Welcome to the horse training page - the core business of Serendipity
The training system
Over time we have developed a unique system by hybridising the most effective aspects of various contemporary and traditional techniques, combined with our own experiences. The result is a non-aggressive training programme based on 2-way communication between handler and horse. By listening to the horse the trainer is able to establish a relationship and design a training programme tailored to his specific personality. As training progresses the owner will be encouraged to become increasingly involved, allowing the trainer to focus on the relationship between horse and owner; this will often include instruction in a variety of techniques both on the ground and in the saddle designed to enhance confidence and promote communication.
Almost without exception, 'problem' behaviours arise from poor communication between horse and owner. Commonly an owner will fail to understand more subtle indicators of pain or emotional discomfort, forcing the horse to resort to more extreme measures to convey a message. For this reason the trainer will begin by asking for a detailed history of the horse and will then carry out a thorough assessment of the horse, focusing particularly on musculo-skeletal problems and indications of poorly fitted gear. It is common for horses to be treated with a variety of complimentary therapies or remedial farriery to address these issues before any corrective training begins. The most appropriate treatment obviously depends upon the horse - frequently we will use a combination of therapeutic massage and cranio-sacral therapy. We may also recommend the use of Natural Balance farriery or call on the services of an external specialist, such as a chiropractor or Bowen therapist. In more extreme or complex cases we may suggest this is done in consultation with a vet.
What sort of service can I expect?
Before you bring your horse:
- We will discuss your horse's history and your expectations - sometimes a simple phone call is enough to sort out a problem
- You will be welcome to visit Serendipity to see the training systems in action
- We will agree on an approximate fee and book the horse in - typically allow 2-4 weeks for an opening
- You will be asked to ensure that worming is up to date and that teeth and hooves are in suitable condition
Private or group lessons available on your horse/pony for dressage, jumping, groundwork and all levels of communication.
Many people like to have something to follow up when their horse/pony has been at a trainer and many trainers do not provide this. Not only do we provide this but we recommend it for the continued communication and partnership with your equine partner.
Arriving at Serendipity:
- We will carry out a thorough assessment, looking for signs of discomfort and behavioural issues
- If corrective therapy is required, this is likely to begin immediately; if external expertise is needed, we will discuss the options with you.
- The trainer will usually begin by assessing the horse in the round-pen. A channel of communication is established by 'listening' to the horse's body language and reciprocating using the trainer's own body, establishing the trainer's leadership without the need for physical contact. In this way we take advantage of the natural herd behaviour of the horse.
- Each horse is unique, so their training schedule will be designed accordingly. Key principles include a focus on horse and rider communication and safety, which usually begins in the controlled environment of the round pen. As communication develops the horse will also be worked in more stimulating environments in the arena, around the farm and along the road.
What is expected of me as an owner?
- You will be welcome to observe the initial training process, but as time goes by your involvement will probably become important. It is essential that we ensure the on-going effectiveness of the training by making sure you also have good communication and understand his various quirks. The level of involvement varies, but may simply be a question of going for a ride with a trainer; this is also important for quality assurance - letting us know you are happy with the work that has been done.
How much will it cost?
- Good question. The final cost will depend upon the time spent in training and whether any additional services were required. However we can usually give you a fairly good indication of time and cost over the phone. We pride ourselves on offering the most competitive professional training services around and strongly encourage clients to shop around to determine this for themselves.