This trail walking / hiking challenge is meant to be a long term program to did deep into the communication skills and relationship between horse and handler.
The end of the program will be a walking in our neighborhood Winter Parade of Horses in December.
There will be regular classes that will address physical skills, how we learn as humans, how horses as a species learn, and how to address your horse’s particular personality.
There will be smaller challenges. Some challenges may be as small as walking your horse around unfamiliar places on your property. Another milestone before our neighborhood parade walk is going to be a hike down the entire length of the gravel road our farm is on (aprox 2 miles).
The point of these challenges and goals is to have a reason to apply good ground work, and even dip into liberty work. Develop skills to keep horse and handler safe in various situations. Walking or hiking with your horse is a good way to develop a base fitness level before riding work. It is also a great way to develop a relationship.
Activities and classes will happen here at Starting Point Equestrian.
- Classes will start in September. The frequency is undetermined at this time, but will probably be offered twice a month, once on a Saturday and once on a Sunday. Each class will repeat some of the previous classes content but will also offer new content to build on.
- The class hike down our road should probably happen late November.
- Our winter parade is towards the end of December.
This class will not follow one particular training method or dogma. However, the teaching style will be that of attunement, and learning to understand and work with a horse’s nervous system, and understand what a horse is and is not. We’ll be examining methods from several different trainers, but none will be of the dominance based methods. We will also not be dipping into food based positive reinforcement methods.
We will also be referencing the natural behavior of horses as well to help keep our minds balanced.
Our farm has a small indoor arena, with internet access and a large screen TV for viewing learning videos and presentations. There is also a bathroom.
We have 10 acres with obstacles, and a large outdoor arena.
We also have a few small holding paddocks for haul-ins for the class.
- Good, comfortable walking shoes. Whatever keeps your feet protected if they get stepped on, and keeps your feet happy while walking for long periods of time. I have been stepped on in riding boots and have gotten injured, so to me a sturdy athletic shoe will give just as much protection.
- A halter (preferably a basic, stiffer, rope halter).
- A good lead rope (preferably one made of yacht rope without a snap).
- A whip for in-hand work (dressage whip length).
- Thin comfortable gloves might be valuable but that is a personal decision.
- You are welcome to wear a helmet if you have any concerns.
- A snack and a drink.
- A binder for print offs or note taking.
While you can miss a class or two, please make this a commitment for yourself, the horses and your class mates. There will be a degree of accountability if you find you get unmotivated to practice what you are learning.
$15.00 per class / class will last about 2 – 2.5 hours. Class will be a mix of classroom type learning (video, presentations & lecture) and hands on with the horses. You will be responsible for getting *practice time in between classes.
There will be an maximum of 12 openings.
Starting Point EQ has 5 school horses (3 horses and 2 ponies) that can be ‘claimed’ for this programs duration, by current active riding lesson students (September through December).
Participants with their own horses can haul-in for each class, or can haul-in for a few of the classes and just bring themselves for the other classes.
Students should be old enough / mature enough to be interested in the classroom discussions, and to have minimal supervision for ground work. Suggested minimum age would be about 13, and highly motivated to learn.
Students should be healthy enough to complete the 2 mile walk that the two neighborhood walks will be.
*Regular weekly lesson students of Starting Point Equestrian can have ‘barn time’ weekly to come out and practice ground work skills.