Sample Horse Training Progression

The following is a sample horse training program.

Basic Groundwork

  • Desensitizing
  • Yielding the hindquarters and forequarters
  • Backing
  • Circles with lots of change of direction
  • Flexing
  • Yielding to steady pressure (hindquarters,forequarters,backing,poll)
  • Squeezing between objects/fence
  • Pick up all 4 feet
  • Leading properly

Basic Riding

  • Desensitizing to tack
  • Flexing with the bridle
  • Standing still to mount/dismount
  • Responsive to “whoa and go” cues
  • Maintaining gait on a loose rein (walk, trot, and canter)
  • Backing
  • Staying on the rail
  • Yielding the hindquarters and forequarters
  • Vertical flexion

Stage 2 Groundwork

  • Circles (walk, trot and canter with transitions)
  • Backing through and over objects
  • Jumping
  • Sidepassing
  • Using 20+ft line
  • Shadowgames
  • All groundwork exercises at liberty

Stage 2 Riding

  • Vertical flexion (walk and trot)
  • Shoulder in/out
  • Hindquarter in/out
  • Counterbending
  • Sidepassing
  • Simple lead changes
  • Flying lead changes
  • Rollbacks

Stage 3 Groundwork

  • The groundwork exercises will focus on supporting the horses specialty.

Stage 3 Riding

  • The training program will start to focus on whatever specialty the horse will be going into (Reining, Barrels, Dressage, Jumping, Trail riding, etc).