I am now back in the U.K. and almost halfway through the schedule. Starting the schedule in Lancashire we have since been in Scotland, The New Forrest, Cumbria as well as having the first intake of horses going home this weekend.
While in Cumbria last week I was lucky enough to be offered a ride in a Ferrari, this horse still prances and dances impressively. Many thanks to Tommy and Sally Spencer for their hospitality and the opportunity to be a passenger in this red horse.
I have included a horsemanship article below that I trust all will find informative.
When I first started, starting horses for the general public which was back in the mid eighties, horses where around 3 years of age with the odd 5- 6 year old. In recent years I have noticed a rise in the age of horses that are coming through the young horse intakes. In some cases these horses are 10 to 12 years or older in age with the average being 5 – 6 years of age. The horses are mixed from horses that have been started as 3 & 4 year olds then not ridden since, or are unable to be ridden because of bucking, not going forward or bolting etc, others have had injuries and not ridden for many years to now be deemed sound to ride. In many ways you could say that these horses are now not young horses but green horses, or in some cases, horses that are a serious challenge to ride.
While I appreciate that the above scenario is not ideal and these situations occur for many reasons, it would be better if they could be prevented. For many owners & riders once they have had their horse started it is almost a case of what happens next. In the U.K. I run a hand over course after every young horse intake to help bridge the gap between horse and rider. While I am supportive of riding these horses out and giving them a job to do, you still need to have a handle on your horsemanship both on the ground and in the saddle. Having observed this situation for some time now, offering a course for green horses was a possible solution.
Both in the U.K. and in Australia this course has been included in course schedules. While still not being a course for those with series ridden issues with their horses it is aimed to help those that have just had horses started or their “green” horse has been spelled for a period of time and they are now wondering how to get started again. If you would like more info on this course please email; [email protected] or [email protected]