First Rides

Please go look under "Starting Colts" at the left of this screen to see an actual first ride on video, and to read more about how it goes, I have started well over 350 young horses and I have never had a first ride buck. It always goes well, with the horse allowing me to introduce him to fist pad, saddle and then myself.

I sent my Andalusian stallion, Saben to Cathie to start him under-saddle. I had worked with her a few times prior to that and was very impressed. I have started my own horses in the past-but Cathie starts them all the time. I knew that she would be able to introduce him to a saddle/rider without any drama and that if he did anything silly she would handle it perfectly without him being scared, or learning bad habits. She is firm with discipline-but only as firm as she needs to be to get results. Saben could be a little timid at times, often slow to warm up to new people, but he LOVED working with Cathie. You could see that each day that he spent with her he became more and more confident. In fact she had the dog jumping up on his back within the 1st week (with my permission of course:) She also had him going through/over scary obstacles like a pro. She also did exactly what I asked her to do (unlike some trainers that have their own agenda). As he was young, I did not want him pressured so she just worked on helping him gain confidence under saddle and complete respect for his handler. She also worked on specific "issues" that we were having-teaching me a few techniques that worked beautifully. I just can't say enough positive things about her. I have been riding and raising foals for almost 40 years, and I am very picky about who handles my horses. I had complete confidence that Cathie would give him the absolute best start under saddle without him being pressured or scared. He came back an absolute dream. Thanks Cathie!

Kristina Gustafson - Aldamir Farm http://www.aldamirfarm.com/ 

 


I heard of Cathie when a friend of mine contacted her to work with her 17.3 hand Holsteiner gelding. I watched Cathie work with him for several sessions and was impressed by her horsemanship while helping my friend's gelding. She had a very clear and understandable process that it was obvious the horse understood and which made sense to me too. I am not easily impressed having seen 100's of trainers, clinicians and supposedly accomplished horsemen/women working with horses over the past 20+ years and find I'm very disappointed in their methods and outcome. Not the case with Cathie, she was so refreshing to see and watch. She combines her experience with horses with some old principles of horsemanship, and they work. I have a 6yrs old Arabian mare, Buffy, who I had been working with and was ready to start under saddle. I knew that Cathie was the right person to take Buffy on her "first ride". The whole process was what I call a "non-event", meaning she took the time to teach the horse what the mare would need to know and be confident about before she got on so when the time came and she got on the mare was quiet, relaxed and totally working with Cathie to try and do what she asked. I would recommend Cathie to anyone, whether your horse has a "problem" or not because the benefit of learning how she communicates with the horse would help anyone improve their daily interaction with their horse! Tracy Antonelli Many Springs Arabians Rehoboth, Ma

 


Very proud to say Cathie Hatrick-Anderson  has done all the saddling/first ride work with Antonia...at 2 yrs 4 mos we don't expect much more than this but what an awesome start I'm getting on my filly who has no fear of being ridden...so glad I did not attempt starting a filly on my own. Antonia is going to be my horse when I'm in my 50's and 60's (God willing) and I am confident I'm going to have a very trusty partner in her. Michelle Ziemba

Antonia and I having a discussion right before I put the first ride on her which was uneventful.

 
Cathie has been working with my 3 year old QH gelding Tee J gettinghim started under saddle. I have owned and cared for horses most of my life but had never been involved in training a youngster. I have learned so much which I have also been using on my trained horses as well.
Cathie knows her stuff and it is evident in the progress that Tee J has made and how easily it was done. Thank You Cathie for all your help!

Gina Letteri

                

First time on his back, halter needs to go up higher.                     Just a few rides and his owner riding him in Dr. Cook's bitless bridle.


 

I drove out to several different new jobs in NH. The owner of this horse was distraught as she tragic news, she could not be a part of the process, so not too much feedback on this one, I just did my thing in two hours, and at end of a two hour session put the first ride on this little mare. It was uneventful.



Jenna Howard from NH Jenna was 13 years old here in “06” pictured is Jenna ground driving her horse then her first ride on Coyote. Truly a talented young lady! I just did pre flight checks on the filly, and Jenna did the rest! (With her mother’s approval)

