The Training Process
During all training we actively seek up and downhill gradients to improve balance and rhythm. We do this work in trot and canter, which not only increases sure-footedness, it also rounds up the back and gets them off the forehand when ridden correctly.Not all cobs have a natural canter and maintaining this gait can be hard for them. We pay particular attention to ensure an understanding of what they need to do without worry or anticipation. We build confidence and dexterity with different leads systematically and carefully.
Cantering in open spaces sensibly and calmly doesn’t just happen; the horse needs to have trust in the rider. We take different positions in the saddle; we stand in the stirrups or take a more forward seat. They must learn this doesn’t mean gallop off. We carry a stick throughout their training. Our horses accept the whip, are never frightened of it and obey the signals that it conveys. These can be anything from going forward to moving over, from opening a gate to brushing the hedges as we go.
We routinely rustle the undergrowth because we know most horses are frightened of this until they accept that it’s part of their schedule. Their training wouldn’t be complete without teaching them to stand still whilst out hacking.
We routinely ask them to stand at road junctions and anywhere else we want to. This is an important lesson in manners, and discourages them from anticipating.
We also show them how to stand at a tie rail to be hosed off. This introduces our horses to the feel of water and when we ask them to walk through the deepest of puddles, they know how to do this too. The Cob Company training is a real process that cannot be hurried or demanded with a heavy-handed approach.
Each horse is ready in his own time. Trust is brought into every area and reinforced at every turn.
Our horses might have a future in dressage, jumping, local shows as well as hacking, but our training is the same. Our methods consistently produce horses that are confident and happy to work with their riders.
Every horse has a job to do, they just need to be shown how to do it!!
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