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Horse Training Services Available & Rates

IMPORTANT NOTE AS OF APRIL 2017: Due to a change in circumstances and direction we are no longer taking any visiting horses in for breaking in or training for the unforseen future. Thankyou very much for all your support and involvement with our breaking in and horse training business over the last 10 years here at Chester Farm, Paeroa!


We both have a lifetime involvement with horses, with enormous experience in starting young horses under saddle, on average working with 100 different horses per year.

Our knowledge and experience ranges from breeding foals and handling stallions through to top level competition and working with all breeds from Thoroughbreds, Stationbreds to Warmbloods, which enables us to confidently work with youngsters and unbroken horses through to more specific training or re-schooling with older, experienced horses.... whether they are for dressage, jumping, eventing, trekking, hunting, racing or simply pleasure riding!

We only take on a small number of horses for training at a time which allows us to offer a personalised service for horses and owners and ensures we have plenty of time to work with each individual as they require on a day to day basis.

We encourage all owners to come and spend time with us prior to taking your horse home so we can show you where they are at and help you learn the same skills to get the best ongoing progress from your horse when back at home again.

Long-reining out around the farm and river
Long-reining young horses out around the farm and surrounds provides fantastic education and life experience.

(Available all year round)

We specialise in Foundation Training - working with young horses and giving them a sound start to their early handling and training.

The key to developing a positive "breaking in" experience and succesful riding future for a horse begins in the foundation building blocks established well before a rider even sits on their back. These essential life skills, basic respect for people and solid understanding of what is being asked of them helps setup the right foundation and habits that give the horse the best opportunity to progress positively no matter what type of riding or discipline they are later destined for. Leaving it too late or allowing bad habits to consolidate can result in a horse that has become pushy or disrespectful, "stuck" in their ways, difficult to handle and can compromise both of your safety.

If you have a foal, weanling, yearling or 2 year old that is not ready to be started under saddle but could benefit from some professional handling and life experience, we can give them an excellent early education including the important everday basics such as:
- Leading
- Tieing up
- Wearing a cover
- Being hosed all over
- Having their feet handled
- Being paddocked on their own and get used to being in a stable
- Float loading etc.

If your young horse is ready we can also further their Foundation Training education by teaching them some or all of the following to help further prepare them for future breaking in:
- Basic groundwork exercises established
- Accept all appropriate gear (roller, saddle, bridle, boots, etc)
- Lunging using both body language and voice commands on both reins
- Mouthing and long-reining, exploring the farm and river surrounds.
- Accept a rider sitting on their back.

Groundwork exercises help establish respect and good manners while also encouring your horse to work calmly and softly.

We achieve all of these foundation skills through pressure / release principals and groundwork exercises, consistent daily handling and a regular routine that helps horses relax and gain confidence. We aim to make early handling sessions fun and interesting and seek to produce a respectful, understanding and attentive young horse. We can also assist with the weaning process and with teaching young horses to trot out in-hand for showing etc.

All of this early work will give your young horse an excellent foundation to their life and future training and will help make them much easier for you to work with and manage at home.
A good foundation of the essential basics means your horse will also be much more independant and confident when the time comes for breaking in later down the track.
We strongly encourage all owners to come and spend time with us before taking your horse home so we can help the two of you work together for best progress and consistency once you take your young horse home again.

(Available to a limited number of horses at certain times of year only.)

We only accept a small number of horses for full breaking in at certain times of year, although we can take horses up to the backing stage all year round (see Foundation Training above).

Our "breaking in" training combines both traditional and horsemanship methods crafted to suit each individual horse to create a calm, non-aggressive learning environment and acheive positive results.
Sending your young horse to us for breaking in or starting under saddle means your horse will learn to:
- Be paddocked on their own and get used to being in a stable
- Accept all appropriate gear (saddle, bridle, boots, covers etc)
- Basic groundwork established
- Lunge and long-rein
- Stand calmly for mounting and dismounting
- Be ridden walk, trot, canter, turn and stop
- Be hosed all over
- Be ridden in the round yard and arena
- Stand for the farrier and be shod for the first time (as applicable)
- Work over poles on the ground
- Float training (as applicable)

Establishing basic groundwork for trust and respect.

Long-reining around the farm and surrounds.

From starting with groundwork in the round yard establishing softness, respect and trust, progressing to long-reining around the farm and river and then following through to riding under saddle, these young horses gain great inner confidence, strength and mileage that sets them up very well for their future riding careers.
Our general time frame for starting horses under saddle is 6 - 8 weeks (depending on each individual). As well as accepting and understanding a rider and the basic aids in all paces and situations, we firmly believe that developing a solid work ethic through regular routine and consistency for this period of time sets up a young horse with the strongest foundation for its future, helping to ensure that owners can continue on their own with success once the horse goes home again.
We encourage owners to have several rides with us on their horse and offer ongoing support, advice and lessons for all owners once the horse has gone home again.

Arena ride
Working on the arena

Exploring the river under saddle (Photo: Trish Dunnell)

We sometimes have space available for horse agistment, short or long term. Horses are kept in their own individual paddock, cared for and fed during our normal daily routine. Handling or training sessions, lessons and facility use can also be included if you are looking for an agistment and occasional schooling type option. If you are going away on holiday or have a horse needing injury care we can also offer support and daily care as required.
Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.



We only take a small number of visiting horses in for training at a time which means we can give each horse the time and attention they need, so bookings generally need to be made in advance. Depending on your training requirements and on each individual horse, most horses stay with us for between 2 to 8 weeks. Horses are worked 5 days per week.

All horses are treated as individuals and as if they were one of our own, including paddocked individually and stabled. We believe horses thrive on regular routine and can provide them with a very peaceful farm setting, good facilities and a safe learning environment.

Owners are kept updated regularly throughout their horses' stay with us via email and phone, including progress photos. Owners are encouraged to come and work their horses with us before taking them home, however for those who live further afield, we provide photos and can take DVD footage of your horse so you can see them in action.


Standard Rate: NZ$350+GST per week for training and agistment. Provide your own feed and hay (unless otherwise discussed).
Discounted Rate: may be provided for longer term training or Young Horse Foundation training, please enquire for more details.

Agistment Only Rate: please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.


Click here to download our current Chester Farm Horse Training Contract (PDF File, 76kb)
(Please Note: This file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to open. Click to download
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Chester Farm all-weather arena
Chester Farm's All Weather Sand Arena

Chester Farm turnout paddocks
Turnout Paddocks
Chester Farm Round Yard
Round Yard


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