Elementary Saddle & Harness
The focus of this stage is on exposure, experience and responsiveness.
This stage is best for horses who are at least three (3) years old. The focus of this stage is on exposure, experience and responsiveness. For the horse to pass this training stage they must have a minimum of 50 safe riding/driving miles in a variety of environments and consistently demonstrate safe behavior. Training at this level includes walk-off, turning both directions, stopping, backing, traveling while under saddle with a rider and/or while harnessed/hitched to a vehicle. This stage focuses on improving the horse’s responsiveness to the rider’s hand, leg and voice cues, as well as, developing vertical and lateral flexion while under saddle. Practicing smoother and quicker transitions through the gaits (walk, trot and some canter), and reducing fear reactions while being ridden or handled. Horses at this level should approach new situations willingly when encouraged by the rider/driver. While in harness, this stage improves the horse’s responsiveness to voice commands such as gee and haw for example. In general, at the completion of this stage the horse is suitable for an experienced or intermediate rider or driver capable of continuing the horse’s training and development.