Questions & Answers

Proper training for both horse and rider is very important for us at Adgor riding stables. Our team has developed a training method which is very safe for the horse as well as for the rider, especially when it concerns untrained horses and horses with behavior problems.

Our ultimate goal is a horse which is harmless to the human both during groundwork and under saddle. A horse which respects the human but at the same time does not fear him, neither any object around it. Only after this demeanor is visible can we speak of a true partnership.

The training of the rider and the horse follows three progressing levels in our training system. Which level can be attained depends on the owner of the horse and the amount of time he is willing to allow for his horse to undergo training.

Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding our training program:

1. What can you do for me and for my horse?
2. Does this fit my horse?
3. What about me? My gear is different from yours.
4. You are practicing a different horsemanship from me. How can you be of use to me?
5. How much time does it take?
6. What elements does the training consist of?
7. What is the sequence of the training stages?
8. I have just a very minor problem with my horse. How many training lessons would be necessary?
10. Wouldn’t my horse become slow and lazy? I like him the way he is –vigorous!
11. But in the discipline that I ride in (dressage, obstacle jumping, etc.) we practice exercises, different from yours.
12. Do I have to participate?
13. Do you guarantee that you would teach my horse all the skills I see in your video clips?
14. Once the horse is trained does the result stay for life?
15. How do you train horses?
16. Can we skip the groundwork?
17. What are the conditions to begin the training?
18. Who will teach my horse?
1. What can you do for me and for my horse?
It depends on what you need.

We work both with unbroken and trained horses (of all breeds and types).
We can achieve different levels of training with your horse – from basic skills, necessary for confident riding and mutually pleasant communication, to the level of finesse in groundwork and under saddle.

We can also help you with the elimination of bad habits like biting, bolting, pushiness, invasion of personal space, bucking, rearing, not stopping on cue, shying as well as many other bad habits. All the bad habits a horse has are formed either from fear, lack of respect, or a combination of both. At Adgor riding stable we understand that and work especially towards the elimination of the reason (fear or lack of respect) in the horse. When this is accomplished the bad habit (biting, rearing, etc.) disappears on its own.

2. Does this fit my horse?
The training program for horses developed in Adgor riding stables is fit for any horse, of any breed, age and discipline, including:
- dressage, show jumping, western disciplines, endurance or just Trail riding,
- Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Trakehners, ponies, Friesians, Haflingers, Karakachan horses or any cross-breeds,
- Small, young, adult or aged,
- Unbroke or experienced,
- Mares, stallions or geldings.
Really, it fits them all.

3. What about me? My gear is different from yours.
In Adgor we apply practical Western riding. We also work with this type of gear.
This does NOT imply, however, that you have to change yours. A well-trained horse is a well-trained horse under English saddle, Western saddle or bareback.

4. You are practicing a different horsemanship from me. How can you be of use to me?
It does not matter what riding discipline you practice, you either way need a horse that:
- is confident, but with 100% obedience
- is without bad habits
- follows subtle cues
- easily approachable for grooming and other care
- patient, responsive and trusting towards the human
All that can perhaps be described best with these three words:
CONFIDENCE, FINESSE, PLEASURE
These things are universal.

5. How much time does it take?
It depends. Every horse is different – they study and memorize with a different pace. Usually, in most cases, it takes between one to three months for the horse to pass the first two levels of the training program.


6. What elements does the training consist of?
The training can be theoretically split into three parts: groundwork, horse breaking, work under saddle – training in practical riding and Western riding, elimination of bad habits and problematic behavior.

7. What is the sequence of the training stages?
The horse is a herd animal and it trusts the leader and relies on him, even if the herd consists of only the horse and the human. This is why we begin with groundwork in order to build a relationship and a hierarchy, exceedingly necessary for training the horse further under saddle/or, initially – for horse breaking. It is important for us to help the horse gain confidence and become less reactive, but at the same time acknowledge our position as leaders.

Colt starting is a term used for the first training lessons of the horse under saddle. It is connected to the process of building habits that are harmless both for human and horse. A well-trained horse shows trust and respect for the handler without fearing him. Colt starting is a natural part of the horse’s training and development process.

Subsequently work under saddle develops and perfects the skills of every saddle horse. It aims the growth of mutual trust, understanding and partnership. It is the basis for the development of the abilities of any horse as well as training in the areas you choose.

Correctly performed groundwork and work under saddle assures the elimination of bad habits and problematic behavior, because it removes the reasons for it – the horse’s lack of respect and/or fear.

8. I have just a very minor problem with my horse. How many training lessons would be necessary?
Usually it is not possible to work exclusively with the given problem. Behind the problem there always lie two basic reasons – the horse’s lack of respect, fear or a combination of both. This calls for a complex solution to any kind of a problem, even if it is just a minor one. Since every horse has its own individuality, best to arrange a meeting to discuss the particulars with the trainer in Adgor.


9. Wouldn’t my horse loose it’s personality through this training?
The training is based on methods, which take into account the individuality of each particular horse, using it’s strong points and eliminating the negative.

