Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Horse-trainer hutzpah on Horse Hero

I monitor Horse Hero, a British horse video site, for interesting and unique footage on all aspects of horse riding, training, breeding, and care/management. It's a fee-based site but modestly priced, and to me  it is worth the money. Fiona, the narrator/hostess (not in this footage), is a hoot.

Below is the intrepid Carston Sandrock, narrating from atop a 3 year old stallion he is backing for the third time, without a helmet. More foolhardy than courageous, I'm afraid, but one has to admire his way with this young horse. He explains his system for backing horses -- how many people in the ring, where they are positioned, and why it works. I wish I'd seen it before Riley was backed this spring...

The three year old stallion is Fleetwood Mac (owned by Lynne Crowden and the Eilbergs) and he is ridden at Woodlander Stud.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. It was fascinating. Getting my horse to go forward when I backed him took weeks of pushing. Two ground people would have been a big help! I definitely wouldn't have the skill / experience to canter a 3 year old stallion on the 3rd ride though!

  2. That's how it's done, right there.

  3. I enjoyed this. It was good to see the "whoo-pee!" moments, and that the horse is stiff on one side of the longe. In other words, he has many of the same challenges w/ this horse that we all have had. Mac almost looks like a pony under Carson, doesn't he? I suspect the horse scooted in the canter because of lack of balance, and maybe there was even conflict in his young brain about having something on his back in the "flee" mode. But so nicely handled.

  4. But my heart was in my throat about the lack of a helmet!

    Great video and nice how the "bad" moments were not edited out, but used as illustration. Lovely horse.

    He is a little too reactive to the whip, in my opinion, but at least it does make him go forward and the idea of two helpers is super.

    Lest anyone be confused, I am pretty sure this horse has had a lot more lunge time than implied here. He has already well learned to round to the bit and has none of the young horse "I need my head" balance issues left.

    I really like the training here.

  5. I skimmed through he video, and forgive my ignorance, but what is "backing"? I only know it in the literal sense, like backing up?

  6. Usually it means riding for the first time -- riding a horse that has never had a person on his/her back.

  7. I would like to offer a video comparison.
    (3 year old colt, first ride and with a lovely rider wearing a helmet)


    The British video was disappointing. The horse is running away on the lunge and under the rider. He looks very stressed out and I believe that is relief in his expression when the rider dismounts. On a positive note, I did like the trainer's playful, relaxed demeanor and the use of helpers.


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