If you want greater horsepower on the field, you need to start from the ground
We’ve used our groundwork methods at low goal polo and won 32 games out of 34 games in one summer season, even with using mainly green horses. Not every issue can be solved in the saddle as there is no ‘natural leadership’ – the relationship has to start on the ground. Trust is built up over a period of time using short sessions rather than rushing the horse which causes it to ‘lose the plot’ and overall trust.
If you have a problem, go back to the ground”
Our methods are ideal for re-schooling, bringing on green ponies or starting/backing horses. And you are as only as good as the quality of the equipment you use for training.
“Sets” only provide a level of cardio & muscular fitness, they teach very little else. Stick & Balling and chukkas (at whatever level) can sometime compound bad habits and dull the horse for competition. Using ground horsemanship ensures calmness, mental fitness, physical fitness and greater performance on the field.
Using leadership to achieve results
Whether you are a polo player, competitive rider in show jumping, dressage, eventing, showing, racing or leisure rider, our methods of leadership, psychology and training will assist you and your horse to achieve a better level of performance. As a competitive rider in any discipline, this will assist you get the edge through mental and physical performance for both you and your horse.
A nervous groom will produce nervous horses.
A sullen or violent groom will produce bad horses.
Opening a conversation with your horse ~ in a language that the horse understands
We aim to improve the life of the polo pony, sporting and leisure horse through educating the younger generation of horse owners, from Pony Club upwards, how to use lifestyle horsemanship to become better horsemen/women and therefore create happier and superior polo ponies/domestic horses.
We do not teach riding, but work in conjunction with the rider to assess the issues before showing you how to improve your horsemanship. There is no “quick fix”!
Partnership rather than domination
Horsemanship in the UK has become rather lost to the point of extinction under the dominating ‘training’ style of the BHS (think Thelwell cartoons and visions of children tugging unwilling ponies along behind them). With the changes to seasonal visas, the UK has less access to the knowledge of ‘true’ international polo horsemen. So who will the polo players/young riding and equestrian stars of the future have to turn to if they need help bringing on horses for their sport or leisure?
Some areas that typical horse issues might cover and be addressed using our methods are:
- Stopping and ‘collection’
- Head-shy / stick-shy / ball-shy
- Straightness & ducking out at penalty shots
- Ability to pivot
- Maintaining gait, direction and ability to chase the ball
- Issues with trailer or lorry loading
- Horses that are reluctant to have their feet picked up
- Fear of clippers
- Horses that are difficult to lead or barge in to their handler
- Mounting issues
- Tacking up issues
Learning how the horse perceives the environment
Whilst more ‘traditional’ methods may advocate sorting problems out by riding in the saddle, Equine Empathy understands that the majority of horse issues can be resolved through the relationship with your horse by working alongside him on the ground. Also, by being aware how the horse perceives the environment (including what/how is being ‘taught’ to him) you can avoid instilling problems inadvertently.
We provide an all-encompassing service for both competitive and leisure riders which will analyse:
- Appropriateness, comfort and fit of tack
- Appropriateness of the current bit in relation to the horse’s confirmation and mentality
- Fitness and ground exercises to attain maximum fitness for the horse
- Style and methods of fitness training for the horse
- Nutrition and feeding regimes for optimal performance of the horse
- The fitness of the rider in comparison to the horse
- The horse’s mental suitability to both its rider and its ‘job’
- Sports psychology and preparation prior to competition
- Promoting partnership/horsemanship to achieve peak competitive performance