The Stables at South Molton Horse Training Methods:

We believe training should be fun for both the trainer and the horse.  The goal is to have funUsing principles of natural horsemanship, our own experiences, and creativity we incorporate many tools and methods of communication into our everyday training.  We strongly believe there are no good shortcuts to training a safe, reliable horse.

We begin training each horse committed to the time it will take to achieve our goals.  We focus a great deal of time and energy in all phases of our training program on developing the horse's mind. For we believe that no matter what the rider's goals are in owning a horse, the rider's experience is always enhanced when the horse is able to maintain a positive attitude in the company of humans.

There are three key elements in our training methodology at South Molton:

  • Gentling the horses and developing trust
  • Teaching tangible skills essential for their use as a pleasure horse
  • Developing desirable habits and transferable training exercises

gentling and developing trust:

A foal’s first example of how to respond to humans comes from their mother.  The mare tells her foal how she feels about us the first time we approach them after they are born. To make sure the mare has good things to say we work hard to develop and maintain a relationship of trust and respect with them.

The horse’s training continues from that day forward every day we are around them for the rest of their lives. Our goal with every encounter is to reinforce the message that they can trust us not to hurt them and we demand their respected as they would respect a dominant member of the herd. To achieve this we must be consistent in the messages we send and take responsibility for their safety and our actions around them. By following these principle we develop the foundation needed for our horses to feel safe around us and trust our judgment as we introduce them to new things throughout their skill training.

Teaching tangible skills:

Our goal in skill training is to teach the horse a set of tangible skills that are transferable and valuable to a new owner.  We focus on each horse as an individual to develop a plan for training that allows them to realize their physical and mental potential.  All horses are taught a basic set of skills, however, assessing their individual traits we identify their strengths and weakness focusing on the skills that they will need most for the job they would do the best.

We assess the horse’s skills at the following four levels of training:

  • Pre-rider training and saddle training
  • Saddle 1: Elementary Saddle
  • Saddle 2: Experienced Saddle
  • Saddle 3: Advanced Saddle

The horse is assessed at each level after they can consistently perform each assessment point. These assessments help us identify areas that need improvement but just as importantly we can recognize their strong points allowing us to focus on the job they would be best suited for. 

For more information visit horses skill levels  or for individual horses our horses for sale page.

Transferable training exercises

We believe the highest risk time for a horse to develop bad habits is during the first year with a new owner. Undesirable behavior often forms from inadvertent digression training stemming from well intended human handling.

Here at The Stables at South Molton we believe the best method is preventing bad habits before they start in both horses and their owners.  During training we teach some basic practices and exercises that we can teach their new owners. These practices and exercises can be performed by anyone from beginner to advanced eliminating many of the most common problems people encounter with horses.

It is critical to us that our horses not only perform well for us, but that they perform well for you. This motivates us to focus on the transference and consistency of our horses during all stages of their training.