Horse Boy Method 4: Advanced Back-Riding – Canter work, stabilizing the seat, and rule based games

Duration: 2 day (aprox. 6h per day)


  • $750 for Riders and Handlers (costs for workshops may vary with locations and teachers; price DOES NOT include Evaluation phase for becoming a Certified Practioner)

Qualification for: 3* Star Horse Boy Method Practitioner

Designed for:

  • Therapeutic riding instructors
  • Riders with an interest in Autism
  • Equine professionals


  • Completed Horse Boy Method 3
  • Age 16 and older; neuro-typical only (for young adults on the spectrum check with your trainer regarding participation)
  • For advanced riders able to collect a horse in the canter and able to jump a 3′ course comfortably
  • Must be able to go on fast trail ride at canter over steep banks and slopes

What will be covered in Horse Boy Method 4?

This course is for very advanced riders only. It is about how to train the Terra a Terre into a horse and how to optimize the Rule Based Games at the canter. 

To keep somebody else’s child up there safe is a lot of responsibility. You will get the best results with children usually at the canter, but you cannot sacrifice your or their safety just to get a canter. 

Because of that we will ask you to jump a 3′ course as part of the workshop. This will show us that you have a certain level of independent seat and are most likely able to make the right judgement calls to keep a child safe up there with you at a canter.


What will be covered in Horse Boy Method 4?

  • Theory
    • Recap HBM 1 & 4 (Overview & preparing the back-riding horse)
    • Why the canter work works so well for getting communication with autistic kids
    • The Oxytocin connection – creating the bliss/trust hormone through collection
    • Why work at the canter?
    • How does it help the child?
    • How does it improve cognition?
    • Why collect the canter?
    • Why the terre a terre (canter in place)
    • Transition (walk to canter and halt to canter) why are they important, how do you get them, how do they help the child
    • Recap why soft transitions help child in day to day life as well as on horse back
    • Leg yield, shoulder for and sitting to the inside
    • Cantering the horse off the inside leg vs the outside leg. Why is the inside leg more effective?
    • Why walk trot countdowns but canter count ups
  • Lunging & being lunged at the canter
  • Ridden work & in hand
    • Recap count downs
    • Reprise of basic in hand plus in hand half pass and renvers
    • Ridden countdowns and walk canter transitions
    • Introduce canter count ups (demo)
      • 4s to all the way around the circle with downward transitions first though trot then walk then halt
      • Then down to 2s,1s and terre a terre
      • flying change demo
    • Canter count up exercise through trot 4s then all the way around
    • Beginning the terre a terre (canter in place)
  • Canter trail ride with Freddy one handed
    • Walk trails and prep trails
    • small obstacles
    • banks
    • Stepping over small logs
    • Bending around trees
    • Terre a terre on trail
  • Being lunged no reins no stirrups, no hands at 3 gaits on big moving warmblood
  • Ridden work
    • Redo canter count ups
    • Slow canter = not losing stick contact with other person
    • Finding the terre a terre one handed with Freddy
  • Jumping lesson (jumping a grid of 3’ jumps) to stabilize the seat
  • Rule based games – playing tag (and other games) with Freddy one handed at canter with lots of walk to canter transitions