Schocharie Ridge Farm

Starting Horses

Starting the young horse is Sandy Kantor's specialty. All unstarted horses are first taught basic obedience and voice commands in-hand. The horse is then introduced to tack, taught to be lunged and long-lined. Once the horse is calmly obeying voice commands while lunging and long-lining, it is gently mounted by Sandy herself with the assistance of a ground person. The time frame of this process all depends on the young horse. No horse is ever rushed. Most horses require two to four weeks from the beginning of training until backing. Each horse is individualized and is allowed plenty of time to move to the next step.

Once the horse is under saddle, straightness, relaxation, and rhythm are taught gradually in a clear but gentle manner. The horse learns to balance itself at all three gaits and new tasks are introduced as the horse becomes comfortable with ones already learned. Once the horse is confident in its work in the ring Sandy will take it on some easy trail rides. Most horses require two to four months of riding before becoming reliable enough for an experienced rider to continue with its training.

Dressage basics are used with all horses. Any riding style requires good balance, relaxation, forwardness and sensitivity to the aids. This establishes a good foundation for any discipline.

Jumping prospects begin their education by being ridden over ground poles, cavalletti, then small jumps.

Full training – which is four sessions per week – is recommended for horses being started under saddle. This provides for consistency yet does not overwork a young horse.

Partial training – two or three sessions per week or individual sessions – are great for riders with limited riding time or to keep the horse tuned up.

Free-Jumping Training

Schocharie Ridge Farm offers free-jumping training to prepare young horses for the mare performance tests, as well as teach future hunters, jumpers or eventers confidence, balance and rhythm without the weight of a rider. Free-jumping also offers variety and strength building to a dressage horse's training.

Re-Training or Problem Horses

Do you wish to add dressage to your horse's abilities? Maybe your horse has a training issue that needs a different approach. Sandy is willing to take on horses from almost any discipline or breed and apply dressage training principles to improve it. Sandy works in a calm, methodical manner to identify the problem, then resolve it. Often the rider must be involved with re-training or problem solving because the relationship between horse and rider must be analyzed and improved to achieve progress. Training programs from two to four sessions per week as well as individual sessions are offered.


Four sessions per week (full training) - $550 per month

Three sessions per week - $420 per month

Two sessions per week - $280 per month

Individual session - $45

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