Welcome to Balleroo

Riding School & Pony Education Centre

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A happy place for horses and people

Balleroo Riding School & Pony Education Centre is a small family oriented business located in the hills suburb of Wooroloo, 60km east of the Perth CBD.

Balleroo has a friendly, farm atmosphere and is a happy place for horses and people to be.

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The Balleroo Blog

News and updates from Balleroo

For the love of your trainer, DON’T BUY AN ALL PURPOSE SADDLE!

Years ago I had someone tell me ‘You ride like you are on a ski lift’!  I was so offended! Having spent so much money on lessons and still I rode like shit?!  I found out later she was correct.  Its not something anyone wants to hear but especially a 16 year old riding in her lovely all purpose saddle! Anyone that knows me also knows how picky I am especially about my horses gear!……….. If you have ever ridden an 11hand pony in an All purpose (or General purpose) you understand.  All of the comfort, practicality and function gets thrown out the window! Quite often young child who usually rides in this saddle gets thrown ‘out the front door’ off the pony. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of people that disagree with me here, and that’s OK, we are all entitled to our own opinion.  I’m writing this as a horse trainer who rides up to 8 horses a day and has taught lots of different children and adults. Yesterday I was riding a little pony in an AP saddle which had been fitted to him by a professional. Something I always recommend. As soon as I got on I could see the saddle did not support the front of my leg at all. All purpose saddles are cut this way with minimal support for the front of the leg so my leg was sitting off the back of the saddle flap.   Pretty much all I am using this saddle for is a seat and somewhere to hang my stirrups from. (There is a video link further down which will... read more

Phoebe weeks 4- 6

Time flies sometimes! Its been a busy few weeks at Balleroo with trainers and lessons. I’ve been riding Phoebe 5 or 6 days a week, but no one is ever around to take photos! I also had a week off and went to Equitana in Melbourne, so Phoebe got a bit of a break and stayed an extra week. She is due to go home over the weekend…6 weeks already! The last few weeks have been a lot of repetition on what Phoebe has already learnt.   She now learns to come off of the cue a bit quicker and with less pressure, she has also been cantering now as her trot has become more consistent and controlled. The canter cue is something we have been really working on. At first the cue is quite large and obvious to her then its followed up by a ‘kissing’ sound which she has been taught on the ground so she already knows. She picks up canter for a few strides then is rewarded with a rub and a rest. The canter cue over time is made more subtle with my body, still followed up with a kiss if needed, and she is expected to keep it up a little longer, until she can confidently ride the whole arena. She has also started being ridden in a bit, and because she was coming off the pressure without a bit so well, its quite an easy transition over to a bit. She is only being ridden in a bit as her plans for the future are a possible child’s pony who will probably... read more

Phoebe, Week 3

Week 3, as far as spectating goes at Balleroo, it’s a boring week. There is no running or bucking, snorting and all that cool stuff to watch, actually, thinking about it, Its rarely this entertaining to watch… Might have to go to a rodeo if you want to see that! Its a very slow, calm week. I’ve introduced the saddle and a bitless bridle, a sidepull, to help with her turning aids and being more direct with the left and right rein. Phoebe has been going well this week, still working on turning and following the feel, sometimes she does well, other times she still braces her neck against the rein. But there has been improvement. Phoebe has been ridden in the arena with other horses a couple of times and trotted in the roundyard, I always work like this, in my opinion and from my experience, I like to get them working comfortably at the walk and trot and making sure you have a good bend to a stop before asking for the canter, you get a pretty good idea of when they are up for cantering too and it makes it more successful for them. Its like kindergarten, I want her to learn her letters individually before she is able to write her name. So in this case, her letters are leg on for walk, and rein for turn, or for stop, depending on how I ask. When she has got this well, we will ask for a little more and start writing our name. There should be no rush through kindy, it takes as long as... read more

Phoebe- First weeks

Nearly 2 years ago I had my website set up for Balleroo Riding School and decided I should have a blog for updates about the school and pony education centre. Now all that time has passed and I’m finally writing my first post, after a bit of help to figure it out again, so lets see if I can keep this up! I get a lot of pony trainers and starters (because that is what I do) through Balleroo Pony Education Centre and thought I should give a brief explanation and updates on what I do. Introducing Phoebe   Phoebe is a 4 year old Connemara pony that has come to Balleroo to be started under saddle. She has been here almost 2 weeks now and over the first 2 weeks, for any horse that comes here, I start with working on the ground. This gives me a good opportunity to see what they know, to teach them things they need to know before getting on their back and to see how they respond to new things and pressure. Over the 2 weeks I get them working mostly on the line and have them disengaging their hindquarter (moving their bum and stopping) this will be my brakes when I start riding along with lateral bending, they also learn to yield their forequarter (move front feet over) walking and trotting on the circle with a nice soft bend and basic obstacle work. The first few days Phoebe was a bit spooky and rushy, we have a nursery near the round yard that flaps in the wind, so that’s pretty scary... read more

A fresh new look for our website

It was probably long overdue, but we got there in the end.  Our website has a fresh new look which we hope to expand on over the coming months. One of the first things we’re adding is this blog, where I will be posting news and updates for the Riding School & Pony Education Centre. As many of you know, I will be leaving in January for three months in the US, where I will be studying with Monty Roberts at his property Flag Is Up Farm in California.  I hope to be able to provide regular updates of my journey, with news and photos.... read more