Phone

Barn - (317) 416-8632
Texting and Calls
Physical Address:
5129 N 600 W
(aka Mt Comfort Rd/Olio Rd)
McCordsville Indiana 46055
Lessons - Stacey Sheley
(317) 416-8632
Lessons - Lindsey Keeven
(317) 418-8933
Camp Director - Andi
(219) 296-8776
Please call between regular business hours.

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Thoughts

Training

Open Door Equine is happy to offer training for you and your horses. Our training philosophy is as follows:

Open Door Equine Inc. believes that horses should be “Taught” not broken. Never will ODE Inc. break a horse. We respect a horse’s ability to think, feel and have emotions. For learning to occur the environment must be calm, the trainer and horse need to have an opened mindset. There will be times when the horse needs to be pushed but there is a definite time when it will happen and it is brief. A good trainer will recognize that moment, use it, then celebrate with the horse for the break through.

We use a combination of English and Western training techniques on our horses in training. Every horse learns differently and in their own time just as every person learns differently and in their own time therefore we use the combination of skills we have learned to best suit the horse in the least amount of time possible. We do not subscribe to speed training however and make no time guarantees regarding time frames for our finished product. In the end we pride our selves on having a safe, secure, able, courageous, spirit intact, mind intact, whole horse that is well educated and we include a well educated owner for our product.

Riding horses is about partnership. Therefore we see training as a partnership as well. This partnership includes the trainer, horse and owner. The horses we work with teach us just as much as we teach them as do the owners. Each horse and owner are treated as individuals and the end product of our training is not rushed. That being said we also believe in honesty, integrity and working in hand with the horse owner. We teach the owner what we are doing and encourage the owner to attend as many training/teaching sessions as they like.

Well educated owners are essential to maintaining well trained horses. Included in the training fees are weekly technique or riding lessons (depending on where we are in training) and an open invitation to be involved in the training. This gives the owner the tools to keep their horse or horses “tuned up” on their own. We want our owners to have the knowledge to keep their horses trained.

A horse is a reflection of the environment in which they live day to day. It does little long term good to send a horse off to a stranger who will interact with them one way then send them home in which the routine will be different. The owner’s “tool kit” is very important to long term training, horses thrive on routine and ODE Inc. empowers the owner as well as the horse.

We have a loose routine we use for all of our horses whether they are “in training” or for daily use in lessons. The following is a synapses of Open Door Equine Inc.’s training procedure from start to finish for a young, green horse or a horse new to ODE Inc. Other training for a young or green horse in full training would be, ground manors, clipping, bathing and worming. Depending on the green-ness of the horse; bitting, saddling, leading and reasonable sacking out. Additional options include; trailer loading, farrier readiness, intensive reasonable sacking out (great for horses intended for showing) and other areas where the horse needs help.

The average routine is; Cross ties for grooming or wall tying; curry, dandy, finishing, mane then tail, hoof picking (LF, LH, RH, RF). Tacking; pad, saddle,pre-ride girthing, bridleing without a halter if no lunging is needed, if lunging is in the itinerary for the day then the bridle comes after the lunging session. We do not lunge off the bit and a halter under a bridle effects the bit therefore we do not use a combo of the two.

Lunging

Lunging is used by Open Door Equine Inc.’s training routine to teach the horse; the basic riding cues we use on all of our horses, collection, speed rating, saddle acceptance, about interaction with the handler ie, timing, cuing, safety cues etc.

Round Pen Work

Our round pen training is used for free lunging. It teaches and reinforces the lunging training and brings a higher level of trust and partnership with the schooling horse and trainer as well as the owner. Both lunging and round penning are used for Western and English horses and used in conjunction with each other. Horses will not be “Round-penned” to exhaustion, it is only used as a reinforcement of verbal cues.

Long Lining

Long Lining or Ground Driving is used to further reinforce the lunging while getting deeper into learning cues for the horse. We emphasis safety for horse and handler at Open Door Equine Inc. therefore we do much of the saddle training from the ground before we get into the saddle. The use of long lines prepares the horse mentally by teaching the horse one new thing at a time rather than having the feeling of a rider and having to learn new cues at the same time. It is low stress for the horse, trust is further built upon in the horse and the trainer before the rider is introduced as well. A horse can be taught more advanced saddle cues with long lining such as, side passing, roll backs, pivots, backing, collection, extension, shoulder in and out, hip in and out, one rein safety stopping, bending and just about anything a rider can do in saddle. We recommend that young horses be taught as much as posable from the ground before saddle time. Ideally a young horse would not be ridden until they are roughly 4-6 years old.

Saddle Introduction

After the horse has been through the lunging and long lining routines then the weight in introduced to the horse slowly and in a low stress manor. Only if the horse is ready, meaning that the horse is attentive but not fearful, will the trainer sit fully in the saddle. This teaches the horse that there is nothing to fear when there is a rider in saddle. We work mounting from the ground on both sides of the horse. After the lunging and long line work this normally is an easy thing for the horses to accept and we make sure it is uneventful.

In Saddle Cuing

This is the final step in a well trained horse at ODE Inc., it is where the horse learns to transfer the lessons from the long lines to the feel of leg cues. The movements are not new to the horse at this point, they are simply refined and the new feeling of leg cues are introduced. This is the finishing training for an English Pleasure horse. Here we combine the leg and rein cues into a cohesive, refined finished English Pleasure horse that is ready to move on to Dressage or Jumping if that is the intended use for the English horse.

A horse that is being trained Western will go on to further training transferring the bit cues to the leg cues only, for a well rounded superior Western horse. At this point the Western horse is fully trained for Western Pleasure, and can go on to more training in Reining, or cow work if that is the desire of the owner and the horse has the talent for it. The product of this training gives the owner an exceptionally trained well educated and dependable mount.

A difference between the English training and the Western training with this method is that the English horse will have more intensive long lining. The Western horse will have more intensive saddle training in order to get a full set of Western seat, leg and long rein/neck reining training.

Note: We do use ropes, lunge whips, carriage whips and occasionally we may use; a crop, rounded spurs, training forks, martingales, tie downs and we use these tools if and when needed and only in a proper constructive manor. Training tools are training tools, not continual use tools nor are they used harshly or inappropriately.

We will correct (appropriately) biting, kicking, rearing, bucking and aimed striking with equal force as we reserve the right to defend ourselves if need be and to train safe, manageable horses. Abuse is not tolerated at Open Door Equine Inc. or at Countryside Stables under any circumstances from people or from horses. Open Door Equine Inc. uses an array of true smooth snaffle bits, a pelham bit, a few tom thumb bits with curb straps or chains, and a kimberwick. Western horses will be finished in stock horse breed sanctioned bits and English horses will be finished in USEF sanctioned bits.

We will not under any condition use; twisted wire snaffle bits, long shanked bits, bicycle chain bits, long action gag bits, combination gag/shanked bits, spade bits, mechanical hackamore “bits”, California bits, quick stop bits, chain bits, any bit with an excessively high port or no port at all, etc. We will not use rock grinder or sharply roweled spurs.

Pricing

While every horse learns differently and in their own time, and an owner’s desires are unique, pricing is available by private treaty. A unique contract will be drafted per horse and owner after consultation and mutual acceptance of the agreed upon goals of horse and owner desiring training with Open Door Equine Inc.