Horse Training

David is a Licensed Horse Development Specialist. He is qualified and endorsed by Pat Parelli to start young horses using the Parelli Method. All horses coming to The Horse Place are started solely by David, with Alison occasionally riding during the last week or two of their training.

Foundation Training horses are predominantly trained by David but Alison does take horses occasionally when her busy teaching schedule allows.

Young Horse Starting

A good start is not just something, it’s everything.

There are four stages to training a horse – taming, starting, foundation training then sport training and each stage must be completed before moving on to the next.

To tame a young horse you must first prove to him, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you are his friend and not his enemy. Pat Parelli says horses must go through four transitions before they are truly started under saddle. They are confidence, acceptance, understanding and results. The starting process is based on The Parelli Colt Start Skeleton seven steps:

  • 1. Accept the human as a friend
  • 2. Accept the human as a leader
  • 3. Accept the placement of the saddle
  • 4. Accept the cinch
  • 5. Accept the rider as a passenger
  • 6. Accept the rider as a guider
  • 7. Accept the snaffle (wearing it, follow it)

Steps 1 and 2 will be online and liberty, to start a communication gain trust, get the horse understanding and friendly enough to ride bareback in a walk with a halter and one rein. The bareback riding is an important step for the tameness of the horse and carrying a person.

Steps 3 and 4 cover the preparation for saddling and the saddling itself. For some horses it is quite difficult to wear a saddle, others don’t mind at all.David-&-Blue-First-Ride

Step 5 is riding the horse in all gaits without guiding, so the horse gets friendly about carrying a person in higher gaits and gives him enough respect to go forward. Passenger riding done well is the most important step for a good start for a horse. To prove to him, the human (rider), is also his friend in higher gaits and to wait until the horse is ready to be guided. That makes him confident and emotionally balanced, and as a result: safe horse at a young age. (When the reins are used too early braces are put into the horse).

Step 6 – Guide the horse, first with the halter, then the stick, together with the weight and leg aids. So horses can understand being guided with the whole body and not only the hands.

Step 7 – When the horse is emotionally settled during riding, the next step is to introduce the snaffle, just wear it to begin, and then the basic yields from the ground then ridden. The snaffle bit is a great tool when rider and horse are ready for it. If a customer doesn’t want to have their horse in a snaffle, This step can be taken out.

For some horses it is really difficult to accept the snaffle and it can take a while. Some manoeuvres are harder to get in a snaffle than in a halter or a rope around the neck! For example a back up.

Our recommendation is for a horse to spend four weeks at The Horse Place to be started, with handover lessons at the end. If the customer wishes, this time can be adjusted, anything from two weeks to six months and the handover also adjusted to meet their individual needs.

Usually young horses are ridden within 2-3 days for the first time. We do not consider an average horse really started until after fifteen good rides. We strongly urge you to think longer rather than shorter at this time. The best partnerships are founded when the horse is more solid. Please consider your circumstances for a lasting partnership. If you are a world class competitor, a shorter time is fine. If you are not as fit as you would like to be, have less riding hours than you think you should have, or are simply worried about riding a young horse, consider a longer time. After 4 weeks the price will reduce to the foundation training price.

The training goal with the young horse:

Easy to catch, halter, (bridle), saddle
7 games online, picking up feet, grooming, showering, tying,
Stand still for mounting
Riding in all gaits, lateral flexion, indirect rein, direct rein, back up, sideways,
Riding in the school, field, hacking
Loading, when wished by the customer

Every horse is an individual and is adjusted to accordingly

The most important (and difficult) rule for young horse starting, is not to put braces in the horse and make sure the horse sees it never as a contest.

It is still fascinating that a horses trust can be gained so much that we can ride them.

Price – £365 per week which includes training, livery and hand over at the end.

Owners are welcome to visit while their horse is being started.

Foundation Training

The Parelli method is a foundation training programme. However, working through the levels pathway with a horse with little or no foundation, or a horse with disruptive learnt behaviours can be a difficult journey. Sending a horse to a Parelli Professional for foundation training can accelerate your own progress massively.

David-and-Miss-P-Foundation-TrainingHorses who are in work but just a little green are suitable for foundation training but if your horse has any major disruptive behaviour issues or has been started but his education not continued, he may need a complete restart.

David will be able to advise which is the best training option for your horse.

Horses can be taken for foundation training for any length of time from three weeks upwards. For a restart the minimum time is four weeks.

Foundation Training – £315 per week for David and/or Alison to exclusively ride/play with your horse.

Restart – £365.00 per week

After four weeks training with David and/or Alison students can be offered a reduced rate of £200 per week for working students to play with the horse under David and Alison’s guidance.
This is subject to David and Alison being satisfied that the horse is safe and in a good place for experienced handlers to take them further.

All prices include training, livery and handover lessons.

What’s Happening


"There is something about this place where you can be immersed and surrounded by great horsemanship. Live it, breath it, watch it, feel it, getting away from usual distractions, and laughs, did I mention the laughing? I for one will be back many times."

Parelli website