Do people not establish the basics anymore?


Well-Known Member
4 August 2010
I wouldn't disapprove of someone sending their horse away for training - that's what professionals are for; it's the people who think they are capable of teaching a green horse when they are completely ignorant themselves that cause most of the difficulties.
This is what i did with my youngster, i had someone else back her for me and have had the backing of my instructor with the ridden work ever since, i am no means a novice rider, however, i am not experienced with youngsters either.

I have spent the last 12 months working in walk and trot because i want to get the basics right, we do have the odd little canter out on a hack, or if we do some pole work which we have just started working on now.

My instructors philosophy is, get the walk right/correct and then the rest will be a whole lot easier for you and the horse.


Well-Known Member
16 October 2006
Herts, UK
I think a vast majority of riders these days sadly fall into the pull, point & kick category rather than being taught to ride correctly and in a balanced manner and there a many poorly schooled horses who don't have the basics established as a result.


Well-Known Member
14 August 2005
Yep, I think you're right there.

There seems to be a lot of people who buy youngsters but have no idea what to do with them, so they send them away for training/backing. I've never really understood why you'd buy a youngster if you don't want to/can't back it yourself. But that might be going off tangent a bit!
I bought mine because I was looking for a companion foremost and if she could be ridden then great.

But that's what I'm talking about. If people don't have time then why buy a youngster in the first place?

If/when I buy a youngster it's because I want to know what exactly has been done with them and who has done what. If I break them myself I know how it's been done and I know they haven't been shouted at or hit at any point etc.

Surely if you just want something that doesn't need to be backed just buy something already riding away?

Of course. I don't see it as a problem either. But sometimes I just struggle to see why someone would buy a youngster in the first place if they're not the one who is going to be doing the work. I completely understand what some people don't have the confidence/skill etc. to back and ride a youngster correctly, but surely it's just easier on everyone (horse included) if you buy a horse suited to your needs?

Even after the initial send-away period where a 'pro' might ride them for six weeks or so, there's still a hell of a lot of work to be done after that to ensure they're being taught how to go correctly.
It's very easy to overestimmate your skill or for confidence to send you flying.
I do still wonder whether I made the right decision buying my youngster but I love her and couldn't bear to part with her.
I was going through a tough time on a livery yard and even though I moved to a better livery yard, I still wanted a second horse so that I knew my horse had a companion regardless of what other's did with their horses.
My horse was only 8 at the time. I'd always dreamed of having a Welsh C but when I was looking, the ones I saw were out of my budget but I needed a native as mine lives out. I found a New Forest pony, 3 yrs old. She was sharp but that was ok.

As I've spent time with her and we've worked through many confidence issues, I was wary of taking the next step with her. A couple of falls also knocked my confidence to the point that I was nervous getting back on a horse I'd competed the year before. Then I became ill and looking after one horse was a struggle, never mind two so it was the ideal time to send her for backing and I told them to take their time.

I got a pony back that could walk and trot, the lady was very patient and professional with her, they were starting to canter and they would go over ground poles to give her something to think about.

My nerves were still flayed, my pony has had the winter off and I'm trying to get back into it but I might put her back to the pro if I can to get her started again. I've been taking weekly lessons to boost my confidence/try to get me into a routine so that I can cope with an hours riding as there's no point gettig the pony going if I can't ride her.

I have a few things contributing to my young horse not being ridden but at the time I bought her, I thought I had the experience to back/bring her on as I did my previous one. I severely miscalculated but I am glad I sent her away as it helped her to mature.

Where I am currently having my lessons, I'm loving it as it's taken a while to find an instructor that will let me walk for 30 minutes and help me to re-establish my leg position, hands, head, shoulders etc. I've spent one lesson cantering, and that was after weeks of working on my position in walk and trot and working on the horse holding herself together. None of this pulling the horse in, but working from the legs.
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