Update Jun-09

This is how I met Cathie Hatrick Anderson. Our first three horses were two seven month olds, Yote and Wolf, and a 5 year old appy, who was appropriately named Kazz the Spazz. Since these were our first horses, we really had no clue what we were doing. My horse, Yote was hard to catch, and tried to kick every time I brought the halter out. Kazz, spooked at everything under the sun, and we could not handle him. Wolf had no vices or problems, he was just young and needed starting. My neighbor, who also was looking for a horse trainer at that time, found Cathie’s website and gave the link to my mom. She looked up the site, called Cathie, and arranged a time for her to come and help us with our horses. When Cathie came, and introductions were made, she started to work with Yote and I. During our hour she taught me how to catch her without her running away. Cathie also taught me how to do the basic ground work with Yote. At the end of the hour Yote knew how to lunge, move her front end, move her hindquarters, when asked, and also to stand quietly while I was haltering her. Because we were new to being horse owners , Cathie not only showed me how to work with my horse, she also showed me how to tie a rope halter, pick up Yote’s feet, and to gently rasp them with the fine side of the rasp to help her behave for our trimmer. Next it was my sister’s turn with Wolf. Cathie taught her the same things as she did with Yote and I. She also accomplished the same things with my sister’s horse, as she did with mine, all in a two hour session. After the two babies, Kazz’s turn was next. Cathie taught him so many things. First, she taught him how to join up. We also had a hard time catching him, so Cathie taught us how to deal with that. The next thing she taught us is lunging. Kazz had a hard time understanding this new concept, but Cathie was very patient. With a lot of persuasion, Kazz finally did get lunging. Cathie also wanted to desensitize him. She did a lot of advance and retreat with a plastic bag tied to the end of a whip.(Cathie rarely uses a bag on the end of a stick, she explained that most horses would jump out of their skin, Kazz would not back down but instead preferred to run you over or just over react) but at the end of the session, she could wave the bag and whip all over him. He just stood there with a “whatever” look on his face. Three years, and eight horses, later, Yote can now ride under saddle at a walk, trot, and canter. She can also ride bridleless at a walk, trot, and does her ground work beautifully in just a neck rope with voice commands. Cathie has inspired me to be a horse trainer, and she is also an amazing teacher, with horses and humans. Thank you so much for what you have done for me, Cathie! - Jenna Howard (age 14)

 

1st ride on Kelly’s gelding "Ricky" Aug” 08”

look at the tongue!
He is as opinionated as his dam Angie

Flexing to a halt.

I finally got my act together! It's hard to believe that it's been over two years since I first hired you to work with Angie and I. At that time she was very much the bully, lacking confidence but very willing to grump at anyone who crossed her path. I had done tons of ground work with the mare but had not been successful in convincing her to accept a rider with any degree of confidence I felt that she was much too quick for me to mount for the first time so enlisted a former jockey to sit on her. That plan didn’t go so well as he allowed himself to be ejected off the mare and looking back I can’t blame the mare for being nervous about the whole situation. I was back to square one and quite frustrated and discouraged when I discovered you through the Equine site yellow board. I will never forget our first session and the benefits that surfaced. Angie started to take an interest in humans for something other than food and began to be more social around the barn. Your skill and consistency when working a horse is second to none and something this mare needed to experience. Angie and I learned a whole lot in that first session of groundwork...I actually learned how ask my horse to stand still! The most memorable moments for me were watching you work on mounting Angie. You allowed her to stand beside the mounting block and wait patiently while you did what appeared to be a ballet! Up and down from both sides and I do believe you actually sat on her in the process.

I do not and never will possess that much grace and dignity when mounting a horse! It is amazing to have been witness to the transformation this mare has made since we met you. Her attitude began improving after your first visit and an even bigger improvement after your second visit which gave Angie her first real ride under saddle. Since those first few awesome sessions it remains exciting to watch as you guide Angie through several new adventures including her first rides along side other horses and outside the ring. I truly value your patience involving me in each step in the process. I am trying to make her a priority this summer with the hope of having enough confidence and miles to trailer her to your place for a ride before snow flies this year. Since that first session, you have been a life saver Angie and I. I appreciate the time you spent with us. We both learn something from every session we have with you. As an instructor, trainer and farrier, I spend so much time with other people’s horses I forget to make time and save energy for my own! This mare turned out to be a bigger project than I was looking for but one that immense value. She is so smart and sensitive. I don’t need to make any more mistakes with her and am excited to have you as a resource to help guide her development. I have watched you work quite a few horses now. Some I have experience with and others I’ve never met. You are fair and consistent with every horse you meet. I have a great deal of respect for your skill and for the work that you do! Following the example you have set, I strive to improve my horsemanship skills and incorporate the skills I learn from you into my pre-existing skill and knowledge base. You are definitely a “trainer’s trainer” in addition to being a horse trainer. Thank you for all that you do to promote skilled horsemanship in humans and to demonstrate to our horses that humans can be fair and patient leaders. Kelly Parliman, Mont Vernon, NH. 


