Frequently Asked Questions about Apprenticeship Clinics

Have questions? Here are the most frequently asked questions about Apprenticeship Clinics. If your question isn't here, feel free to ask us.

Q: What is an Apprenticeship?
A: It’s a small group of people and their horses, who want to build their partnership or fix problems with their horses. We design the lessons individually for the students in each class. So every class is different!

Q: What hours and days do Apprenticeship Classes run?
A: Classes run 5 days, Monday to Friday, approx. 9 – 4. Horses may come in on Sunday and leave Friday or Saturday after the clinic is over.

Q: How big are the classes?
A: There will be a maximum of about 5 apprentices per class to allow for plenty of individual instruction and answering questions. Each apprentice may bring one helper for free (remember, only the apprentice trains the horse).

Q: Can I bring my own horse?
A: Yes! Your horse needs to be able to lead and to trailer safely. If he can’t be loaded safely or you need transportation, contact us for help in getting him here. For riding work, he needs to be at least two years old. An older horse (mare or gelding) at any level of training, or with problems, is also acceptable. Untrained stallions over three years of age are not recommended.

Q: What if my horse isn’t broke to ride?
A: No problem. We can help you get him started under saddle, or if he is too young, we’ll teach him exercises that will help tremendously when it’s time to ride. Any age horse, from weanling to over 20 years old can benefit from an apprenticeship.

Q: I am new to horses. Can I benefit from an Apprenticeship?
A: Definitely. We help each person advance from their current level. A beginner is not pushed beyond their level and an experienced rider is not held back learning the basics. And don’t worry, we won’t put you in a class where everyone else has more experience.

Q: I’m not very physically fit and don’t want ride for hours and hours. Can I survive this?
A: Thankfully, this is not an endurance contest. It’s all about what YOU want and are ready for. Nobody is going to push you beyond your limits. Most of horse training is mental, anyway. So bring your brain and don’t worry about the rest.

Q: I had a bad experience and am afraid to ride. Can I still come?
A: Absolutely. You will never be forced to do anything you don’t feel comfortable and safe doing. No pressure! You’ll see ways to safely overcome fears and control your horse — AND have fun doing it. You may also attend without your horse as a spectator if you like.

Q: Do you take children?
A: Kids age 16 and over are usually ready to be an apprentice. Teens may also enjoy attending as helpers but we have no child (or pet) care facilities.

Q: My horse has some serious problems. Should I bring him?
A: That depends. Some problems can be solved in an apprenticeship and others may require some private training before coming to a class. Talk to us and we’ll discuss options to help you and your horse.

Q: Is there a tack shop nearby?
A: Yes, there is one about a mile away and others nearby. When you sign up, we give you a packet with that information and much more.

Q: Can I bring my horse the night before?
A: Yes, most horses arrive on Sunday between noon and 7:00 PM for a class starting on Monday. Arrangements may be made to arrive earlier if you prefer.

Q: Is there space to park my horse trailer for the week?
A: Yes, there is plenty of parking for trailers.

Q: Who teaches the Apprenticeship?
A: Kathy does. For more about her, see About Kathy .

Q: How big are the stalls?
A: Stalls are 12 x 12, extremely sturdy and safe. Roofs are covered and stalls have excellent ventilation. Rubber mats cover the floor and your horse can see other horses if he is nervous.

Q: Do you do apprenticeships at other barns besides at Millville, PA?
A: Sure, I love to travel. We've had apprenticeships at quite a few different barns in several states. Please give us a call and we’ll discuss how to set up a clinic at your place.

Q: What topics will you cover?
A: Each class is individually tailored to the students in that class. Here are some of the topics that have been covered in past classes. Of course, there won't be time to cover everything on the list in one week but it may give you ideas.

Please ask if you don’t see your favorite.

  • Trailer loading
  • Leading manners
  • Fear in the rider
  • Round pen work
  • Starting or restarting under saddle
  • Standing to mount
  • Crossing water
  • Laying down and other tricks
  • Performance work (reining, dressage etc.)
  • Saddle fit
  • Relax cue
  • Getting the horse softer and more responsive to cues
  • Balanced stops
  • Backing up
  • Sidepassing and other lateral moves
  • Collection
  • Spooking
  • Barn or buddy sour
  • Bucking
  • Biting
  • Rearing
  • Runaways & speed control
  • Headshyness
  • Pulling back while tied, breaking halters and ropes
  • Pawing
  • Head tossing
  • Driving
  • Bits – types of bits and how they work

Please feel free to ask any questions that haven’t been covered above!

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