HORSEMANSHIP

Develop your fundamentals and your relationship for success in any discipline. Build confidence and trust to take into any situation.

GROUNDWORK

Find softness in body and mind and improve your horse's posture, balance, and strength for longterm soundness.

LIBERTY

Take off the lines, learn to motivate your horse through play, and open up a whole new level of communication.

DRIVING

Drive your horse safely and confidently, with a focus on healthy biomechanics and a clear, willing mind.

 

MY PHILOSOPHY

In every interaction with our horses, we are training them, and they are training us. The unspoken understanding between horse and human, like any relationship, is ever evolving. By being mindful and consistent with our horses, we foster responsibility and reliability, the building blocks of trust.

 

I take an approach of clear questions, positive rewards, and consistent boundaries. I develop horses so that they are interested and engaged in our work together. They are eager to come to class every day, willing to learn new things and give their best effort.

All my work with horses is grounded in three goals:

 
healthy body ∙ healthy mind ∙ healthy heart

I believe that horses and humans can do great things together. Experience has taught me that a thorough education is the key to success in the “real world,” whether that be checking cows, packing into the mountains, pulling tourists through the city, or teaching children to ride. I guide the horse to maintain a healthy posture, healthy gaits, a relaxed body, and a relaxed mind. At home, we can isolate each of the skills that the horse will need to succeed at his job and build his understanding and confidence one step at a time. This way, by the time we get to the “real thing,” the horse can be responsible for himself, respond easily to our aids, take surprises in stride, and we can enjoy our time together.

I never use extra tack or so-called “training aids” to force a horse into a shape; rather, I take the time to educate the horse to carry himself in a healthy way, according to his physical development. I am careful to never demand more than a horse is both physically and mentally capable of. Over time, this builds the horse’s confidence in his own strength, and builds trust in our relationship.

 

I am not interested in rushing a horse’s training. I would much rather the horse remain strong and healthy well into his senior years than have a three-year-old that can do it all. Experience has shown me that taking the time to give a horse a thorough education and develop his body carefully and methodically brings great rewards for many years to come. I’ve learned that while some “bad habits” and less-than-ideal posture may not seem like a big deal in the moment, when repeated over and over and over again, these seemingly minor annoyances can eventually create serious injuries. Therefore I give careful attention to every small detail.

When our horses so willingly give of themselves, I believe it is our duty to set them up to succeed with ease. My background as an Equine Sports Therapist, my years of experience preparing and educating carriage horses to work in the city, and my ongoing education within the Academic Art of Riding, give me many tools in my belt to develop confident, healthy, well-balanced equines who will excel in their job.

HORSEMANSHIP

Whatever your goals, a strong foundation is paramount. From basics like leading and standing to confidence-building activities including obstacles and de-spooking, we will build the "life skills" that will empower you and your horse to succeed in any direction that you go. Horsemanship classes are a great starting point for young horses or inexperienced handlers, and a great way for horses and humans of all ages and backgrounds to build confidence, improve communication, and strengthen your partnership. Classes in trailer loading and other specialized skills are also possible.

1-4459.jpg
 
Groundwork_edited_edited.jpg

GROUNDWORK

In groundwork we teach the horse to use his body in a healthy way for life. I school according to the Academic Art of Riding. This approach to training educates the horse in the principles of classical dressage, with a detailed focus on healthy biomechanics and a soft and willing mind. We use a cavesson with a lunge line or rein on the center ring, and a dressage whip as an extension of our pointer finger. We work in different positions — in front of the horse, beside the horse, lunging, long reining — to educate the secondary aids and develop the horse's strength and suppleness. I often think of this work as yoga in motion. Horses must be a minimum of 3½ years old — there is no maximum age! No previous experience is required.

 

LIBERTY

LIBERTY

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

In giving the horse the option to leave, we also give him the freedom to choose to be with us. I approach liberty as a means, not just an end goal. With no physical connection to the horse, we must refine our body language to clearly communicate our ideas, our questions, and our boundaries. Learn to motivate your horse through play and become the inspiring leader your horse is looking for. With young or inexperienced horses, I use liberty for connecting, playing, and teaching basic skills free of any pressure. With more seasoned horses, I will practice all of the same skills that we practice in the groundwork, including the side movements and collection.

IMG_20201123_105757_746.jpg
 
DSC_0005.JPG

DRIVING

Having spent many years teaching folks to drive horses in downtown traffic, I place a very strong emphasis on safety. For new drivers, we take the time to instill good habits of harnessing, hitching, and driving in all different situations. For drivers and horses of all abilities, my two favourite topics are communication and biomechanics. Whether you compete in Combined Driving, pleasure drive down the back roads, or show tourists around town, you want a horse with a healthy body and a healthy mind. Driving lessons can take place in the arena, field, or on the road, according to your goals and your horse's experience. Horses must be at least five years old and have a good foundation in horsemanship and groundwork to begin driving training.

