Yes, when training for the Method Ambassador, you must bring two horses to train during the Academy. The horses:
- must be under 10 years of age;
- must be geldings or mares (no stallions);
- must have had at least 60 rides (no colts or horses that have not been started under saddle);
- must not have any previous training in the Method;
- must be currently sound and have no history of lameness; and
- is not a gaited horse or an Arabian.
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.
Downunder Horsemanship highly discourages participants from bringing any type of gaited horse or Arabian. 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. As a general rule, Arabians are hot, reactive and bred to go long distances. In general, they do not have the natural disposition to be quiet, safe trail horses that a beginner could ride. Can you take a gaited horse or an Arabian through the Method? Absolutely, we’ve taken many gaited horses and Arabians 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.