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Racehorse Pre-Training

Avoca Park stand apart from other pre-trainers. We pre-train your horses with aim to improve your horse’s symmetry and balance, creating a stronger thoroughbred.

We can continue your horses’ education program using cross-training techniques. Some of the best trainers in Australia use cross-training techniques to create successful careers for their racehorses. The use of incorporating dressage training can be greatly beneficial for your horse’s development in both body and mind.

We educate your horses mind to develop the ability to relax throughout their training. Spending the time to fix the problems, create manners so you can both see and feel their improvement. Our focus on correct balance will improve their speed, endurance and longevity.

Our training can benefit a racehorse in any stage of its training as we work on the development of symmetry and balance for their physiqueat any age. With our success in dressage and our experience with backing horse of all ages and types-we believe we can give you a stronger and better balanced horse; set up to both physically and mentally advance through it’s on track training and racing career.

The service we provide is most beneficial for the start of any racing prep but can also be a great alternative to a water walker holiday between racing preparations. Your horse would be kept in their own private paddocks or stables, rugged and tended to as they would in a racing environment.

We can keep them fit with daily training in our approach to create a balanced, comfortable and confident horse. If your horse is having behavioral issues, our process is built on respect and trust. If we are allowed the time, we can determine what needs to be done and work on a program to amend your horse’s issue.

Basic Pre-Training Prep

Our Pre-Training prep takes approximately 3 weeks for basic education which consists of tying up, rugging, leading and hosing. We have a unique method of teaching young horses to tie up. For us, it’s not about them just being fixed to a solid object and staying still, it is them accepting the whole process along the way. Our way gives you a horse who can confidently be left by themselves and be easily handled in any given situation.

Our extremely safe ‘give and take’ system enables all horses to be educated to the process without any kind of skeletal damage.

Our Cavesson Work

The cavesson work to the ridden work takes approximately 3-4 weeks if already backed. If the horse is unbroken this process will take approximately 6-8 weeks. Cavesson work is essential in the earliest stages of preparing a horse for a racing career. This part of our training program establishes relaxation first.

After relaxation, we commence the development process of symmetry- both at the halt and forward into walk.

The components that we address are –

 The diagnosis of longitudinal, lateral and diagonal balance in the horse. The diagnosis of these symmetry issues are an integral part of enabling the horses to develop to maximum potential.

  •  The diagnosis of longitudinal, lateral and diagonal balance in the horse. The diagnosis of these symmetry issues are an integral part of enabling the horses to develop to maximum potential.

  • How and when to initiate the bio-mechanical changes to improve the horse’s symmetry.

  •  How to maintain the horses balance as the locomotion increases into the gallop phase.

  • The importance of teaching the pushing action in preparation for the gallop.

  • Our Lunge Training

    Lunging is considered an integral part of our training system. Using the lunge, we commence their locomotion whilst maintaining a more relaxed posture. It is the first time we get to see the ‘natural balance’ of your horse while they’re moving. The ‘natural balance’ is the balance that the horse travels in naturally, without any influence from us; this can be a longitudinal, lateral or diagonal balance.

    It is also the time that we get to assess the muscular development of the horse. The addition of our cavelletti (pole work) training, enables us to teach the horses to carry themselves correctly. This ultimately gives them soundness and longevity, allowing them to learn how to organize their bodies and develop strength in a way that is conducive with carrying a jockey.

    Our Mouthing Process

    Our Mouthing Process can be broken down into 4 easy to understand components –


    When we talk about the word “contact” we are talking about the connection between the horse’s mouth, through the hand via the reins, to the bit. Leading on from this is the horse’s “acceptance of the contact”. This is in essence, the question “how confident is your racehorse on the rider’s aids?” Confidence comes from understanding what the bit is used for and what the rein aids are, as this enables the horses to gallop confidently into the connection.


    There are 3 types of balance to consider:

  • Longitudinal (forwards and backwards)

  • Lateral (left and right)

  • Diagonal (left front/right hind or vice versa)

  • The diagnosis of these symmetry issues are an integral part of enabling the horses to develop to maximum potential.


    It is essential that the horses have the ability to symmetrically bend left and right. Bend is the lateral flexion of the horse’s neck in front of the wither.

    During our training this will progressively be developed with exercises to enable the horses to –

  • Learn to gallop confidently and symmetrically.

  • Have developed a healthy pattern of locomotion before speed is introduced.

  • Enable longevity in your racehorse’s career.

  • Neck Extension

    After the first 3 steps have been established, we will teach the horse to extend the neck. This will be in a forward and downward position. This enables the horse to stretch its top line muscles as well as impacting on the development of the core muscles to enhance the strength and bascule.

    Teaching Them In Hand

    The in-hand work leads directly on from our “Mouthing Process”. Once horses are confident with all the initial exercises, both from the front and from the sides (left and right) we can add in the locomotion. That is, walking while working on the contact, balance, bend and neck extension. Initially it will just be working on stop, go, turn left and turn right, you can begin circles, counter bend turns, rein-back and transitions and sharpening the horses for the next part of their training.

    The in hand work can be commenced from as early as weaning. By educating in this way there is no physical impact on the horse’s skeletal development.

    Our Ridden Prep Work

    Once we get to the ridden stage it is an exciting time for us as it is the time we can hand a strong sensible youngster over to move into the next part of their training. They are confident, forward and straight. Commencing their training at an early age without as much weight-bearing, enables the muscles to strengthen around the skeleton. Leading to maximum balance, speed, soundness and longevity

    Our Racehorses Post Training


    “We have had many young colts and fillies with Leanne. Her passion for making sure horses are turned out post pre training is a credit to herself and her team. Leanne treats each horse with an appropriate individual plan allowing each horse to succeed to their full potential. It would be my pleasure to recommend Leanne and her team to look after all types of horses for pre-training before they endure their full campaign.”

    – Paul Murray, Racehorse Owner

    “Leanne promotes ethical racehorse training for success and longevity. With her emphasis on equine welfare starting from the beginning, racehorses produced are well conditioned, balanced, healthy individuals. Highly recommend!!”


    -Tracey Cullen Racing

    “Leanne has assisted me with the training and preparation of my racehorses. She is a very trustworthy and highly competent horsewoman and she has demonstrated a thorough understanding of all aspects of racehorse training and management.”

    – Stefan Seketa, St Elmo Racing

    “I have sent two horses to her for re-education. Leanne has a vast amount of experience in the Equestrian Industry and has a great understanding in regards to horses fitness, movement, temperament, nutrition and care”

    -Michael Hibbs, Michael Hibbs Racing