At birth our foals are handled for the first few days, we find this helps enormously to build a trust in humans and an easy acceptance of future handling. Foals are eager to engage with us and retain their friendship with us with no fear or suspicion.
Foals are led along side their mothers to and from the field for a few days before being left in the field to enjoy being a foal and interacting with other foals. Many many hours are spent watching them play together, we have found a yoga ball in the field gives them endless fun and us too, some love it and others completely ignore it!!.
We wean our foals at 6 months old and we find that by this time the foals are far more interested in their new friends than being with boring old Mum!!. They stay in a stable with a friend while the Mums are taken out of earshot and then will be turned out together. They may call for Mum a few times but soon forget and get on with playing with friends again.
Once weaned we turn our youngsters out to graze in a herd for the spring and summer and in winter they will be in our big barn in age groups, they can still play and remain in a herd but safely out of harsh weather, they share the barn with our pet sheep and hens, all good experience for the future ahead. They stay in this environment until he age of 3 or 4 yrs depending on their development. All remain friendly and will come for a chat but we will not over handle them, we like them to enjoy their youth as near to nature as possible. This arrangement suits them well and they are happy in this environment.
At 3-4yrs old we start their education, they will be be worked on the ground, learning to move forward/backwards and side to side, we also do some new experience work which they love, this can be walking over plastic sheet, meeting sheep/cows, working in an open field. They are already used to having tractors in their field so machinery is not a bother. They are worked with tack on and once they are comfortable with this we start the backing process. The horses are backed kindly and quietly, there is no force or pressure on them and they are happy to accept a rider if this is done at their pace. It is so easy to spoil a young horse by pushing them to do things they do not understand. Some are incredibly accepting and others need a little more time and that is fine, this is the start of a long journey so it must be right.
The first year is taken very slowly allowing the horse to gain strength and to achieve balance in the basic paces. We do lots of hacking to give the youngster new sights and experiences and also keep them happy. You will not see our young horses pinging round with huge extravagant paces, we do not believe this is beneficial, If you are looking for a 4 yr old that is showing huge flashy paces then you have come to the wrong place, this is not what we want to see at such a young age. Some of our taller youngsters don't finish growing until 6/7yrs old and they can be ruined before they get going. We want our horses to last in their given sport and they are given every opportunity to develop for the long term.
All our youngsters are available for sale, we do not produce horses ourselves so we do not hold back the best for ourselves, all are available to our customers.
Having reared our horses with care and love for several years, it is so important to us that they go on to have happy lives with their new owners, much as we would love those owners to be at the top of their sport, in reality most of us do not achieve those dizzy heights. Our aim is to match the horse to the rider and we will be honest if we don't think the horse is suited for you, we dont want our owners to be passing the horse on because it isn't right for them. Most of our horses have been sold to lifetime homes and we keep intouch with our owners and love to hear how they are progressing with their horse, as a passionate breeder this is what it's all about!
If you are looking for an unspoilt youngster who has had a kind and caring start in life, we may have something to suit you. We aim to produce friendly, willing and kind characters who are eager to please.
Please tell us as much as you can about yourself and your expectations so that we can try to match you with a horse that will suit you.