Young Horse Training Philosophy

For me, the most important thing about training all horses, young or otherwise, is that they must be happy in their work. This is particularly important for young horses though, as the early training they receive can greatly influence their attitude to work for the rest of their career. The state of being "happy in the work", however, does not imply a lack of boundaries or clear-cut rules. In fact, I find that horses thrive in an environment in which the "rules" of training are clearly outlined, and judiciously reinforced.

   It is the utmost importance to me that all horses, and especially developing horses, experience an environment that is as close to "natural" as possible. What this means in practice, is that they all enjoy at least 8 hours of turnout, and some of the young horses are outside 24/7 in a small group.This way they enjoy the movement and social interaction that is so crucial to the development of young minds and bodies. My program also includes hacking, groundwork , and exposure to new environments, which are all things that will help to boost a young horse's self-confidence. As early as possible, all young horses experience "life outside the arena", which I find extremely important element of training.

   Almost universally, the owners or potential buyers of young horses I've had in training, remark that they are "easy to ride", which I think is the hallmark of good training. I strive to make my young horses rideable not just for professionals, but for amateurs of all levels. I produce horses that are willingly forward, easy and soft in the contact, and safe for most riders. I take a lot of pleasure in following the careers of the horses that I've produced, and receive regular updates with most of their new owners. Horses that I have started have successful show careers in Canada and the U.S.A., and I've been lucky enough to forge a lot of friendships with their owners.

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