Principles Of Horse Training

Jody Hartstone is a Grand Prix Dressage rider based in the beautiful Raglan of New Zealand. She has travelled the world and represented her country internationally. This series of videos she brings to you her unique twist on the foundations of horse training using the principles of Equitation Science and explains how they have transformed her understanding of horses and how she has applied them to her training today.


Julie Malcolm | New Zealand
I love the Jody Hartstone training videos - the presentation is clear, unambiguous and the principles are shown with a variety of horses. I really like that with this programme I can go back and watch the videos over and over so they are a great library resource. I highly recommend this course to all riders regardless of which discipline they ride in - the principles underpin good horse training which is the backbone of all riding. Congratulations to the filming team and to Jody for a great package.
Megan Soellner | British Columbia
So far it’s fabulous!! I am presently looking for a nice six year old for a reasonable price so I have a project. It will be fun to apply what I have learned. Jody’s methods really keep the horse’s well being a priority. I think I like that the most about her method so far.
Sara Stone | Illinois, USA
I’ve enjoyed watching some of the videos by both Jody and Vanessa. Jody shared her knowledge of horse psychology, in addition to tips on motivating a sluggish horse and develop self carriage using the half halt. Vanessa reminded me about the fine points of lateral suppleness through shoulder in, traverse/renvers. Both of these trainers are well informed, intelligent and thoughtful. They share a light hearted, affirming attitude that helps me feel optimistic about my young horse’s training!
Linde Penn | The Netherlands
Half a year ago I have started my journey with an 8 year old gelding called Kirby. As an amateur rider I believed my skills and knowledge of horses were sufficient to keep this temperamental beauty in control. After a fall and breaking my wrist, I realised I had to drop the ego and start learning again. Working on my own physical condition in the sportschool with massive help of the DRT really paid off. Riding on various horses in our riding schools, applying my learnings, my seat and balance improved. Despite that, I still felt that something was missing. I felt insecure if my training of Kirby was effective, despite good help of the riding school. So when I saw the DHT announced, I viewed the introduction lessons and that triggered my interest. Jody is explaining in very comprehensive way results of Equitation Science, a scientific research of horse behaviour in the wild, how a horse is learning, the physics of a horse and connection to the rider. In 10 short videos concerning training principles, Jody takes you through the various angles that you need to take into consideration when you are training your horse. It gave me lots of food for thought and a realization that my lovely Kirby is In fact quite a “normal” horse. His reactions are now much more clear to me and it helps to adjust the training, not expect a change in one minute. There were man eye openers for me, to name an example, the way we reward a horse....for years I, and I believe a lot of riders with me, are enthusiastically “slapping“ our hand on the neck and shoulder of our horse when he/she has doing well...whereas The horse would rather receive a nice rub on the shoulder, than being patted loudly. Sounds so logical.... I believe that also for experienced horse trainers it will help you reflect on your training methods To see if are effective when you set them in the light of the 10 principles. It for sure will help with my journey with Kirby, to secure that the training will continue to lead to the welfare of him, the safety for both him and me and in general to the enjoyment of learning together to get a little bit better every day. I am looking forward to the rest of the training videos with Jody. You can easily slip one of the videos in during your day, as they are between 5 to max 20 minutes....where you need time is to think it through an reflect on what you are doing with it..... I imagine there will be a lot of happy horses that feel better understood, if people apply these training principles.
Suzy Jackson | New Zealand
I have watched pretty much all of Jodys videos and have really enjoyed them. I have been following her system of training for a while and some of the videos have really helped me put into practice the words that are written in Andrew McLeans book.
Nicole Kildare | Tauranga, New Zealand
I got so much out of watching Jody's series and am finding that going back through again I am still picking up pearls of wisdom. As a dog training in the past I already understood a lot of the fundamental principles but having Jody go through them in a horse context laid a really solid foundation of the 'why' of how she trains which I personally gain a lot from in learning the 'how'. I especially appreciated how the philosophy of equitation science underpins and complements other training, so I can learn and apply so much from the series alongside the system my dressage trainer uses without confusing myself or my horse, but improving my understanding and application instead.
Volha Posner | Ontario, Canada
I really liked this training program and found it to be very useful in advancing my training. Jody’s explanations were very clear and backed by practical demonstrations. I also liked that she provided an overview on the biomechanics of horse’s movements.
Karen Kelly | Canterbury, New Zealand
I am finding the videos really informative and love Jody's down to earth presentation style. Particularly like the explanation of the science behind this approach, makes so much sense. I will be re viewing many of the videos to cement learning and ensure I've grasped things correctly, so a great aspect of this program is that the videos are available for 6 months as opposed to attending a one off training.
Ceri Johns | Australia
Loving both programs. There is so much to absorb!! I will admit it’s info I have heard before but hearing it put different perspective gives lot haha moments.
Claire Booth | Wellington, New Zealand
