First 2 weeks
The first 2 weeks of your horse’s training is focused primarily on establishment of a firm Foundation in ground work beginning with basic and intermediate round penning techniques to establish communication skills with your horse. During this time your horse will advance to lead/lunge line exercises to learn the essentials of balance, collection, lightness and responsiveness in hand and respect for personal boundaries. Much emphasis will be placed on the development your horse’s awareness of and acceptance of humans as a trusted leader, responsiveness, manners and desensitizing your horse to various stimuli which may otherwise interfere with further training.
During the later portion of the initial 2 week period horses are started under saddle and taught basic suppling exercises and how to balance a rider under saddle at all three gaits comfortably. Next Level Horsemanship places a strong emphasis on the importance of a balanced program and the impact of mileage on improving the progress and success of your horses training.
3rd and 4th Week
Starting in the third week of training your horse will be trail ridden extensively and in combination with lessons in the arena for the remainder of the 1 month stay.
The second month of colt starting extends the Foundation training of your horse to intermediate maneuvers under saddle. During this stage of training emphasis is placed on further development of balance and guiding between the reins, shoulder control, isolation of body parts for independent movement, and teaching leg aids for obtaining basic lateral movements. Also during this time we begin to teach basic vertical flexion and introduce working off the hindquarters in anticipation of building impulsion from behind and collection with continued training.
Beyond Two Months
Beyond 60 days of training, emphasis is placed on further development of balance and responsiveness of the horse to each previous stage of training. At this time horses are beginning to mentally “package” what they’ve learned and are encouraged to become more responsive while further developing their athletic potential for specific disciplines. The routine will still combine a mix of trail riding and ring work as well to keep each horse mentally astute while developing their minds. Work on the trail will put into practice all skills learned in the arena and give your horse a reason to practice what he has learned. Loping in the fields will also help to develop not only his athletic potential but also his “rate” and “comeback” or throttle as he learns to maintain ‘in-handedness’ in wide open spaces. Trail work will also reinforce skills in lateral moves and waiting or hesitation as needed to maneuver around obstacles.
In the ring, new exercises are incorporated that further develop the hindquarters, suppleness, shoulder control with neck reining, and collection. Maneuvers such as stops, rollbacks, turnarounds, diagonals, leads and lead changes are developed as well as greater balance and guiding between the reins at all three gaits. Obstacles are also included at each level of training to develop curiosity and interest in daily training for each horse as well as to enhance the horses overall well-roundness and suitability as a riding partner.
Trick Training by Request
If requested we can include training for specific ‘tricks’ at any time in your horse’s training. Trick Training can have extremely beneficial results to your horse’s response to training and will never take away or distract from traditional training methods or interfere with specific training goals. By contrast, Trick Training will enhance your horse’s ability to learn in other areas of training by teaching submissiveness, politeness and promoting both mental and physical coordination. Often horses are more willing to learn and learn more efficiently following Trick Training. Specific techniques that can be added to your horses training include but are not limited to: the lay down, the kneel, the bow, the sit-down, hobbling, liberty work etc. Please contact Suzanne to discuss what options you may want to consider for inclusion into your horses overall training experience.
Next Level Horsemanship™
Improve Your Horse. Improve Your Life.