AY Horsemanship

Giving young horses the best start in life

"From the very first session with my youngster, I knew I wanted Adam to start her. His techniques, patience and consistent approach has worked wonders on her."
Hetty's owner
starting young horses

Why choose AY Horsemanship?

I have started over 300 young horses during my time as a horsemanship trainer. Preparing them for disciplines from dressage to eventing, western and reining to happy hackers. My years of experience and working with different breeds will set you and your horse off on the right hoof.

  • Fully equipped yard with round pen, indoor arena and safe hacking
  • Over 16 years experience in starting young horse
  • Hundreds of happy customers in Yorkshire and beyond

When should I start training my young horse?

If a horse can walk it is old enough to start learning. Doing groundwork with a young horse is a great way to help the horse learn. You can establish the foundations for discipline and trust which you will benefit from once you start riding your horse in years to come.

Groundwork for young horses will improve the bond that you and your horse have too. It will set you up for your life together and help you overcome challenges. Establishing clear signals for communication will set boundaries through groundwork.

Young stock handling

I often get asked at what age should you start groundwork with a young horse. Young horses can start the groundwork phase of their education from a very young age. If a horse can walk it is ready to learn. The important thing to remember is to keep the sessions short and engaging and give your young horse plenty of time in between sessions to absorb the information.

I can travel to your yard for groundwork lessons with your young horse or your youngster can have a spell at my yard in Wakefield for a consistent block of training. This comes under pre-start work.

Groundwork for young horses

At AY Horsemanship, pre-starting a horse covers all areas of groundwork training with a young horse and preparing the horse for saddling and accepting a saddle.

Pre-starting breaks up the backing process and time and time again has proven a successful route for owners I work with. I work with the horse for a minimum of four to six weeks before the horse goes home for a rest and to absorb all the learning.

Included in the pre-starting package:

starting young horses

Included in the starting package

Once a young horse has completed the pre-start element of training and had a break to absorb everything they learnt. We can look at starting the horse under saddle. As part of my young horse training plan, no matter what discipline the horse goes on to do, the horse will learn in the arena and out hacking. On average a horse is with me for around 12 weeks for starting.

starting young horses

For more information on prices, please see below.

Please note, when a horse is with me for training, any hard feed must be supplied by yourself and farrier visits are extra. A deposit is required (the amount required depends on the package chosen) and all horses staying in my yard require a strangles blood test carried out by a vet within two weeks prior to arrival. All horses should also be fully vaccinated against flu.

If you would like to arrange a yard visit and watch some horses in training prior to booking your horse, please get in touch.

Want to discuss your young horse training plan?

My prices

Young horse training prices below

p/h from £ 40

Youngstock handling

Lessons at your yard start from £40 an hour from leaving my yard in Wakefield and returning. I also offer lessons at my base in Wakefield where I have a round pen and an indoor school, this is priced at £50 per hour

p/w £ 200


Pre-starting covers all areas of groundwork and prepares your horse for saddling and accepting a saddle too. This process breaks up the backing process and is a proven way of training young horses

p/w £ 300


Starting a young horse builds on the foundations learnt during the pre-start process. The end result is a happy and confident young horse who is ready for any discipline and scenario

Case study

starting young horses


Luna is a young Irish Draught mare who has completed two spells at AY Horsemanship. After a successful stint doing pre-start work in the winter of 2022, Luna went back home to grow a bit more and absorb everything she learnt with me. 

In winter 2023, Luna came back to be started under saddle. It was clear she hadn’t forgotten anything learnt during pre-starting and took everything in her stride. Very quickly we progressed to riding outside of the round pen in the arena and outside on hacks.

“I’m so grateful for the work Adam ha put into Luna. She’s looking amazing and taking it all in her stride. Time and patience has most definitely paid off!” 

For videos of Luna’s journey visit my Facebook page.