Hi Nicola I am watching Jodys lessons ( just got up to clear aids) and as a person who didn’t really go to pony club and learnt to ride in gumboots as a teenager and then returned to riding as a 45 years old, this learning is very valuable and heart wrenching . I understand opérant conditioning and classical conditioning but I have never been able to understand the mechanics while riding. I have taught behaviours on the ground with positive and negative reinforcement but under saddle my horse is confused because I offer confused signals! DOH! I sort of knew this and would describe my riding as having a lot of “white noise” like an out of tune radio station - but Jodys explanation about clashing aides and consistency has really hit home. Actually I feel like crying in sympathy for my poor horse! And I feel a bit in despair at how I can ever get “good enough”. DRT has been a great help with my body strength and control - and my riding coach is focused on biomechanics but I have been missing this fundamental understanding somehow all along. Feeling emotional TBH. But also more determined that I will keep going and talking slowly with my rusty old body and keep up DRT and study DHT - gosh horses are SO FORGIVING 💜💔.
Fae Leffler | Ohio, USA
Hello Nicola, I just feel like Jodie’s teachings are necessary and helpful to build a very well rounded toolbox for training horses . She goes very deep into helping one understand training and how it is absorbed by the animal so that you can really reach the ultimate bond with your equine partner . I look forward to continuing to listen and watch her teaching and philosophy as I hope it will become ingrained in me and benefit both my well being as well as my horses. I Have 2 beautiful DWB.Geld. Hancock CSI Dan Tango B x Gribaldi 8 yr old ( top standing) Generaal Jazz x 007 9 yr old ( ridden) Thank you so much for producing such quality instruction!
Anita Rickey | Victoria, Australia
Jodies program is fantastic, I love Equitation science as I was already becoming familiar with the brilliant work of Andrew McLean. I love Jodies kind approach and how clear it is for the horse. It proves there is no bad horses, it’s just the work put into them that creates the behaviours. This program really has given me lots of positive things to work on with my horse.
Cathi Foale | Hampshire, UK
Hi Nicola I think Jody is fabulous - if only I could train directly with her! The videos have been clear, informative and inspirational. I will play over the videos to learn as much as I can! What a shame Jody isn’t in the UK! Jody has a lovely approach to her teaching and communication.
Debbie Bowd | Lincolnshire, UK
Everyone should watch this. You can apply it to all your training because, if you understand the horses mind you can give good commands. I had started clicker training so Jody has helped me to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together, which is Training Horses is keep it simple and give clear commands. Also I have struggle with one of my horses in the canter transitions. Watching Jody explain that the canter Biomechanics has solved anther issue which no other trainer could do. I am able to time the transition so the horses legs are in the correct place to ask for canter and I’m not launched into space in the canter. So THANK YOU there is so much to learn and talk about you need to come to YOUR HORSE LIVE in the UK when we get back to normal and do a demo.
Vanessa Atadeniz | Auckland, New Zealand
Hi Nicola, Jody, I’ve attached a few photos. I’ve only had Jack for one month and had to have his saddle made (he is extra wide so Fenmore had to make it for Jack). I’ve been doing the DRT programme for a week now and am really enjoying it - I didn’t go through the PC regime and only started riding when I was 42. My new horse is a lovely bold 1/2 John Brodie Gypsy Cob 1/4 Arab/Irish Hunter X with a lovely nature but very strong on the ground and can be dull to aids especially backing up and crossing his front legs. I don’t want to end up yelling and wrestling with him so your programme has been great - even just rubbing his wither and doing groundwork every time I see him before riding hasenriched our relationship. I’m really looking forward to continuing learning with the programme and am in no hurry, supplementing with weekly riding lessons and lots of hacking out which he loves.
Simon Roughan |
I’d like to thank Jody for putting out such great, easy to understand, super effective content. I've had so many lightbulb moments of understanding. I've had instant results with my horse training, the most important being clarity of aids and signals to make it easier for the horse to understand. Highly recommend this series of lessons.
Elke Breves | Germany
Jody´s programm is fantastic and exceeded my expectations by far. Although Iam quite familiar with Andrew McLean´s work, this is another level. Jody puts so much kindness and respect for the nature of the horse in her lessons, it makes the practical work easier, because it is based on a better understanding and therefore more trust. My young hot mare enjoyed it, she loves the clarity of the signals and is not confused anymore. Jody´s course is exactly what Bambi and me needed, I highly recommend it. Thank you Jody!
Donna Baker | Victoria, Australia
I am currently enrolled in the diploma of equitation science and very familiar with learning theory. I wanted to recap a few things so I thought Jodys DHT would be good . It has exceeded my expectations and I am only half way through ! Jody is so great at explaining things and uses great examples. I would highly recommend this course to anyone ( beginner to experienced rider/ trainer ) that wants to train their horse in a kind clear and concise way. This truly benefits the welfare of these wonderful animals who allow us to ride them . And , on the side , Nicolas DRT are fab to keep you fit and ride with an independent seat . I am now up to DRT 4. DHT and DRT and great programs that benefit both the horse and rider . Donna Baker and my beautiful horse Andi 🥰
Veronica McElrea | New Zealand
Hi Nicola, I absolutely love Jody's program! I find myself taking my phone out to the arena with me so I can rewatch something before I try it. Jody's way of explaining things makes sense and is easy to understand. I have also had a few lightbulb moments where my horse does a certain thing and I never really understood why or thought it was because of other reason. I also love the clicker training and have been incorporating this intomy training. I'm also really interested in learning more about Equitation Science and will definitely be keen to purchase her next training program on Working Equitation.

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