Faq's

Please note that any training times given are average times only as each horse is different and may require more or less training time than indicated. These are to give a guideline only.

How long will starting my horse take?

With horse starting, the average time from start to finish is 4 weeks. That is a good average regardless of whether your horse has had a lot or very little handling. After that period of time you can usually expect the following to have been achieved with your horse:

  • Horses are taught to be very respectful on the ground, plus they will yield through the hind quarters and forequarters, have a soft back up and know the groundwork exercises Fred likes to put in place with every horse he works with.

  • Horses will tie up solid and be used to being hosed off/saddled ect while solid tied.

  • Horses are taught to stand still to be mounted, and stand still whilst mounted.

  • The mouthing system Fred uses produces a soft, light mouth with fantastic "brakes", back up and one rein stop.

  • Horses are taught to turn on the forehand and to open gates.

  • Horses are ridden out and about here on the farm, through the dam, over bridges and out on the road. Horses are exposed to lots of different traffic including trucks and motorbikes, plus different animals including kangaroos and dogs. Fred can also take horses to outings if required.

  • Horses are ridden out by themselves and also behind and in front of another horses and in groups of horses.

  • Fred likes horses to accept and soften to contact, to also work on the buckle and be relaxed on a totally loose rein, and to stop to seat.

  • Horses for starting and ridden re education are all taught to leg yield and to be very light off the leg, and will know a few steps of walk pirouette.

  • Fred stock whip trains the horses from the ground and under saddle.

  • Horses are taught to walk, trot and canter with correct leads and are confident and consistent with all transitions and in all gaits.

  • Horses are all float trained and taken for drives around the roads. Horses can be taught to self load on the float if required, provided they have enough floating experience.

  • Your horse will come home with a very good basic education and will be confident and happy to start his/her career at home.

How long will re-educating my 'problem horse' take?

We allow around two weeks for addressing behavioral problems. Training will include re-mouthing for better control over evasions, teaching to leg yield to help with engagement and then time for lots of riding out to address the problem. It also includes time for a handover period with the owner, which we insist on with any re-education horse that we accept.

How long does re-educating a standard bred/OTTB horse take?

This is normally a similar process to re-educating any horse, so allowing two weeks is generally enough time.

How long does re-mouthing take?

Re-mouthing a horse, depending on the reason why and any associated issues, normally takes between one and two weeks.

How long will leg restraint training take?

We normally like to allow a week for leg restraint training a horse. Each horse can respond differently so it’s best to allow a week as there is other ground work involved to set the horse up for leg restraint training.

How long does general handling take?

General handling includes the following training: halter breaking, desensitizing, leading, leading off another horse, tying up solid, leg restraint training, learning Fred’s ground work exercises and float training. We normally allow for between one and two weeks training time to achieve all of this, depending on your horses temperament and previous history.

How long does float training take?

We like to allow a week for float training as there is other ground work that needs to be put in place other than just float loading. Time frame depends on the reason why the horse is being difficult to load so we will advise on each individual horse upon booking in. Once Fred has had a training session with your horse, he will be able to give a guideline as to how long he feels the horse will need. We also require you to allow time for lessons with your horse here before he goes home.

 

NB: As mentioned at the top of the page, these training times are to be used as a guideline only. Every horse is different and may respond differently to training. Having said that, we don’t like to waste anyone’s money so will always advise as to when your horse is ready to come home, regardless of the time he has been booked in for.

Can my horse be rugged while he is staying?

Yes, we are very happy to rug, and your horse will be un rugged every day, weather permitting. We are happy to rug clipped horses and show horses with a reasonable amounts of rugs. As above, please label all your horses rugs clearly.

Do my horses teeth, worming and vaccinations need to be up to date before he comes?

We ask that your horse be up to date with teeth, worming and vaccinations for tetanus and strangles before he comes to us. If you are having trouble worming your horse, we can do that here upon arrival.

 Please see our Training Form for more information on this.

What will my horse be fed?

Blakehurst has good pasture for paddocked horses plus we feed lots of good quality locally grown hay and hard feed which is included in our rates.  
For special dietary requirements please contact us to discuss. We find that all the horses do very well on the feed we provide and we pride ourselves on having horses go home looking better than when they arrive!

What do I need to bring with my horse?

If you would like your horse to be rugged, please bring his rugs with him. If your horse has never been rugged before, that’s fine as it will become part of his training to be rugged. Again, you will need to supply a rug for him. Please label any rugs clearly with your horses name. Some people use plastic label tags which work really well as they are removable and waterproof.

We ask that you don’t leave any head collars, lead ropes or other gear here as we can guarantee it will be lost by our kids or dogs. We have all the necessary gear for training, including bridles and bits, and we will spend time talking to you about any questions on bits or gear you may have while your horse is with us for training. If your horse is here for ridden work we will have you bring up your saddle and bridle in the final week of your horses stay so we can check on fit and also have the horse be used to being ridden in your gear.

Can I come and visit and watch my horse be worked?

You are welcome to come and watch your horse being worked. We do have some conditions on visits and require appointments to be made. Talk to us about visits when you book your horse in.

What happens if my horse needs veterinary care while he is staying?

We have a local equine vet that we use who offers an on-call service 24 hours a day. See our Training Form for more info about this.

My horse hasn't been float trained. How do I get him to you?

We recommend your horse come to us with a horse transport company. If local, Fred can be booked for an appointment to come and do some float training with your horse before he comes to us.

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2018 by Watkins Horse Handlers.