Yes, when training for the Method Ambassador, you must bring two horses to train during the Academy. The horses:
- must be under ten years of age;
- must be geldings or mares (no stallions);
- must not have any previous training in the Method; and
- must be currently sound and have no history of lameness.
Downunder Horsemanship VERY HIGHLY recommends that your horses come in shod on all four feet. This helps to prevent horses from going lame because of sore feet. We do a lot of riding outside on hard terrain, and most horses that start the program barefoot will get sore.
During the five instructional blocks to earn your Professional Clinician certification, Participants may train up to five horses in each instruction block and are encouraged to bring at least two horses to work with. Participants are required to provide their own horses and equipment for the Intermediate and Advanced Blocks as well as the Trick Training Block. Downunder Horsemanship will provide the horses for the Colt Starting and Foal Training Blocks.
Downunder Horsemanship highly discourages Participants from bringing any type of gaited horse. Every horse has a job he is bred to do—work cows, slide to a stop, pull carts, etc. Gaited horses are bred to go fast in a straight line. A large part of the Method is teaching horses to become soft and supple throughout their whole bodies. Gaited horses are not designed to be supple throughout their bodies and are not designed to be athletic enough to do maneuvers such as rollbacks, circles or tight turns. Can you take a gaited horse through the Method? Absolutely, we’ve taken gaited horses through the Method here at the Ranch; but, when you’re first learning the Method, it would be wise to choose horses that will help you succeed in your training, rather than make your training more difficult.