with a focus on pressure and release, we teach horses about straightness just about as much as they teach us. Our horses come to understand how to move away from leg pressure and how that’s different than bending around that leg. Our horses learn reining in a natural way on trail to produce a horse that is suitable to a wide range of disciplines from Hunter Horse to playday.
The Bomb-Proof Horse
A little on desensitization
While we would never sell a horse as “bomb-proof,” or tell a rider that a horse is “bomb-proof,” our horses are about as “bomb-proof” as they come. They’ve been through many rigors of desensitization, including night riding, road riding, community events and more. Our method uses pressure and release to reward the horse for approaching all things scary. While no training method is full-proof, we’ve been able to produce horses that will take the lead with beginner riders into water crossings, passing through new conditions and withstanding elements outside of the norm. Our horses approach most new situations with a ready hear for rider cues, a brave approach and a calm demeanor.