The program at Cornerstones is designed to meet the many aspects of your horse's training - from handling as a foal to starting under saddle - through achievement in the show ring and enjoyment on the trails.
The foundation begins with consistently providing for the physical and mental needs of your horse so that optimal learning can occur. A positive association to learning in your horse's mind is essential for outstanding achievement of your goals.
For lessons to be learned and retained, teaching must occur in a relaxed environment. The horse must feel that there is something to work toward that is rewarding and meets his need for maintaining a strong sense of self.
The number of horses in training is limited to ensure highly focused attention to each horse.
In addition to refined work under saddle, your horse will be presented with exercises and real life situations that develop his confidence. These will include work in the following areas, as determined by your horse's needs and length of stay:
- Ground manners when leading
- Trailer loading
- Handling of the feet and allowing a rope to be carelessly tossed around the legs
- The comfortable acceptance of a flag being loudly waved about
- Responsiveness to the subtle use of the flag to direct movements
- Carrying a flag while being ridden at a walk/trot/canter
- Ponying and flagging other horses
- Tying to a highline and the side of a horse trailer
- Exposure to dogs being close underfoot
- Ability to be alone and with other horses in the ring, on trails and away from home
- Ability to lead and follow on a trail ride
- Walking through water and over a plastic tarp
- Opening/closing gates and walking over a plank bridge
I arrange life exposures to help the horse build confidence in himself and his environment.
Our feeding program was created with the assistance of holistic veterinarian, Dr. Madalyn Ward, www.holistichorsekeeping.com:
- Premium grain is provided that minimizes the "sugar high" often experienced with processed feeds.
- Nutritional supplements can be added by request. These are designed to provide valuable micronutrients and essential pro-biotics for maximizing digestive function.
- Hay is provided continuously to allow for "grazing" throughout the day.
The social and living environment is also crucial to the well-being of the horse. Horses are allowed to live in paddocks with run-in sheds. This arrangement fosters the mental relaxation that is an important key to the horse's ability to learn. In addition, we encourage permitting your horse the opportunity to have a companion. Being herd animals, we have found that the horses benefit immensely from each other's company. In order to gain the maximum result when introducing new companions, much thought is given to the choice, the introduction and the ongoing relationship between the two.