In hand training

“Whenever we are with our horses we are training them.”

In hand schooling is very beneficial for horses at all levels, from foals with their dam, to top level competition horse or those with a behavioural challenge.

Of all the areas of equine training Karen believes In Hand Training, with just a rope and head collar, is probably the most underused, while offering some of the most effective and rewarding benefits. It’s therefore no coincidence that over the past few years she has built up a considerable reputation in this field both with individual clients and at her clinics. Using a variety of methods to a gain a response to a specific cue, including focus on the handlers energy and breathing, pressure and release, and often positive reinforcement, allowing the handler and horse to build a happy confident partnership. Karen creates a tailor made plan for each individual horse while covering areas such as;

  • Foal and young horse training.
  • Building good solid foundations.
  • Gain more 'softness' in the ridden horse.
  • Alternatives to lunging.
  • Improving manners.
  • Building confidence.
  • Handling the untouched Horse.
  • Rehabilitation (mental and physical).

Working at ground level is an extremely effective way for the rider to learn to control their energy either to motivate or calm the horse therefore providing a safer and more effective environment.

Ridden horses
Working the ridden horses “in hand” has many benefits, its an extremely effective method of observing the horse, tension, stiffness, soreness and any gaps in the horses education are often more quickly identified and worked on at ground level.

Most horses are schooled effectively with just a rope and head collar. The process helps the horse develop a better posture, enabling the horse and handler to  build trust, confidence and a good partnership. Allowing for the teaching of new skills and an opportunity to create a variety of work for the horse without feeling tied down.

Karen also works the horse from the ground using the bridle when appropriate, to help the horse understand the hand cues, allowing him to become softer and more accepting of a bit when being ridden.



Foal’s to 4 years;
The In Hand work that Karen uses, is ideal for teaching boundaries, rules and limitations to aid the handling of the young horse, enabling them to become well mannered and confident. It is very beneficial in preparing for in hand showing or performance grading. Also using methods to desensitise the young horse to the various obstacles that they may encounter in their future, it is great preparation for future ridden work creating the first footings in the foundations of training. 

“Working in hand with ridden horses helps the horse develop a good posture, by  building  and balancing muscle. Using various slow controlled exercises, we can help the horse work his body by stretching and relaxing various muscle groups. This can help with physical rehabilitation and body awareness”.