 
 

INDIVIDUAL LESSONS

Ready to work together? I offer individual lessons for you and your horse in horsemanship, groundwork, liberty, and driving. All ages and levels are welcome; lessons are entirely customized to meet your needs and goals. I meet you where you're at and choose exercises to build understanding, strength, and confidence of both horse and human. I guide you to understand not only what to do, but also WHY. I leave you with homework that goes a step or two beyond what we did in class, so that you can continue to move forward between lessons, and I am always accessible to answer questions. 

​Lessons are approximately 45 minutes long and can take place at my farm or yours, or virtually via Zoom. Packages are also available.

AT WILLAWAY FARM

Trailer over and enjoy the large, inviting indoor arena or one of two outdoor arenas at Willaway Farm in Almonte.

Single lesson at Willaway

$85

Package of 5 (save 10%)

$382.50

Package of 10 (save 15%)

$722.50

AT YOUR FARM

I travel within 100km to teach you at your own location. No fancy facilities are needed: in most cases, a level area with good footing will do. Liberty work requires a securely fenced area, which can be an arena, paddock, or pasture. Travel fees within 50km are included.

Single lesson at your farm

$99

Package of 5 (save 10%)

$445.50

Package of 10 (save 15%)

$841.50

Travel fee 50-100km 

(per day; can be split among multiple students)

  

$30

FROM ANYWHERE VIA ZOOM

No matter where you are in the world, we can work together virtually! All you need is an internet connection, a computer/tablet/mobile phone with a camera and the Zoom platform installed, and a wireless headset with enough range for your schooling area. (Note: Driving lessons are not available virtually.)

Single lesson via Zoom

$65

Package of 5 (save 10%)

$292.50

Package of 10 (save 15%)

$585

LESSON DAYS

If you have a group of students at one location, we can organize a half or full day of back-to-back lessons. This allows you to save on my travel fees, and is an excellent option for locations outside of my regular travel radius. Please contact me directly for possibilities and rates for your location.

CLINICS

 

Clinics offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in one topic, connect with like-minded people, and learn from one another. Bring your horse or come as a spectator. Clinics are held over two or more days and include a combination of theory classes, individual lessons, group classes, demonstrations, and lots of opportunity to ask questions.

UPCOMING DATES

FEBRUARY
20-21

Almonte, ON

LIBERTY

Participant spots available

Auditor spots available

HOST A CLINIC

No matter where in the world you live, you can work with me live in person by hosting a clinic! Clinics are a great way to spend a quality weekend learning together with your barn or club. They are also a great way to meet others in your area doing similar work. You don't need any fancy facilities to host a clinic, just a level area with good footing can be enough. Theory classes can be in the same area or elsewhere. It is nice to have a place to warm up in the winter, and shade to sit in through the summer. Most commonly my clinics will have 5-7 students with horses, plus unlimited spectators. However, because I charge by the day rather than by the person, we can create an event that includes as many or as few students as you want. ​There are many options to create the event that is perfect for you. 

Here's how it works:

1. Decide how long the clinic will be

Will we spend a weekend together, or a full week? Perhaps two 2-day clinics back to back?

2. Choose a topic

The topic can be broad, like liberty or driving, or can be more specific, such as advanced longing or beginning a horse's driving education. Or you can leave the topic open and let each student decide for themselves.

3. Decide whether the clinic will be private or open to the public

Do you want to keep it to your barn or club, or just yourself and a couple friends? Or do you want it to be an opportunity to make new friends?

4. Decide whether or not there will be spectators

Can people who are not participating with a horse come and watch? This is a great way to bring in new faces who might want to see what it's all about before diving in head first.

5. Determine the format and schedule

My clinics almost always include theory classes and individual lessons. Sometimes they also feature demonstrations, group activities, and in certain cases semi-private lessons (2-3 students) are also possible. Here is an example of a weekend clinic schedule:

SATURDAY

9am Theory

10-12:30 Individual lessons

12:30 Lunch break

1:30 Q&A/Theory

2-4 Individual lessons

4pm Q&A/Wrap up

SUNDAY

9am Theory

10-12:30 Individual lessons

12:30 Lunch break

1:30 Demo

2-4 Individual lessons

4pm Q&A/Wrap up

6. Commit to a date

I require 50% payment six weeks before the scheduled date.

7. Spread the word!

Tell people about the clinic. Get them excited! I can supply some basic marketing materials if desired.

8. Get people registered

I recommend registering students in the order that payment is received. Those who delay paying can be more likely to drop out. 

9. Sort out the final logistics

I require the balance of the fees paid no later than one week before the start of the clinic. If I am coming in from out of town, make sure that we have my travel, accommodations, and meals arranged. (Discuss these with me directly to find what will work best.) Will you offer snacks or lunch to the participants? It is not required, but many hosts like to. I recommend offering at least tea and hot chocolate in the winter and a place to refill water bottles in the summer. Ensure that the participants all have everything they need.

10. Clinic time!

Watch, learn, laugh, and grow together!

Almonte (Ottawa), Ontario

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

© 2023 by Christine Beattie.