What do we mean by ‘backing your horse’? Well, at a top level it means to teach a horse to wear a saddle and bridle, and to carry someone on their back. However, there is much more to it than that. It is about positively teaching your horse to listen to your instructions when their tack is on and you are riding them and making sure that they learn not to be startled, bite, kick or become distracted by another horse or creature.
Backing, Breaking and Training a young horse is a delicate, time consuming and serious job, with a lot of training and experience required to learn to do it properly. At such a young age, if you rush the process, you can do a lot of damage to a horse. However, with the right support, guidance and information the Ross Dhu team can help you to make your horse feel relaxed, calm, and even enjoy the experience, all which help to build a mutual trust. Giving your horse the best start. There is no excuse when horse breaking to be cruel, and remember animals including horses are not born bad, they react to what we as humans do to them.
How do we do it?
We spend time bonding with your horse or pony, we never rush into breaking it in. It is very important to build up mutual trust, by understanding your horse’s moods, their normal behaviour and to be able to notice when something is wrong or doesn’t work for them. Helping your horse by spending time to get the basic commands understood is invaluable and will help greatly later in the backing training.
How much initial training is required, depends very much on the individual horse and the length of time they are with us for. As we work with your horse, we will start to gage what we are likely to achieve in a given time. However, it is worth mentioning that backing a horse, isn’t a quick process for example, it takes a few minutes at a time over several weeks for a young horse to get used to a bit, be introduced to a saddle, stirrups and leathers. This is even before we would consider putting someone your horse trusts on their back.
How Long does it Take?
There is so much more to owning a horse than the first backing, and to fully educate a horse is an ongoing process over many years. At Ross Dhu we are passionate about helping you to get off to a good start, with the basics being our priority to ensure the following years are enjoyable for you and your horse. We wouldn’t recommend less than four weeks, with six to eight being a realistic time for us to help you back your horse successfully. Several of our customers, also keep their horse on livery with us here for a year or more to really consolidate the work.
How Much does it Cost?
Realistically you get what you pay for. Cheap does not necessarily mean a bargain and if mistakes are made in the first stages the costs to repair the damage done can be substantial. We charge £180 per week which may seem a lot but if you consider that £80 is for the livery and £100 for the training which will consist of your horse being worked a minimum of twice a day 5 – 6 days a week, then this is very reasonable. When you purchase your horse, you may pay several thousand so it stands to reason that surely to ensure a correct start it is worth investing a few hundred towards their future career.
We at Ross Dhu Equestrian are very aware that the owner will need guidance and training to ensure that they can carry on the work started and we actively encourage owners to be present for training session and help them develop the skills required to continue the work when their horse goes home. We also include a full written report and video clips of the process to take home with you.
At Ross Dhu Equestrian Ltd, www.scottishhorsehelp.co.uk we have over 40 years of experience of backing horses safely and correctly and would be delighted to help you and your horse with this important learning curve. We pride ourselves in making this a memorable experience, which you will cherish for years together. Many of our customers tell us how they have learnt new skills, achieved personal growth and have a better bond with their horse.
“Thanks so much to the whole team at Ross Dhu for backing my big, 7-year-old Percheron boy. When Star went over to you last August he was an 800 kg, just-about-leadable, “special needs” horse with sweet itch that would sometimes bolt when he saw his own shadow – so quite the handful. After everyone at Ross Dhu did their patient, thoughtful work with him, he came back a much more balanced, confident horse that I could ride out with others on tracks and across open fields. You set him right and he has continued to make progress ever since. I am able to ride and lunge him now on my own in the school here and he is showing sense and trust that match his size. What is more, not only did Star learn from you – I did, too. Watching you all work and really supportive coaching from everyone has contributed to my developing the skills and confidence required to deal with him. He’s happier and healthier. I no longer feel like I’m walking a bomb on a string. You’ve changed our lives in the best way possible … thanks again!” Taryn Toro
For more information please feel free to call Morag on 01698 886 492 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.