With over twenty years experience and having started over 1000 horses, Jason’s main love is starting young horses and ponies and giving them the best start to their ridden careers. Much in demand by studs, professional and amateur riders alike, Jason provides exceptional results in a short space of time. Whichever term you use, be it starting, colt starting, breaking in or horse breaking, Jason’s horse training program allows each horse to be treated as an individual at the same time as ensuring horse and rider have the best possible chance of success in their chosen discipline, be it Grand Prix dressage, eventing racing or hacking.

Horse Starting Program

Jason’s process for starting young horses (or breaking in) has evolved over the many years that he has worked with horses, both young and mature. Sessions of groundwork are seen as the preparation to ensure a smooth transition to the horse’s ridden work. The first rides are undertaken in the safe environment of a round pen before being taken into the arena where “forward” and “direction” are key. Once the horse is settled and confident, longer rides alone and in company around the farm, woodlands and lanes become the next stage of the process. After four weeks, we highly recommend a break of at least two weeks for the horse to allow him to process the learning he has undergone and refresh him for the consolidation and hand over phase of the starting, or horse breaking in process.

By the end of the six weeks we aim to produce horses that are safe and confident with the foundations in place for a successful ridden career in any given discipline, and that:

  • Are quiet and well mannered to handle, tie up, lead, load
  • Stand still to mount and unmount
  • Walk, trot, canter in the arena looking to develop suppleness, balance and rhythm
  • Hack alone and in company in open fields, woodlands and lanes (exposed to traffic)
  • Canter through open fields
  • Open and close gates
  • Jump small natural obstacles and show jumps
  • Are desensitised to various objects being carried by the rider

Horse ‘Breaking’ versus ‘Starting’

Jason uses the term “starting horses” as he feels this is the best way to describe the process of giving horses the correct foundations on the ground and the preparation for riding. Commonly used terms such as horse breaking, breaking-in and backing tend to conjure up an image of the human forcing the horse to cooperate rather than working with the horse and his natural behaviours in order to teach him acceptance of a rider.