Students work on training horses in their Training I class at Meredith Manor, a horse training school.

Training I

Students in horse training class at Meredith Manor.

Course Name: Training I

Prerequisites: None

Training I develops an awareness of techniques used to train horses. The characteristics of horse temperament and physical capabilities are considered as students are introduced to each aspect of basic training as applied to "training colts". After students learn the fundamentals of training, they determine training schedules for horses in the disciplines of Western, Dressage, and Jumping and become aware of the importance of a carefully executed program for the successful training of a young horse.

Weekly Topics:The basic content of the Training Program is presented in Training I.

Week 1. Turn-out Procedure: Body influence and position; safety corner; safety
Week 2. Assessing Level of Training and Condition of Horse: Responses to Handling – grooming & leading; Reaction to Pressure – moving into & away from; General Condition – physical & mental
Week 3. Heeding: Proper Equipment; Body Position and Influence; Corridor of Aids; Setting a Cadence; Setting a Length of Stride
Week 4. Grooming: Graining the Horse’s Trust; Developing Communication Appropriate Passive Restraints; Correct Use of Equipment
Week 5. Pre-Lunging: Proper Procedure; Introduction to Shape; Positioning for Safety; Introduction to Equipment – surcingle, lunge line, lunge whip, bridle/drop nose band, saddle, side reins; Balance; Rhythm; Relaxation; Beginning Obedience to Aids
Week 6. Introduction and Use of Equipment: Introducing New Equipment Piece by Piece; Using Familiar Shapes to Develop an Acceptance of Equipment
Week 7. Mounting: Techniques for Keeping Horse Calm and Trusting; Developing Camaraderie
Week 8. Mounted Training: Selection of Equipment Appropriate to Riding Discipline; Introduction to Weight of Rider with Assistance of Handler; Development of Balance with Rider at Walk & Trot; Lunging with Rider – developing rhythm, developing relaxation, freedom of gaits, introduction of aids; Riding Free in the Arena – Following horse’s movement; Using Weight Aids
Week 9. History: Discussion of Eastern American, Western American, and European Riding Styles; Horse Industry in the United States
Week 10. Knots
Week 11. Bits
Week 12. School Mission and Policy; Exams

Performance Objectives:
Following successful completion of the Training I course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proper turn out procedure for training a horse including body position, and general safety
  • Assess the level of training and the mental and physical condition of a horse
  • Describe the elements of heeding including the proper equipment, body positions, corridor of aids, and setting cadence and length of stride
  • Demonstrate safe horse handling procedures for grooming; demonstrate safe pre-lunging including triangle position, moving a lung circle, walking a square, spiraling in and out, and positioning a horse on a circle
  • Describe techniques for introducing and using new equipment around untrained horses
  • Describe techniques for mounting a training colt
  • Describe techniques for mounted training including selection of equipment, introduction to weight, development of balance, lunging, and riding
  • Explain the similarities and differences between Eastern/Western American and European Styles of Riding
  • Demonstrate the use of knots for a variety of purposes
  • Identify bits and describe their function
Students work on trailer loading at Meredith Manor's horse training schools.

In order for students to acquire the knowledge and skills of Training I, the instructor will use a variety of teaching methods including: expository learning, discussion, extensive demonstration, & guided practice. All aspects of safety will be practiced throughout the course.

Students will be evaluated on their knowledge & skills through the following:

  • Mid-term exam
  • Final exam
  • Class participation, attitude, effort, & attendance

Horse Training Certification

Meredith Manor is far more than "just" an equestrian centre. Ron and Faith, I wish for just one moment you could feel the gratitude I have for you and what MM means to me. There will always be a little bit of my heart there. Thank you for such a wonderful education in many areas of my life!
Cynthia Moore Greene: 1992 Riding Master III Graduate