Murray Riches

Discipline: Horsemanship & Starting

Murray's journey with horses began before he can recall. Fortunate to grow up on the back of a horse; riding wild on his family farm in the King Country, Murray helped his parents run horse riding camps for teenagers over the summer holidays. 

He cut his teeth starting and training camp ponies for his parents and riding at the local Taumarunui PC. As a teenager Murray enjoyed PC eventing, but hated that "dressage malarkey"! Realising that if he ever wanted to be any good at evening he needed to understand dressage a little better; therefore, took himself off to a top dressage barn after high school, where he groomed for two years.

Discovering 'real' dressage opened Murray's eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities for connection and harmony between horse and human, and was hooked!

Murray's desire for harmony and partnership with his equine buddies lead him on further to discover 'horsemanship'. In Murray's words horsemanship helped him to better understand the exquisitely sensitive and intelligent animal, and find ways of relating that move beyond force and towards harmony through the development of timing, understanding, and feel.

Now working full time starting, schooling and coaching, Murray says he continues to learn and grow everyday, guided by the four legged critters who come through his gate.

Find out how Murray draws together the fundamental principles of both horsemanship and dressage in starting a young horse under saddle. Murray will cover setting up the right relationship, establishing some important ground work, progressing through the first saddling and bridling, and getting the first rides on a young horse. 

He will also take you through the importance of developing and maintaining lateral softness and bend, in conjunction with free forward movement, to develop lightness and harmony with your young horse.

Key learnings to take away from Murray's sessions:

  • Setting up the relationship and showing leadership (starting on the ground)
  • Developing timing and feel
  • Importance of lateral softness
  • Free forward movement
  • Riding the hindquarters
Murray Riches riding horse

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