Rehabilitation & Classical training with

Ginger-Kathleen Coombs

360-904-2396 or 360-254-3545 *  Brush Prairie, WA

thecoombs@juno.com

Back to Elijah Park

About my training:  I don’t believe in either 30-day breaking or milking out  training charges.  I train part time (usually just 1-2 outside horses) only, as my family comes first, so you are never just part of the pack.  We discuss clear training goals. Once these are achieved, the horse goes home (albeit with a lesson plan & local instructor support). I don’t keep horses in training indefinitely. Of course, making sure the owner is equipped to continue once the horse is home is a significant part of our plan.  

I don’t follow any fad trainer’s methods, but rely on the masters to light the way.  The Spanish Riding School is my ideal, and the beautiful truths of Charles De Kunffy (http://www.charlesdekunffy.com/) have been known to bring me to tears.  Horses are never rushed or forced or gimmicked in training.  I don’t compromise.

Selection of horses:  To be considered for training, I require an owner who is willing to be involved, and a training goal I agree with.  Challenging horses are quite welcome!

Competition:  Showing is always a second best to training accomplishments, and while we show casually for fun, it does not make a significant importance in our training and lives.  Showing can be great feedback, and fun and important exposure for the horse, though, and I don’t charge extra for schooling shows.   We do like to take young horses to shows for the great exposure it provides to 'real life' elements.

‘Problem’ horses:  Training issues are first  dealt with by looking for pain causes such as dental & chiropractic issues.  Fitness and gymnastisizing, so the horse can do what is asked correctly and comfortably, along with making sure that appropriate tack, i.e. basic bit fitting, suitability to mouth shape, saddle comfort, etc., are addressed next.  The horse’s social life, order in herd (dominance or fear issues), turnout and play time, and respect and bonding with humans is also evaluated and addressed.  Feeding time is a big part of our training to respect humans, and life style changes may be required once the horse goes home. Known dangerous horses may incur an extra charge for the extra time and risk required.

Lessons: I do offer very limited lesson openings, but I currently do not offer lesson horses.  Lessons are $35 and potential students must go through a ’mutual’ interview to see how similar our goals would be.  I work slowly, from the ground up, on your feel, understanding of mechanics, and seat, and it’s a lot of work!

Owner responsibility:  I believe that the owner has a great responsibility to be involved in the training and must be willing to make changes once the horse goes home. Unscheduled visits are welcome, and there is never an extra charge to include the owners in the lessons.  Weekly updates by phone or email are part of the training process so you can be fully informed about what to expect.   I prefer that the owner takes lessons at least weekly when applicable. I also may address the rider’s fitness (not to be confused with thinness or weight!) for the horse’s benefit.

Young horses:  I offer a preschool at reduced rates for 2& 3 year olds.  I don't back them fully until they are 4 (read here for a brief idea of why: http://www.equinestudies.org/knowledge_base/ranger.html) but I do offer 'preschool' of long reining, despooking, traveling to schooling shows for in-hand classes for the practical exposure and 'pre-breaking', ei saddling, bitting, gymnastasizing and even packing lightweight kids around on leadline.

As the workout periods are short as suits the younger horse's mind, the cost is  $250/month plus board.  The goal for a 3 year old is to produce a young horse that has respectful ground manners, lunges lightly, accepts bit and saddle, new surroundings, weight on its back and keeps its 'spark' and sense of fun/playtime. A work ethic will be lightly encouraged but it's still mostly about play at this age. Sometimes the training can be all about getting that sense of play, too, as this is vital to producing a horse capable of being a joyful partner. 

Depending on the youngster and the background, assuming basic ground manners and lack of previous issues, approximately 2 months will see the horse ready to continue on at home being petted, ground worked and doing lead line work, and then riding at 4 will be a virtually seamless step.  We also do a lot of walking over ground poles & obstacles as well, so jumping comes naturally (and with less refusals then traditionally dealt with), as they develop early ideas that anything in front of you can be gone OVER.   Great for trail riding as well!

Advanced training:   I do not offer training beyond 2nd level dressage or low level jumping currently due to health issues. I give horses a good work ethic, a correct foundation, a sense of joy in their work, and horses that are brave.   I give riders/owners an understanding of correct mechanics and WHY techniques and methods are used.  This will enable them to make the best use of clinicians and selecting higher level instructors when the time comes.

Charges:  Standard training involves workouts generally 5 days a week, minimum weekly consultations with the owner (progress reports), owner is encouraged to be there any chance they have and combined owner/horse sessions are no extra charge.  This is $400/month plus board unless horse is known to be dangerous. Difficult issues requiring both risk and concentrated time run about $550/month. Horses are kept where they get a run or pasture for free movement 24 hours a day. Usual board rates are $350 for full care, occasionally I offer pasture board at my home for $75/month if owner provides feed.

I have (bothfully trained veterinarians) a equine dentist  and a chiropractor (AVCA trained/certified) that I refer to if required.  If your horse needs this, I will inform you at the intake evaluation and get you estimates.

Sales & rescue work:  I occasionally take rescue horses or help others with finding the perfect home. This work is on a case by case basis.




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