Starting Young Horse Clinics
at The Icelandic Horse Farm
For many back-yard horse people, the thought of safely and effectively starting their own horse seems impossible. During a Starting Young Horse clinic however, amateur horse people of all skill levels take un-started 4 and 5 year olds through the steps of leading on the ground, to being ridden under saddle, in a calm low-stress environment.
Following the TTEAM Method steps of starting a young horse, with Connected groundwork incorporated where appropriate, participants learn the TTouch bodywork, TTEAM ground exercises through the “Playground of Higher Learning”, neck line and ground drive, work with plastic, and prepare horses to be backed, doing so safely, quietly, and respectfully for horse and handler.
Participants work in small groups and are assigned specific youngsters for the week. Each day notes and comments are made for each horse to chart progress and identify areas that need improvement. This gives groups a chance to follow their horse’s progression throughout the week, and often literally see horses go from barely leading, to being backed.
This clinic usually follows a less structured format. Due to limited patience capabilities of the youngsters, groups will focus on the needs of the horse, rather than repeating the same thing over and over again. At the beginning of each session Robyn demonstrates an exercise, before setting groups off to catch their horse. Each group will have an assistant teacher who will help guide them through the process, however creative thinking and problem solving is encouraged.
Older horses are often recruited for their patience for a couple of sessions so that participants can hone their skills and fine tune technique without overloading the youngsters. In addition to these sessions, there is usually an afternoon on handling young foals, introducing the concept of “haltering foals without trauma” and handling feet for the first time.
Participants find themselves really bonding with their horses in this clinic and having a real sense of pride seeing their “youngster” going through the plastic curtain or carrying a rider for the first time. This workshop is a great opportunity for anyone who would like a chance to start a young horse under expert supervision, with a safe, effective, forward thinking approach to horse training.