Yarramba top banner image
Specialists in training, teaching, trail riding & horsemanship

Horse Training

Yarramba is constantly in demand for its training services, with up to five horses at a time here to be broken in or trained.


Breaking In

Mark's approach starts with taking away a horse's fear, gaining its respect, then putting it in a situation where it can learn what is required.

His methods include 'Join Up' in the round yard where the horse learns to be submissive in the pecking order. The horse learns to accept humans and the things that are associated with them, for example halters, ropes, saddle, bridle, plastic bags, stockwhips and dressage whips. He does not tie the horse up to bag him out, nor hobble him for the same purpose.

The minimum time for starting a young horse is generally a month, and the final result is a horse that can be ridden calmly in all situations on its own and in company, through water, past traffic, opening and shutting gates, and accepting saddlebags and Drizabones.

"Problem Horses"

Most horses misbehave out of fear and a lack of communication from their handler. Always remember that a horse that is bucking or rearing is behaving that way because it feels that its life is threatened by its handler and is following survival instincts to protect itself.

Some problems can be solved in a few sessions, for example horses that are difficult to put onto floats, are headshy, difficult to shoe, will not take a correct canter lead or will not back up.

Generally when we concentrate on teaching horses advanced exercises such as flexions, transitions, canter leads and lateral movements, the horse becomes a calmer and more useful mount. As well as working with difficult horses, Mark also offers horseowners instruction in join up, lunging, ground control, exercises to improve balance, rein control and lateral control leading up to flying changes and rollbacks.



'We operate a sheep and cattle property at Eucumbene and lease a block at Snowy Plains where we run cattle for the summer months. Over the last eight or nine years Mark has broken in eight horses for us, all of which have been extremely well handled, easy to get on and off, load on a float, crack a whip off, and ready to go as stock horses when they come back home. We are completely satisfied with Mark's work and have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone.'
Glen & Sue Williams, Eucumbene, June 2006

Our Story - Jack & Tolly

When I was twelve (in 2011) and had just moved into the area, we bought a 6-year-old horse. His name was Jack and he was a beautiful dappled grey 15hh Quarter Horse. I thought he was perfect for my skill level he was relaxed, slow moving and had a nice paced trot and canter.

After about a year of having him I decided to enter the annual 2012 Snowy Mountains Grammar School Interschool"s Competition, which is the local big horse competition. I thought I will easily be able to jump the cross-rails (about 50cm jump in height), but no, Jack had other plans. He had been acting up a little bit before hand and I thought nothing of it. He was always a bit slow and not too forward moving, but in the past week or so he would just stop and toss his head about, no matter what I would do. So when we finally got into the arena he thought "oh yay! Lets not go at all, in fact, lets just rear and get ourselves kicked out of the ring"
So I left the show very upset and with a huge loss of confidence in my horse and myself.

So I Put Jack away for winter and when I got back on him later that year, he still had his rearing problem. It was starting to get to a point where I was scared of even walking him away from people or off the lunging rein. I didn't know what to do or where to start in a situation like this. I spoke to my parents about the situation and we had two choices- the first being to sell Jack and start the search for a new horse all over again, this option also meant giving up, which is something that isn"t always positive, and option two: seek professional help, that professional help was Mark.

He taught me many skills, changed my riding style (for the better), changed my horse and got our confidence to work together back. After about 10 weeks of hard work I had an amazing new horse that scored me a blue ribbon in the 2013 Snowy Mountains Grammar School Interschool"s Competition. The work Mark has taught me to manage my horse and myself will continue to stay with me for the whole of my riding life. He taught me many skills I didn't know even existed and most of all made sure I was always enjoying myself and understanding what he was saying to me.
Thank you sincerely for all your time and dedication. This blue ribbon should really be awarded to you.

Testimonial from Cheryl

Hello, my name is Cheryl and I am a 52 year old lady and this is how my journey started with Rosemary & Mark....

