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Weanling- Foundation Training

Foundation Training introduces weanlings to all the necessary basics of life as a well-trained horse.

Recommended Duration: 3 weeks


Catching & Leading

Tying Up

Handling Legs & Hooves

Washing & Rugging

The early training of foals is of paramount importance in shaping their physical and mental development, laying the foundation for a successful and harmonious partnership with humans.. Early training not only establishes crucial groundwork for essential skills, such as leading, handling, and basic manners, but also contributes to the development of a confident and well-adjusted horse.

Positive experiences during the early stages of training create a solid framework for future learning and builds trust between the foal and its handlers. Additionally, early training helps prevent undesirable behaviors and ensures that the young horse becomes a willing and responsive partner in various activities, whether it be for pleasure riding, competitive sports, or other equestrian pursuits.

Investing time and effort in the early training of foals is an investment in their future well-being and performance.

Intro to Cavesson

The cavesson training is an important part of our initial work with the horses, we use a very simple cavesson with one single ring on the nose. The cavesson is NOT to be used as an instrument for punishment in any way shape or form, the cavesson is to aid us in teaching the horses how to use their bodies in a way that is more conducive with comfortable riding for both us and them.


Lunging is an integral part of our training system, it is the second stage and is the time that we commence the locomotion whilst maintaining a more relaxed posture and natural balance (the balance that the horse travels in without any influence form us). This can be longitudinal, lateral or diagonal balance.

It is also the time that we get to expose them to the arena and surrounding environment. All the while allowing them to learn how to organize their bodies and develop strength in a way that is conducive with carrying a rider with beauty.

Including Cavelletti

We incorporate cavalletti into the lunging stage of training after the horses have started to develop some natural balance both longitudinally, laterally and diagonally.

It is also a great way to continue to develop your relationship with your horse, communicating via body language, verbally and with the extension of your artificial aids.

Mouthing Process

Also known as the 'education of the mouth process.' Can be broken down into four easy to understand components:


'Contact' is the connection between the rider’s elbow and the horse’s mouth, through the hand via the reins and to the bit. 'Acceptance of the Contact' is answering the question “how confident is the horse to the rider’s rein aids?” Confidence comes from understanding the bit and the rein aids.

There should be no backwards action on the mouth as it causes unnecessary pressure on the horses’ tongue and teeth which can be the first step to loss of confidence in the bit or the hand. We want to see a relaxed jaw (chewing without tension). The mobility of the jaw is essential in the ongoing training of the horse, as a tight jaw cannot have a relaxed mind or body.


Front legs should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground and the point of hock should be underneath the point of buttock. This enables us to access the power of the hind quarter by asking for energy, in turn bascule is initiated by the engagement of the core muscles and the process of lengthening the neck has begun.


Once we have improved the balance we can then ask our horses to bend both to the left and to the right. Bend is the lateral flexion of the horses neck – or more specifically the cervical vertebrae. The horses back remains straight through the thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal vertebrae. During bend we are looking for the nose to stay vertical to the ground, with no head tilt or poll flexion. and be able to stretch around without force in both directions.


We not only maximise the stretching of the muscles in the outside half of the neck, but we also stretch the horse’s topline. We use an aid called action / reaction to develop this posture.

In-Hand Work

The in-hand work leads directly on from the “education of the mouth”. Once your horse is very confident with all the initial exercises, both from the front and from the side (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 including walk / halt / walk, walk / trot / walk and halt / trot / halt. With work, you can begin all the sideways movements such as shoulder in, traver, renver, half pass and walk pirouettes. This ultimately leads to the development of the piaffe and passage exercises.

Mounting Lessons

The ultimate outcome for the mounting process, that we have designed, is for the horses to stand so quietly that any person of any age, or ability, can mount.

Ridden Work

Once you get to the ridden stage it is an exciting time, but the first four stages should not be forgotten and always re visited when necessary.

The world has now opened to the all the exercises that will aid in helping the development of your horse’s symmetry and continue the journey of the new relationship you are developing with your horse.

Remember to take your time, give yourself time to develop your own skills and give your horse time to understand what you are trying to achieve. Once you are into the ridden stage enjoy the learning.


“This is the second time I've had Avoca Park help us with the weaning process. Our weanlings comes back with all the basics established.

Cherry has confidence when we handle her but is also using her manners. Its a fantastic change from the sassy jumpy filly we dropped off . Thanks Leanne and John!!!"”


"I've been thoroughly impressed using Avoca Park's services. Their communication with me, and the care for their training process working with my weanling has been fantastic. The family atmosphere is personal and I feel like I was listened to at every step- Thankyou Avoca Park!"


“I love Avoca Park, they are so kind with their horses and the training approach is amazing. I highly recommend sending your horse here for training if you are looking for help.”