Advice on problem behaviour and starting the young horse

People have problems with their horse’s behaviour for a multitude of reasons. Often problems begin with how the horse is handled as a foal, how they are weaned, and the way in which they are backed and introduced to the riding process. These problems can then be maintained or even exacerbated by the way in which the horse is handled and managed, and the types of training techniques employed in attempts to cope with or solve the problem.

My approach focuses on understanding the root cause of the problem, rather than tackling the symptoms head on. This leads to a longer lasting, more effective result.

Changing behaviour in a horse requires patience and understanding, and, most of all, dedication on the part of the owner/ trainer. Often it seems like it is the human’s behaviour that has to change, in order to help the horse. This can be a very empowering experience and an opportunity for personal learning and growth. I always aim for clients to go away feeling that they have learned skills that they can apply to every horse, and not just the one with the problem.

I also work with owners of young horses (from foals through to those ready for backing) in order to help prevent the development of problems. This involves regular lessons on groundwork and handling skills and equips the owner with tools that will help the horse throughout their life.