Starting Your Horse (With a Rider)

After building a good foundation on your horse with groundwork (*see bottom of page for references), your horse may be ready to carry a rider.

For a young horse, it takes a while for him to be able to move and carry a rider. He needs to get used to it; to build up his muscles. Take it easy at first. Make the sessions short and rewarding.

The following are some pictures of a young horse being started by David Lee Archer (website):

Haltering with a rope halter.

Pre-ride check:
Ask your horse to move his hindquarters,
both directions.

Lateral flexion, both sides.

Pick up the feet.

Lean on the horse.

Add more weight.

And a little more.

Be ready to go with the horse if he walks off.

Have a helper if necessary.

End on a good note!

* Foundation Training / GroundWork: