Understanding Groundwork

There may be a physical reason that causes unwanted behaviour or it could be due to a breakdown in communication between horse and rider with each not understanding what the other requires. This can be due to the owner having a lack of knowledge which is often coupled with a lack of attention to signals given out by the horse not being recognised and acted upon or general lack of experience or skill of the owner in not being able to apply the aids efficiently and correctly.
The training of any horse should not to be undertaken if the owner is inexperienced, as unfortunately this is where so many people go wrong; they have the idea of breaking their own horse or pony but sadly all too often, things go amiss. It takes considerable time and patience to train a horse but he does not ever forget the basics of what he is taught, even if he does become a little rusty at time, what and how he is taught remains with him throughout his life, so it is our responsibility to give each horse the best possible training. There is a wide array of books and DVDs available and of course access to training clinics and demonstrations to provide help and inspiration. These do not suddenly provide someone with the necessary skills to carry out effect training or mean that miraculously the horse will suddenly work out for himself what he is supposed to be doing.

We believe that at the base of successful training lies the absolute necessity to have the ability to relate to a horse, to form a bond with him, so that he is at ease and relaxed. From this sound and solid foundation a successful working relationship can be built. This means that training is not just about what happens outside of the stable or field; it comprises the bigger picture of every aspect of a horse’s life.

One of the important factors in our training is that we spend quality time with the horses in our care over and above that taken up by training or routine management.  This enables us to really get to know each other and ensures that a horse does not continually see us either as a food source or  that person comes along and makes him do some work!  

Such an approach not only helps maintain a relaxed state of mind but also is an invaluable part of the developing relationship required for a successful training partnership and of course is a major part of working with behavioural and anti-social issues.

Remember your horse is totally reliant on his owner for all of his needs – from basic care and management through to the emotional comfort he requires such as companionship. How can a horse be expected to give of its best or learn properly if there are some causes of stress as maybe in his home life?  So it is an owner’s duty is to ensure the daily physical and psychological welfare of their horse; this applies whether the horse is stabled or lives out all the time

IT is important that horses become accustomed to being stabled, even if it is your preferred choice that they live out in case there comes a time that the horse has to be stabled.  A horse can object to being in because the stable is dark or too small, there is no companion close by or there is an aggressive horse too close by, the stable is in a noisy and so on. A horse should see his stable as a safe place to be. Although it need not, the thought of a period of box-rest actually fills many owners with dread. Managing a horse on box-rest is not rocket science and is easily effected if you know what you are doing, know your horse and you are prepared to make a bit of effort.

Everyone who carries the responsibility of a horse’s education should have a basic understanding of herd life and the behaviour and language that exists between horses and ponies by studying horses interacting with each other a great deal can be learned as to how they think also how they communicate with each other in their natural environment, as in the wild and live together as a herd. Such understanding enables training to be far more successful and rewarding as well as being a whole lot more beneficial to the horse as he is more relaxed and attentive as you are communicating in a language he understand his equine language.

NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP is a term that is that is part of everyday equestrian language these days but what is really meant by this term? It is wide open to individual interpretation and there seems to be much diversity between those who allegedly practice it so we are very wary about some who proclaim to train in this way. sadly there there is a misconception that all approaches to training are cruel and forceful unless they come under the head of “Natural Horsemanship”. Throughout history, and indeed today, there are many horsemen who have worked with their horses not against them. Native peoples from around the world are perhaps the best trainers of all as they have a great reverance and respect for all living things. The so-called modern techniques of training horses which are much promoted at present and termed natural horsemanship is infact not new as it has been practiced for many generations. Today, it is just the case that at long last more trainers and owners have come to realise the importance of understanding equine language.

TRAINING should always be a positive experience and never a negative one with the trainer literally controlling every move the horse makes, this being achieved by taking control of the mind as we want respect from a horse but not via rough or noisy behaviour. Of course some horses are more challenging and require firm handling but this does not mean inflicting fear or pain.

WE WANT our horses to enjoy their work and express their character so they must be allowed to have lots of fun. Naughtiness must not be confused with high spirits, playfulness and good physical well-being, so take let us advantage of this and direct the exuberance into an enthusiastic worker.