Horse Training

Adgor’s training program is suitable for horses of all breeds, age, and disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, reining, roping, endurance, or simply Trail riding. Our training methods not only correct the behavior of the horses, but also develop mutual understanding and trust between horse and rider. Thanks to which you’ll enjoy safe and peaceful communication with you horse. (How to communicate with your horse?) Our training is based on the Natural horsemanship methods. Natural horsemanship is a training philosophy and method, based on the horse’s natural instincts, behavior patterns, herd instinct, and individual qualities; in Natural horsemanship communication between horse and human is based on the natural communication principles in a herd. Many people face difficulties in communication and work with their horses due to lack of respect and an incorrectly set relationship hierarchy. People allow horses to nip with their lips and feed them from hand, which often grows into biting. This category of bad behavior may also include the horse turning his hindquarters towards you when entering the stall, or during groundwork, not respecting distance when being led, entering your personal space, pushing, etc. Another category of easily recognized problematic behavior includes biting, bolting, bucking under saddle, hard to bridle, starting and changing gaits at will, etc. Both categories of problem behavior in a horse are usually due to lack of respect and/or fear. After they are corrected by groundwork and proper work under saddle, we can enjoy safe and wholesome communication with the horse. The training can be theoretically divided into a few parts: groundwork, colt starting, work under saddle – training in practical western horsemanship, and elimination of problem behavior and bad habits.

The main elements we put an accent on during Horse training are:
- Leadership
- Respect
- Trust
- Partnership
- Understanding of the psychology, behavior and reactions of the horse To build a good, long-term partnership with the horse it is advisory for every owner to participate in the training of his 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 knowledge, which can be applied in the communication, training and partnership with the horse. For every separate training case we first schedule a consultation appointment to discuss and clarify the desires of the client, the problems and the possible tasks for their solution.
The training in Adgor riding stable is conducted by a team, lead by a qualified specialist with many years of international experience, who practices and develops the art of Natural horsemanship in Bulgaria.

Groundwork

Groundwork is essential for a harmonious relationship with the horse. It teaches a better understanding of horse psychology and behavior. The horses have very well-developed instincts and are intuitive and sensitive. This is why they change their behavior according to the emotions they feel around them. The horses teach us patience and constancy, without which we would never be able to communicate and work with them beneficially. The discipline the horse learns doing groundwork contributes greatly to the success of further training. Every communication with the horse is a form of training – when we lead the horse in and out of the stable box, 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 towards us. Everyone does groundwork with the horse, but not everyone realizes it. But the horse – it learns from everything. It learns both good and bad behavior. With or without ‘problem’ behavior, groundwork is part of the daily training routine and communication with the horse. 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 and curing of bad habits or bad behavior in a horse. Groundwork can be applied to all types of horses, for all disciplines, for both young and mature horses. And in the case of a young horse which is still unbroken, groundwork prepares it to accept the saddle-cloth, 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 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.

Working Under Saddle

The horse is a herd animal and trusts its leader, even when the herd consists of only the horse and the human. The relationship and the hierarchy that we already built through groundwork help with starting the horse under saddle. Colt starting is the term used for the first lessons of the horse under saddle. They develop behavior that is safe both for the horse and the rider. A well-trained horse shows trust and respect for the handler without fearing him.

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 natural part of the horse’s training and development process. 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 for training in the chosen areas.

An important part of training is to maintain a horse which stays calm, flexible and willing to work with you. At first it begins with small successes which should be rewarded and encouraged by the rider, in order for the horse to easier understand what is required of him.

The main aids used for controlling the horse are body weight and pressure applied with the legs and reins. We teach the horse to keep up the right gait, pace and direction with loose reins and minimal contact with the bit, halter or bosal. The flexibility we aim to encourage is necessary for a precise and subtle control over all the zones of the horse’s body. Thus we create a stable foundation of skills on top of which we can successfully build further the horse’s training and development. A well-trained horse is calm, has no bad habits, and is in harmony with the rider. A lot of patience, motivation and repetition are necessary to preserve the achieved results.

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