t: 01497 851764
m: 07794 935590 (Stephen)
07749 391714 (Julie)
Welcome to Samsara Equitation Equine Rehab Centre
Our unique muscle therapy process is an extremely effective way to properly solve problems of lameness and poor performance and certain behavioural problems which can be traced to pain as the cause. Click here for further information.
We start/back horses of all types, size and age and will reback horses that have been previously but unsuccessfully backed. We prefer not to use the term break as this concept is so counter to our philosophy and to be honest most people's these days. We recently successfully backed a 4 year-old Welsh pony, Clemmie, which had previously been backed unsuccessfully at another yard. In the last 2 weeks we backed two 5 year-old Trakehners (see testimonial below). Each horse presents a particular challenge depending on its history, how it has been brought up what experiences it has had. Our first role is to gain the respect and then the trust of the horse. Without these two, you are always treading a tightrope. Once these have been established we then introduce the horse to the basics of what we will expect of her. We start with groundwork and this first stage is designed to introduce the horse to the voice aids and to respond to Walk, Trot, Canter and Stop/Stand/Whoa reliably and consistently. Once this has been achieved we will then introduce a saddle and bridle and do the same thing long-reining. Once these 2 stages have been successfully negotiated the horse is ready to take a rider. These initial stages can take a matter of minutes or weeks depending on the horse. So, for example, Clemmie above, had had a really poor experience with humans and had bucked the last one off so it was 4 weeks before she was ready to ride. On the other hand the Trakehners took just a day each for each stage and were taking a rider on day 3.
Once the horse has accepted the rider, it is then a matter of acclimatising the horse to the outside world and this stage can be as long or as short as you want depending on your requirements. Some people want for the horse just to have accepted a rider and others want the horse to be bomb-proof. These questions are all discussed up-front with you so that everyone's expectations are understood and there are no nasty surprises. Of course it is impossible to say how long each stage will take but in general a horse with no particular history and used to being handled will be happily accepting a rider and being ridden out within a week. Thereafter it really is a question of how long is a piece of string?
Here are a couple of bits of feedback from recent clients:
"Delighted with both boys, Stephen. Have achieved more in five days with you "taking the reins" than five months with me dithering! Looking forward to taking them both to the Gerd Heuschmann Clinic this weekend where, I am sure, their training, to date, will be vindicated. Pictured here, Agincourt. Part-bred Trakehner by Elite Stalllion, Axis TSF ex Toujours (AA).", Jo Firoozieh, Letton
Cart training can be started as a yearling so the horse understands the basic elements. A week of light training is usually sufficient. Thereafter, a week at 1 1/2 years and at 2 years and if follow-up work is continued in-between you have a horse who will happily pull a cart for you for many years. This does not include the training of the driver of the cart which usually takes considerably longer than teaching the animal.
We do riding lessons in classical dressage for all levels. and ages. You must bring your own horse. We have plenty of space for parking and both an indoor and outdoor arena. We also have stables for your horse whilst waiting. We have no formal qualifications just years of practical experience. Biomechanical principles form the basis of our teaching for both rider and horse and chief amongst these is balance. Sounds obvious but it is very often overlooked by even experienced riders. It stands to reason that if you cannot balance yourself independently on your horse then clearly you are not free to ride but more importantly you will be hanging on to the horse in some way (usually via the reins) and thus more prone to falling off if unbalanced by a sudden movement of the horse. We have trained for many years in martial arts for which balance forms a fundamental principle.
"Katy took Toby out today and worked very well with him, she is so much more confident and competent. The work she has done with you has been invaluable. Her lessons with you combined with the care and lots of good assistance with her riding from the Pony Club as well has proved a really good combination of intensive one to one and group work. So good for her confidence." Ros Garratt, Hay on Wye
Less considered is how important balance is for the horse. Now the horse being 4-legged is inherently very stable (much like a table) but put a rider on him and ask him to move (when he has no idea remember of what is coming next) and you have the potential to seriously unbalance the horse. Apart from possibly falling over (actually quite unlikely unless you happen to be on a slippery surface), balance (or lack thereof) is PSHCHOLOGICALLY very destabilising for a horse. Think about it: if your primary means of defence is to run as fast as possible then not being able to run as fast as you can could mean you end up as dinner.
We approach each rider and horse individually, but irrespective of age or experience, start with the basic fundamentals. Once these are embedded many other things become much easier.
Please call for further information. Click here for our prices and terms and conditions.
A large part of our work consists in retraining horses once their soft tissue issues and any other underlying issues have been resolved. Finding the cause of poor performance or behaviour issues is complex but much can be achieved with retraining alone done sympathetically and with understanding. We successfully retrain remedial horses with these methods without any therapeutic intervention. Causes of behaviour are complex but it is amazing how very often the root cause of poor behaviour (and therefore often of performance) is a lack of trust and/or respect in the rider.
We use the tried and tested principles of Classical Equitation. They are (in order!):
The first 3 form a sub-group and the second 3 form a sub-group. Note that balance is not included as this is the fundamental principle which is the aim of all stages and is indeed the first element any good horseman will address not just in the horse but also the rider. If you are not balanced and in an independent seat you can never expect your horse to be balanced and not tense. This tension leads at best to poor work and at worst to lameness, KS, behavioural issues and more. The strategy is very simple but the getting there takes time and patience and sometimes takes strong intervention with a horse that has been allowed to get away with, for example, not listening to the leg, that actually he must listen to the leg. When he does the aids will get more subtle and lighter. Our job as riders is to focus on our seat not our hands and to learn to be always in balance and not to be interfering with our horse's balance. This is neither the hard knocks school of learning nor the sweet and sugar one. A horse is a large and potentially dangerous animal and it is paramount that she respects her human rider and does what she is reasonably asked. For that our duty is to communicate clearly, consistently and with feeling knowing when to intervene and how to intervene in order to teach your horse what you are trying to communicate.
Horses can stay for a week, a month or be stabled permanently with us. We are BD affiliated and can train horses currently to Elementary level. Please contact us for further information and rates with yor requirements.