10. Wouldn’t my horse become slow and lazy? I like him the way he is –vigorous!
The training as it is aims for you to have a horse, which:
- reacts without delay to the given cue
- does not take the initiative to decide instead of you what it does at the given moment
- works in partnership with you, that is, thinks and takes the responsibility for performing the task at hand

In other words, everyone would want a horse that responds quickly and gives you his trust and respect.

11. But in the discipline that I ride in (dressage, obstacle jumping, etc.) we practice exercises, different from yours.
It is quite possible that it is so. Our goal is not to train the horse for all possible disciplines and exercises that a human can invent for it, but to turn the horse into your partner, who will work with you on terms of trust, respect and responsibility.
The flexibility and ease of aids as well as the “tools” for handling potential problems you will obtain would help you build up in the discipline and exercises which you practice.



12. Do I have to participate?
It is almost certain that you’ll have to. For a better and longer partnership it is advisory for the owner to be present during the training of the horse. This will help the owner to understand and assimilate the methods, as well as learn to observe and analyze the behavior and reactions of the horse, to obtain the skills and horse savvy which can be applied in the communication, training and partnership with the horse.

13. Do you guarantee that you would teach my horse all the skills I see in your video clips?
We guarantee that the horse would be calm and confident during groundwork and riding, that it would be safe to handle and would respect the human. The horse would react on fine and subtle aids. It would uphold the desired gait and direction and stop on cue. You would have all the necessary “tools” to handle unpredicted situations. The level which the training would reach, however, depends on the amount of time and consistency with which the training lessons are held, as well as the personal characteristics of the animal.



14. Once the horse is trained does the result stay for life?
A short answer to this question is: it depends on you. We would by all means with patience and consistency construct the desired behavior patterns. But if after the training in Adgor the horse would be taught opposing behavior patterns, the horse would switch to them. This is why constancy and consistency in practicing the right methods after the training in Adgor is over, is of such great importance. But the good news is that the acquired foundation would allow a quicker “return” to the behavior patterns taught in Adgor.



15. How do you train horses?
The training in Adgor is based on Natural horsemanship methods derived from the customary horse relationships in the herd. Using those natural inclinations and our training methods, we work on building trust and respect between the horse and the human, which are not based on fear. Every exercise from the ground and from saddle is up built from the preceding one until the desired result is accomplished. This way we can easier attain finesse and calmness in a horse, because it understands easier when we use a known ‘language’ for ‘speaking’ with it.
The main elements we accent on in Horse training are:
- Leadership
- Respect
- Trust
- Partnership
- The understanding (of the rider/owner) of the psychology, behavior and reaction of the horse


16. Can we skip the groundwork?
No. Everyone does groundwork with the horse, but not everyone realizes it. This is why there are so many mistakes made which put the human on the wrong side of the relationship ladder. But the horse – it learns from everything. It learns both good and bad behavior.

With or without bad behavior, groundwork is part of the daily training routine and communication with the horse. Groundwork is the foundation for everything else and that is why it is of key importance for this foundation to be correct and stable.

Every communication with the horse is a form of training – when we lead the horse in and out of the stall, when we put on and take off the halter, when we groom it, when we tie and untie it, when we want to lead it, etc. we actually teach the horse how to behave around us.

Moreover, the discipline the horse learns doing groundwork contributes to the success of further training.

Realizing the importance of this type of work, we can teach the horse many things – to come when cued and to follow, to move forwards, backwards, sideways, to turn in a way we desire, not to fear different sounds and objects, to move at a walk, trot or gallop when cued, as well as many other things.

The highest form of trust and partnership attained through groundwork is the performance of exercises offline.

Groundwork greatly contributes to both prevention as well as curing of bad habits or bad behavior of the horse. Groundwork can be applied to all types of horses, for all disciplines, for both young and mature horses. And in case of a young horse which has not been started, groundwork prepares it to accept the saddle pad, saddle, and bridle as something normal and unintimidating. It prepares the horse for the future cues, thus during breaking, the horse already knows what the rider expects and wants from it.

Groundwork is essential for a harmonious relationship with the horse. Besides teaching the horse it also teaches the human. It teaches a better understanding of horse psychology and behavior, as well as apt behavior and analysis of the situation. The horses have very well developed instincts and are intuitive and sensitive. This is why they change their behavior according to the emotions around them. The horses teach us patience and constancy, without which we would never be able to communicate and work with them beneficially.

Groundwork can be fun and at the same time will help to get to know the horse better and to create a lasting bond with it. Once the horse is trained, and he is using the ‘thinking’ and not the ‘reactive’ side of the brain, groundwork is not necessarily needed. But if the horse is high-spirited, did not work for some time, or shows behavior which is not desirable, it is advisory to use certain groundwork exercises which would safely lead him back to using the ‘thinking’ side of his brain, and thus returning the partnership before mounting for a ride.



17. What are the conditions to begin the training?
For every particular case of training there should first be a consultation appointment, clarification and discussion of the desires of the client, the problems and the tasks for their solution.


18. Who will teach my horse?
The training in Adgor riding stable is conducted by a team, lead by a qualified specialist with many years of international experience in working with horses, who practices and develops the art of Natural horsemanship in Bulgaria.

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