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Murphysboro, IL and Marion, IL

Fiona in Class Proper nutrition, adequate exercise, and regular grooming are three things that all horses need to be at their best, along with having a knowledgeable, loving owner. The focus of our horse training classes is to give our students the knowledge they need to be good horse owners, and communicate effectively with their horse. The horses that are used in our training program are all rescued animals, and some are available for adoption (check our available animals listing to see which horses are available). We use the lunge line quite frequently in our relaxed training style, as shown in the photo to the left. Our training technique teaches the horse to be relaxed, and watch the handler (a student) for cues. This horse, an Appaloosa mare named Fiona, is working with a loose lunge line, and is not pulling away from the student while doing this exercise. If you will notice one of the key differences in our training in the photo- the student is not chasing the horse in any way, nor is she using a whip to get Fiona to follow her cues. We are proud to offer this training style to create a deeper bond with the horse, and to show owners how to teach the horse the skills they need to be good companions.

We offer training sessions and consultations in Murphysboro, IL, and training, training consultations and riding in Marion, IL. We specialize in ground work and use body language cues that horses naturally understand. We use our body positioning along with 'posture cues' to tell the horse what we are asking him to do, and at what speed. We use this communication to build trust and respect, which results in a wonderful, respectful relationship with your horse, and a deep bond that will set you on the right course to introduce the saddle.

The horses that we work with come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of training, and they all can benefit from our training/riding technique.

All of our students are required to participate in our groundwork sessions and horsecare sessions prior to riding to learn more about communication with these animals to make themselves more clear in the saddle, and learn proper handling technique. The Equine Division at MARS of IL provides the horses for training classes, or you may request a private session with your horse (you may bring your horse to us, or we provide farm calls, as well, if you have a safe and adequate space available).

The initial class for each student is $50, and lasts approximately an hour and a half, so we can better customize your experience. All following classes are $40, and are approximately 1 hour long.
All proceeds fund the equine program, and go directly towards the care of the horses in the training and adoption programs.

Available Classes:

These classes are geared for individuals ages 16 and over.

IG-Intro to Groundwork (1 session)
Explanation and instructor demonstration of technique.
G1-Groundwork level 1 (4-6 sessions)
Learning basic fundamentals and postures, moving the horse towards and sending away, standing square.
G2-Groundwork level 2 (4-6 sessions)
Student demonstrates proficiency in G1 class, and can apply G1 fundamentals to different horses. G2 focuses on combining front and back end movement of the horse, and moving around or over obstacles.
G3-Advanced Groundwork (unspecified)
Student demonstrates proficiency in G1 and G2, and can explain the basic fundamentals of our training techniques. Student will learn to troubleshoot to correct problem behaviors by utiliizing different exercises and trust building. 

IHC-Intro to Horse Care (1 session)
Basic explanation of grooming, the benefits of grooming, names of brushes and tools.
HC1-Horse Care- Grooming (2 session)
Student can demonstrate proficiency in grooming, and be able to name tools.
HC2-Horse Care- Bathing/Grooming (1 session)
Student will learn how to bath a horse, and work through any problem behaviors that may occur while introducing water.

R1-Riding Level 1
Rider will learn to bridle and saddle, parts of the tack and how to use tools properly. Rider will learn to mount and dismount unassisted, and basic communication with horse under saddle. Riders will learn to communicate at the walk/trot.
R2-Riding Level 2
Rider can effectively walk/trot, stop and turn, walk through courses and around obstacles, and address any problem behaviors that may occur while going through these motions.
R3-Riding Level 3
Walk/trot/canter while maintaining communication, introduction to trot poles, obstacles at walk/trot/canter.
R4- Advanced Riding
Walk/trot/canter, trot poles and jumping. Rider will be able to address any problem behaviors at the 3 speeds, and learn proper form.

Youth Classes:
These classes are geared towards youth ages 7-15.
Youth classes are specifically towards young people who want to learn more about horses, build confidence through grooming and riding.

Intro to Horse Care (1 session)
Basic explanation of grooming, the benefits of grooming, names of brushes and tools.
Horse Care- Bathing (1 session)
Student can demonstrate proficiency in grooming, and be able to name tools.

Riding Level 1 (unspecified)
Rider will learn to saddle and bridle, and be able to mount/dismount unassisted. Walk/trot while communicating and following instructions.
Riding Level 2 (unspecified)
Walk/trot while moving around obstacles effectively.
Riding Level 3 (unspecified)
Walk/trot/canter around obstacles, intro to trot poles/jumping.
Youth Advanced Riding (unspecified)
Walk/trot/canter, jumping.