First Steps

It’s always an honour to be invited to help guide the first steps as a riding horse, as the quality of these experiences can literally effect the rest of your horse’s ridden career.

Often the challenges many young horses face can be as large as they are unnecessary, as this dream team Sarah and her warm blood CG have demonstrated by giving him the information he needs to feel confident and comfortable in carrying his human.

Many horses get sent away to professional horse breaker who will often tell the horse to Shut up and get on with it. This causes the horse to tolerate the experience but in many cases completely shut down. The challenges with this approach are often that the horse will tolerate the “professional” but not the owner, and foster a pessimistic connection to their owner, as they are not the feeling they got used to carrying first.

Or my least favourite learning disabilities; this is when the horses has developed a habit of shutting down (going inside themselves when introduced to new thing). Insecure learners often struggle to master the simplest things or appear to master them one day but have completely forgotten them the next. 😭😩😤

This is of course very distressing for your horse and massively frustrating and in many cases frightening for the owner, who only wanted the best for their young horse in the first place.

If this sounds like you or you’re thinking about starting with a beautiful blank canvas horse, it can truly be the most rewarding and magical experience but it’s important to have a Genuine Horse Development plan in place.

  • Step one – Explore the Art of Horsemanship, learn how your horse learns so that you understand how to give him all the information he needs to stay calm and optimistic in any situation.
  • Step two – Discover the Art of Academic Groundwork. Teach your horse to come to the hand and understand and appreciate contact. The framework of the aids directional and non-directional in at least two tempos.
  • Step three – The Art of In-Hand. The horse learns to move between the reins, carrying the weight further back, lift the parts of their body we want to sit on and experience the human body in dialogue at different tempos, from both the inside and the outside of the bend.
  • Step four – The Art of Academic Lunging. Often working on a diamond gradually increasing the distance between you and your horse until he is able to change balances and find shape less and less aided by you. What is his natural Vs learned ability to master his balance both physically and emotionally whilst accepting the equipment required to carry you ie stirrups/saddle etc.

Then The Magical First Ride can begin…….

With the most advanced groundwork person you can find to support your horse, gradually start adding the weight of a rider as a passenger whilst staying in dialogue with the person on the ground, then gradually teach the horse to follow the seat aids until the groundworker is no longer required for the horse and rider to stay confident and balanced in all 3 gaits.

Remember many horses are still growing until they are 7 years old so please don’t rush, take your time, enjoy the process and of course get creative and enjoy your fabulous blank canvas horse.❤️🦄

For more information on Genuine Horse Development or to register your interest in the course for 2023, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *