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Training

We enjoy taking on and training other peoples horses, it not only provides a service, but we enjoy extending our knowledge by working with lots of different horses. It is important to us that we enjoy what we do and that the horses enjoy it too. The horses are never a stress or a chore. We like to use our imaginations a lot and do some pretty wacky things, always underpinned with our philosophy of what is best for the horse of course!

Please note: All of the training we offer comes with instruction for the owner also. There is no point training your equine and not showing you the optimum way to enjoy their new knowledge.

Float and Truck Loading
With years of experience loading horses we have found that the saying 'if you take the time it takes it takes less time' sums up loading training. Horses are naturally afraid of tight spaces, they are claustrophobic. Going on a float to a horse couldn't seem more unnatural. 
 
When we train horses to float load we work off their desire to be lazy. We make the space outside the float an uncomfortable place to be by making them move their feet and get to work. In doing this horses will seek to go on the ramp, or go in the float, as this is
the only place they will get to rest, making it look to them as a safe and comfortable place to be.

By using reverse psychology the idea of loading on the float eventually becomes the horses idea. Because the horse has consciously decided to go on, they do not feel forced, so do not feel resentment toward the unnatural act of float loading.

There are however extreme cases where horses really do not want to load. I can guarantee the same philosophy above works, it will just take more time and patience on the handlers part. It has not been uncommon for us to spend an hour and a half on float loading with a practically un-handled horse. We can proudly say that 'we took the time it took' and the next times we loaded these horses, the time became less and less to the point where they didn't bat an eye lid.

Price: $30 per session + traveling expenses. This is our standard fee, the price can be adjusted according to the equine, work required and amount of sessions. Please contact us with your needs and we can work out a fair price for the work required. Included in this price is a teaching session so that you will know how to load and unload when we are not there in case you encounter any resistance.

The pictures above are of Jewel about to go on her first ride in the truck from Taranaki to Palmerston North! I spent 3 days prior to the trip getting her to accept the presence of the truck, the ramp, standing on the ramp, walking up the ramp, standing inside the truck and having the gates closed in the truck. It was done in bite sized stages so that by the time the morning came to leave, she knew all about the truck and loaded within 5 minutes. There was never any rush or hurry, it was all done on Jewels time, she was pretty much loading herself by the end of the 3 days.

Ground work
Many of the behavioural issues horses have often stem from a lack of respect of their human. In order to establish this respect system we feel it is imperative to gain the horses respect and control of its body from the ground to begin with. We have our own style but use much of Clinton Anderson's and Pat Parelli's method to guide our training, as well as the other trainers outlined in the philosophy page.

We use ground work exercises from to assist us in training our horses, establishing a trust and respect system and getting them as soft and supple as possible.

The method we use works well for all types of horses from ones that are pushy and rude, to those that are skittery and frightened. For example, backing a horse up; this exercise helps a nervous horse feel safe and secure and develop a trusting relationship with the human, but for a rude horse it shows them where a persons 'personal space bubble' is so they learn to move out of that area when instructed. This same theory can be applied to all of the ground work exercises we do with our horses.

When we deal with a horse that has 'behavioural issues', often all we do is work through a few exercises. The exercises get the horses feet moving and through doing this a trusting and respectful relationship becomes established and the person is the leader. Generally the 'issue' resolves itself as it had only occurred due to a lack of trust, respect and leadership. Horses naturally look for leadership, if its not there they then assume the role of leader. 

So if a horse is trying to control you (eg scare you, push you around), they are probably saying, "if you are not going to lead then I have to!" You only have to watch the lead mare in a herd situation to see her way of retaining this leadership. She continues being the leader because she makes good decisions, is consistent and she is clear, when another horse steps out of line she moves their feet, manipulates their movement and is consistent about it. Horses, being lazy by nature, soon realise what behaviour is accepted and what is not.

Price: $200 per week including GST. This is for at least 5 days work.
The price includes grazing.
If hay or additional feeding is required this will be on top of the $200.

We also offer our service of training in the comfort of you own home- the price for this is organised on an individual basis dependent on the length of sessions requested and travel expenses.

Please appreciate these prices are just a guide as we pride ourselves in personally tailoring our services to each individual equine and owner.

The picture above is of Queen and Jordan, Queen was my pony and Jordan didn't usually work with her. He was working on lunging for respect, so getting her to go out soft on a circle, actively moving, then in one fluid motion change directions by getting her to do a 180 degree spin! Through this exercise Jordan was introducing himself to Queen as a leader and beginning to establish a relationship with her. On the right is me with Star King and Country, an Australian Stock horse stallion. He was getting pushy at feeding time so I ensured that before he got his dinner I had moved his feet and reestablished our respect system, to which he stood back patiently and waited until I had his dinner prepared and had invited him to eat!

Ridden work
The ground work philosophy still applies when we get on their backs. In the beginning we always establish lateral flexion. Lateral flexion not only paves the way for a one rein stop (an emergency brake), but it helps to soften and supple the horse through his neck and poll. It also establishes an important step for following exercises such as disengage the hindquarters, vertical flexion and bending at the walk. The ridden work training is entirely dependent on what you would like your horse doing. Essentials for us in our riding programme is that the horse can walk, trot and canter not breaking gait, be soft in our hands and be relaxed and free moving. We believe once these essential skills are established everything else comes easier.
      
From left: Road riding, trekking, riding in large groups, one rein stop and flexion

Price: $200 per week including GST. This is for at least 5 days work.
The price includes grazing.
If hay or additional feeding is required this will be on top of the $200.
Please appreciate these prices are just a guide as we pride ourselves in personally tailoring our services to each individual equine and owner.