t: 01497 851764
m: 07794 935590 (Stephen)
07749 391714 (Julie)
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