We take a limited number of horses per month to start undersaddle (maximum of four) – this is to ensure that all horses receive the time and attention from Scott that they need to ensure that every horse receives a thorough and well-rounded start.  Because getting the best start to your horse’s ridden education is so important to their future as a ridden horse we are pleased to be able to offer our Starting Undersaddle Program.


Regardless of the equine discipline the horse will go on to do; the process of starting of any horse under saddle involves getting them familiar and trusting about being handled by humans.  That trust is then built on to where the horse is accepting of saddles/tack and understands the aids that are required to ride and control its actions. Scott takes into account the horse’s need for self-preservation and their need to feel safe, comfortable and confident with their surroundings through giving the horse the leadership they need while being fair and consistent.


All horses are started initially in the round-pen, after a few rides they then move on to being ridden in the arena, then a large paddock.  Through the starting process the horse is exposed to a variety of different situations which benefits their mental and emotional development and installs more confidence in the horse.  Before your horse goes home it will be able to:


-   Be relaxed about being bridled and saddled;

-   Stand still to be mounted;

-   Walk, trot and canter on a casual rein in a relaxed fashion on a circle and out in a large paddock;

-   Be happy about taking contact with the bit;

-   Be good at having all legs/feet handled and picked up;

-   Understand leg yield/side pass/back up;

-   Be able to complete turns on the forehand and haunches.


We require owners to come and ride their horse at least twice prior to the horse going home.  This is to ensure that Scott can explain to you and demonstrate what he has been doing with the horse as well as guiding you through your first ride or two.  This also ensures that everyone is 100% happy with where the horse is at before it goes home.



Horses are required to be at our facility for a minimum of six weeks and are worked five days per week (Monday-Friday).  If the horse requires another week or two to build its confidence, or if you as the rider/owner want to have more rides under Scott’s supervision, we are completely flexible about the horse’s departure date to enable a length of stay that works best for both you and the horse. The large majority of people opt to come and ride towards the end of their horse’s sixth week and occasionally into the seventh week.  Scott will be able to discuss this in more detail with you during your horse’s stay with us. 




We encourage all owners to be involved in the starting process - you are welcome to watch one to two sessions of Scott working with your horse each week.  Just let us know the days/times that suit and we’ll get you booked in to visit!  We provide weekly email updates as a minimum standard but you are also, of course, welcome to phone or email for updates on how things are going!  As mentioned above, we require owners to come and ride their horse at least twice prior to the horse going home.



Our facility is located at 770 Downs Road, West Eyreton (North Canterbury).  Your horse’s safety during its stay at our facility is of the upmost importance to us and we have therefore chosen to fence the facility with Gallagher Equifence (as well as a small amount of post and rail).  Gallagher Equifence is a highly visible electric fence system which has a large diameter, smooth coating which minimises the risk of injury to a horse should it come into contact with it.  We also have a roundpen (with two attached yards) and fully-fenced 60x20m arena (also with attached yard).  All paddocks are mucked out at least every second day and all contain automatic-filling water troughs.  Your horse will normally have its own paddock, but if unsettled, we will check if you are comfortable for it to be put with another horse to help settle.  This all combined creates a safe facility to ensure the risk of your horse being injured during its stay with us is kept to an absolute minimum and they are therefore kept as safe as possible.



We provide free follow-up email/phone support once your horse goes home.  There is also the opportunity to have on-going lessons and attend Clinics with Scott to help you with your newly started horse - this is hugely beneficial to the success of your future and we highly recommend this whenever possible.



Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us if any of the above requires clarification, if you have any questions/queries or would like to make a booking.  We can then provide details as to pricing and available spaces.