Recent Schooling and Breaking Clients

Cindy 2016/2017

Mike purchased Cindy as an unbroken 3 year old from the Monart Horse Sales in Ireland with the intention of producing her to become an event horse. After purchase Liane lightly backed her then turned her away to mature. As a 4 year old she then came back into work but was taken slowly as not to put too much pressure on her still growing frame. Towards the end of the year she was taken out to do some cross country schooling and jumping and competed in her first dressage test.

Minstrel 2017

Minstrel is a 15hh Irish Cob who came to us as a 4 year old to be broken in he had been very lightly backed and then turned away. His owner Judith has owned him since he was 10 months old but lacked the experience to bring him on herself throughout the whole breaking process we kept Judith involved and she began to ride him once he was ready.

Judith was so pleased with his progress and care at Hurstwood Farm that she made the decision to keep him here on long term livery where he continues to be schooled by us and ridden by Judith at the weekends.



Sanda June 2015

Sanda is a stunning full bred Arab, who has come to us for some schooling while her owner Sue is recovering from an operation on her hand and unable to ride. She is 7 years old but is green for her age, and previous to coming to Hurstwood had not cantered under saddle.


Being an Arab and a mare, Sanda has real attitude and can be quite flighty and excitable. She was finding ridden work quite stressful and struggling to relax. Liane has been doing lots of work in the school with Sanda, trying to get her more consistent into the contact and relax over her back. Since being with us she has also started to work in canter, and has a lovely balanced canter when she isn’t too tense.

Liane has also been riding Sanda around the fields and taken her out for road hacks in company. She is getting much happier in her work and has started doing some lovely flatwork, although it is not yet quite as consistent as we would like, but showing improvements each week. Sue, Sanda’s owner, was also keen for her to have a go at jumping. So she has now tried out jumping some coloured poles in the school as well as tackling some of the smaller fences out on our cross country course. Sanda was not sure at first as she can be quite spooky and nervous of new things to look at, but once she got over her initial fears she jumped nicely and is very careful over a fence.

Lola – May 2015

IMG_0608Lola came to us at Hurstwood having had very little groundwork done. She is a four year old and despite being handled, had never had a saddle on or been taught how to lunge.

The first week of her stay we focused on getting Lola used to having full tack on and responding to the voice aids whilst being lunged. She took a little time to get the hang of being lunged and quickly tired, so we did short sessions twice a day with her.

Once she was happy to go forward in all paces on the lunge we begun backing her. The first day didn’t quite go to plan as Lola wasn’t too keen on having someone leaning over her back and threw herself on the floor. Luckily Liane jumped off in time so wasn’t hurt, and Lola didn’t hurt herself either. So after the initial shock, on the second attempt Lola behaved much better but we kept it short and sweet as to finish on a good note. Lola is a horse that doesn’t like to be rushed and seems much better learning new things one small step at a time so we then took our time getting from this stage to being ridden properly.

However, taking small steps forward each day, within a fortnight Lola was being ridden in walk trot and canter around the outdoor school. When put under too much pressure she resorted to planting her feet, so we worked out ways to overcome this and spent the following weeks schooling, hacking and riding Lola in the field to keep her work varied. She took to hacking very well after initially being introduced to the lanes on long reins.

In her final week with us Lola also had her first go at jumping. She really enjoyed it and despite not being ultra careful, she was really keen and jumped without any hesitations.

Lola has now returned to her owners to have a well earned rest and be turned away for a few months so that she has time to grow and mature before taking to her career as an all rounder.

Izzy – May 2013

Izzy’s is a gorgeous 14.1hh Arab cross who has come to us for breaking.

She has started some of her training at home and then had the winter off to relax. She has now come to Hurstwood Farm where Liane has already started her training programme.

The picture opposite is of Izzy in the field with our event horse Millie. They have already made friends. We will keep you up to date with Izzy’s progress.

Duchess is a young Irish Draught mare. She came to us as an unbroken 3 year old with a brief from her owners to take her through a breaking and schooling programme. She arrived in August 2010.A training programme was devised to build her up physically with a combination of gradually increasing work, good feed and stable care.Through the months from August 2010 to July 2011, Duchess developed into a stunning mare that was winning rosettes at show classes. As well as becoming a well balanced ride she had also developed confidence in her jumping.Click here to see a Duchess gallery>>

Backing went very well


Ready for work
Finley is a Connemara cross that came to Hurstwood early July 2012. Finley has a gentle but mischievious character. He has come to us as an unbroken 4 year old who has had some handling.

He has settled in very well to our schooling routine. Starting with lungeing and long reining he has progressed in two weeks to being backed and ridden at the walk and trot in the arena. He has also been long-reined out on the local lanes.

After backing Finley started to ‘play up’ a bit in the arena, not wanting to go forward and putting some bucks in sometimes. However, with quiet persistence he has now settled in well to schooling. We havel also started to loose jump him, which he has taken to well.

We received a lovely quote from Finley’s owner updating us on his success.

“Just a note to say how grateful I am for everything you have achieved with our youngster Finley. Having had him from birth it was a huge decision to send him away to be broken, but I knew it had to done due to my working commitments restricting my time. From the moment I arrived at Hurstwood farm I was made to feel welcome. The yard has a friendly and relaxed feel but with a very professional attitude.

Liane worked hard and patiently with Finley in and out of the school helping with his vices as well as breaking him to saddle. I was always welcome to sit in on his training sessions and was updated on his progress regularly. I was encouraged to go and ride him myself during training sessions, which gave me lots of confidence and helpful techniques which I still using with him at home now. 

He come home after just 8 weeks a manageable and chilled horse who has gone from strength to strength. It was the best decision I have ever made and would highly recommend Liane and all her team. I will certainly be returning for lessons and advise. ” Toni Reeves

Hacking out on long rein with a schoolmaster
Mellow is a delightful young cob gelding recently imported from Ireland. He is very willing and eager to please but easily spooked and nervous.

He came to us on a programme to give him confidence and get him going safely in traffic and out and about on his own. We have gone back to basics with lunging and long reining, before doing some ridden work with a schoolmaster.

Mellow has now progressed to more demanding flatwork. His pace transitions are coming on very well. He has now reached the point where we can be happy that he can be ridden by Hurstwood clients of all abilities

Rosie came to Hurstwood for some short term schooling. She has had a busy life as a driving pony and has hunted regularly.

However, her owner felt that she was heavy on the hands and not a very responsive or schooled ride.

Two weeks at Hurstwood combined with some lessons with the owner created a much happier partnership.


Looking at jumps
William was bred from Mikes foundation mare Oakfield Rococco, who competed at BE Intermediate level before retiring to stud, with the intention of producing a coloured sporthorse with the potential to keep entire.

Mike decided to use the fantastic stallion Country Lone Ranger for his proven competition history in the show ring and his exceptional grading achievements along with his high percentage of coloured progeny to date.

William was first backed in late October 2011 as a 3 year old by our trainer Liane, 2 weeks later he was trotting on different reins in the school. He was then turned away to mature a bit. He is now back into work and as can be seen his jumping is coming on nicely.

William then went on to start a very successful eventing career which was unfortunately cut short due to injury. Further details and photographs can be found on his eventing page (go to Hurstwood horses and follow links).