I heard of Cathie when a friend of mine contacted her to work with her 17.3 hand Holsteiner gelding. I watched Cathie work with him for several sessions and was impressed by her horsemanship while helping my friend's gelding. She had a very clear and understandable process that it was obvious the horse understood and which made sense to me too. I am not easily impressed having seen 100's of trainers, clinicians and supposedly accomplished horsemen/women working with horses over the past 20+ years and find I'm very disappointed in their methods and outcome. Not the case with Cathie, she was so refreshing to see and watch. She combines her experience with horses with some old principles of horsemanship, and they work. I have a 6yrs old Arabian mare, Buffy, who I had been working with and was ready to start under saddle. I knew that Cathie was the right person to take Buffy on her "first ride". The whole process was what I call a "non-event", meaning she took the time to teach the horse what the mare would need to know and be confident about before she got on so when the time came and she got on the mare was quiet, relaxed and totally working with Cathie to try and do what she asked. I would recommend Cathie to anyone, whether your horse has a "problem" or not because the benefit of learning how she communicates with the horse would help anyone improve their daily interaction with their horse! Tracy Antonelli Many Springs Arabians Rehoboth, Ma

I was nervous about putting the first ride on my sometimes "moody" filly. However, Cathie came out for her second time and made it seem like this was something I could possibly do without getting killed. Cathie put me at ease and my filly responded beautifully. I know that I would never have gotten this far with this particular horse had it not been for Cathie's help. Thanks Cathie! Aimee-Middleton, Ma.

"AJ is my second horse, but my first baby. I had a session with

Cathy at my house when AJ was just about 7 months old. I learned from her how to handle him to gain my respect and trust . She went thru the steps of what NOT to allow him to get away with and what to expect from the stages he would go thru! She not only showed me but had me work with him while she was there to make sure I got it!  I absorbed everything she had to offer and used it throughout the next 2 years. At two and a half years old, I felt he was ready to start lightly under saddle. I contacted Cathy once again and she came out to work with us Even though I was confident in my horse, I wanted her professional opinion to be sure that he was ready to accept a rider.

When Cathy arrived, she had me work with AJ a bit to see how we were together; she then proceeded to work with him herself, since she would be the one to get on his back, he needed to respect her too! NOT! He wanted no part of this stranger telling him what to do! BUT, that didn't last long.

In no time she had his total attention and respect; saddled him, and hopped on! It was so wonderful to see. He was so TOTALLY relaxed he looked like he had been ridden all his life. She clucked at him, told him to walk-on and off they went at that ever-so-slow draft horse pace, head and neck low and relaxed! In fact he was so relaxed that she took him out on to the street for a short ride. I also got to hop on that day for a short pony ride.

We have ridden once a week for the past few weeks and it has been great! One more perk was that the join-up session that she worked on with him he TOTALLY got it, now when I work him in the arena, I have his attention on me at all times! ITS SO GREAT! Cathy will be back to put the first trot on him in a few months, then its on to trailer-loading 101!" Nancy Perry - Berkley, MA

 

 

 

This is Willow, our 17.2H Belgian mare. She is 4 years old and we are just starting her. Cathie put the first ride on her on 9/15/04. Already a nice, low headset!
Lisa Benoit Cumberland, RI

When Cathie first rode Mirror there were no problems. She accepted having a rider just fine, without any nervousness or aggression. I think she was so well introduced to all the ground work and aids that she responded just as willingly having someone on her back. She continues to progress each time she is worked. I would recommend Cathie Anderson to anyone needing training or retraining help.

Hi everyone My 2 year old filly was a nightmare to handle until Cathie came over and spent an hour with her. Thank you so much - she now has respect for humans, and has not reared or thrown her head once since our session. Cathie knows what she's doing and it works. I'm so glad she came over, and I can't wait to have her do the first ride with Lilly. I also attended the bitless bridle clinic, which was very informative and really opened my eyes. THANKS!! Sincerely Tracy B.

 

Unfortunately we have no picture of her second ride, but below is what Lily's owner had to say about how it went.

Hi - Cathie came out to see LILLY, my 2 year old TB/Appy cross three times and last time was amazing - she got on, walked, halted, turned and circled - all calmly and confidently. Cathie spent 2 hours working with her and had her full attention and respect after about 10 minutes. I highly recommend using Cathie to "start" your young horse. Can't wait to have her back soon. Tracy

Thank you Tracy. The first visit was to show Tracy all the things that needed to be in place before I would even consider getting on Lily; we did lunging, hand walking, and ground driving around simple obstacles. She was a handful the first visit. When Tracy called me to say Lilly was ready, I thought SURE she is. Well Tracy impressed me, She followed through with the homework I gave her, and the first ride was uneventful. A few months later the second ride went fine too, I think Lily was 2 1/2 when I put the actual first ride, now in when spring arrives she will be ready to ride 

Back to Picture Testimonials

Go to top