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All Inclusive Training

Customized Training from Ground Work to Grand Champion, and EVERYTHING in between for you and your equine partner


Our Training Approach

Horses First. You've undoubtedly heard it before, but what does that mean when we are working with your beloved equine partner. In humans, it takes 4 to 5 positive experiences to overcome just 1 negative experience, and for horses, we believe that ratio is much higher. Putting the horse first means we do everything we can to make every interaction positive. We evaluate your horse's health, fitness and overall wellness, address any concerns we have, and eliminate any factors that may contribute to a negative experience before it happens, and we progress training at your horse's pace, whatever that might be. We build strength and confidence before pushing for performance. We understand that everyone, especially our horses, can have bad days, so we listen and flex our plans accordingly. 'You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.' If your horse isn't in the right frame of mind, they won't be receptive to learning. Instead of forcing horses to work when they aren't in the right state, we give your horse choices that help them craft their own learning journey. Now, that doesn't mean that if your horse is having an off day that we won't do anything at all; we aren't here to create 1200lb spoiled ponies; it means that we may give your horse a choice between riding and ground driving, between round penning or working on ground manners, etc. When horses feel good in their bodies, feel heard, and feel they have choices, their trust and willingness soar! We also insist that you are a part of your horse's learning journey and substitute training sessions for lessons as necessary for the long term success of your relationship. We treat your horse as if they were one of our own, and our horses are our children, so have no fear about the quality of care your horse will receive with us, and don't be surprised if Dana cries when your horse goes home! 




Starting horses is our favorite!
​We teach horses what to expect from a rider on the ground FIRST, building their confidence, which makes in-saddle work less stressful for everyone!



Looking to take your equine's already solid skills to the next level? Our vast experience in a variety of disciplines means we can get you and your horse
where you want to be.

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If your horse has been enjoying an extended break and you are ready to get back in the saddle, a little refresher is usually all that's needed to get you and
your partner back into action. 



You may be used to using the term "Colt Starting" but here at De Frates Horsemanship, we will 'start' your horse regardless of their gender because we believe that every horse has the right to great foundation ;) 

Solid foundations are built though dedication, lots of patience, and our very own combination of traditional Pressure-Release, Conditioned Response methods, paired with Positive Reinforcement techniques typically reserved only for trick training. We have found this combination to be the most ethical way to train, while still being safe for both horse and rider. A slow, safe start means less stress and better results! Rest assured, you won't find any gimmicks or rough stuff here. 

The best time to start a young horse is an age old debate. We strive to find a balance in all things, so to balance the needs of your youngster's growing body with the needs of their curious mind, and give them the best chance at a long and successful career, we find it best to start training between 2-4 years of age. A slow and gentle start at this age is safe for their growing bodies and builds a strong work ethic. To start a horse we require a minimum of 4 months as we work at your horse's pace to ensure they are comfortable and confident in the skills they are learning. While that means we can't predict just how far we will get with your horse, rest assured that horses started with us get a no holes, low stress start and more importantly, they develop a strong desire to be ridden! Graduates of our Foundation Program will have solid gaits, know their leads, stop, backup, turn on the forehand and haunches and open gates. They have been out on the trail with other horses, and are confident with basic obstacles. All of our training programs require you to take lessons WITH your horse so you will be a part of your horse's progress from ground driving to saddle time. 




No matter what discipline you enjoy, we can help your horse advance their skills to get you to the next level. Side passing to sorting, pirouettes or spins, we have decades of experience in a variety of equestrian sports that allows us to diagnose the critical elements your horse needs to develop so you both can reach your performance goals.



We've all heard the saying, "practice makes permanent," well, that saying goes double for horses. ​Sometimes events beyond our control prevent us from helping our horses 'practice' as much as they need to keep their skills sharp and their bodies in peak performance. Injuries (theirs or ours), travel, work, or just plain old life, get in the way of us being able to regularly exercise our equine partners, and when too much time off happens, having expert help to get your horse back on track will prevent bad behavior, stop undesirable habits from forming before they start, and can reduce the risk of injury to you both. Refresh Training focuses on your horse health and fitness while also sharpening up their basic skills. Refresh Training can also be used to prepare a horse that is no longer a fit for you for their next home. If your horse is already displaying bad behavior, such has rearing, kicking, bucking, bolting etc., please check out our Relationship Rescue Program. ​

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