When I was a young girl my older brother was interested in horses and when he was old enough, he bought a young horse of his own, which my father helped break-in. She was, as I remember, a very skittish filly and was as nervous with my brother as he was with her. I was always around whenever he or my father were doing any work with her, as I was always keen to help, but unfortunately, my brother"s fears and nerves quickly rubbed onto me.
Never the less, my passion for horses was still strong so I decided to have a lesson, a beginner's ride, at one of Canberra"s so called" top riding schools."" Due to their inability to identify my needs as a novice rider, it resulted with them placing me on a horse that was totally unsuitable and un-educated, therefore giving me a distressing experience, leaving me with very little confidence in achieving my desire to ride. That was when I was around 12 and sadly the last time I ever rode a horse...
A very close friend visited from Queensland and wanted to take me riding as I had been contemplating giving horse riding another go. He searched the web and found Yarramba. Not being familiar with the area he asked me how far that was from Canberra. I said," it's not too far; it will be a lovely drive and we can make a day of it ".... So we did !!
Rosemary & Mark were there to greet us with Dino and Diesel saddled ready to go. I was feeling more anxious than nervous, but soon felt at ease after meeting and talking with both Rosemary & Mark.
We had a lesson in the arena before our trail ride and on Ieaving the arena I was feeling safe and reassured. Dino was the perfect gentleman, Rosemary was comforting and her gentle calming voice of reassurance instilled in me that I could do this; ( after thinking that I would never get back on a horse ever again) and yet there I was!! I soon came to realise that I was "ok" and in very good hands - which immediately made me feel less nervous and more relaxed. Dino only trotted when I asked him to and it didn't matter which horse was first or last, Dino still only did what I asked of him. He was attentive, gentle, well mannered, completely sound and took great care of me. This is a true reflection of the manner and style in which their horses are trained and cared for.
We all had a perfect afternoon taking in the breathtaking scenery and enjoying a safe ride and encouraging instruction from Rosemary.. but my backside was very relieved to be out of the saddle after two and a half hours!!
That day I decided that if I was going to learn to ride it would be at Yarramba with Rosemary & Mark.
I have been learning with both Rosemary & Mark for the past four months. I can"t believe how much they have taught me and how much I have accomplished in such a short time. I have been cantering now for the past 4 weeks and loving it !
This is something completely new to me, as I have never even trotted, let alone cantered on a horse before - I can"t believe I can do it and with a huge smile on my face!!
I cannot express how grateful I am that I got this wonderful opportunity to learn from such amazing people. They are genuine people with valuable life time knowledge for both horse and rider.
They have given me great self-confidence. They have been with me every step of the way and anyone that has had a bad experience on a horse, will know that it isn"t an easy task to climb back in the saddle no matter how many years between. Nevertheless, it is with immense joy that I can honestly say that my lessons with Rosemary or Mark is the highlight of my week...
My husband and I drive from Canberra every Saturday to Yarramba. Some people say to me, “Why do you travel so far? There are riding schools in Canberra!! "I simply answer," Because I want to learn from the best and learn on horses that I trust completely."
Rosemary & Mark and their extremely well educated horses, their horsemanship, dedication and commitment are second to none, so why would I want to go anywhere else. Each week I learn more and more, growing more and more confident, learning to be more assertive, learning correct leg techniques, correct rein control and most importantly balance. This is a confidence I never thought I would achieve, but with great heart warm thanks to Rosemary, I have achieved this milestone in my life at 52. I just wished I had met Rosemary & Mark all those years ago, however, I am extremely thankful and proud that I have come to know them now. I trust them completely, I admire their patience, they are true confidence builders, they are totally dedicated to teaching the correct techniques and riding skills with clear instruction and encouragement, along with their life experiences and accomplishments they are able to teach everything about horsemanship.
I will be friends with them and their wonderful horses for many years to come. I don"t believe I would have achieved this mile-stone without Rosemary & Mark and I thank my friend Denis who travelled so far and found them for me.
and so my journey continues...

For anyone, of any age, who is contemplating learning to horse ride or wanting to expand their knowledge, riding skills or to simply start from the absolute beginning like I did, or just want a safe trail ride through the spectacular high country, I can"t emphasize enough, do yourself a favour and visit Rosemary & Mark at Yarramba - it will be the best thing you ever do !!