Gentle, Effective Horse Training

As a Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, the first in Africa, Simon d’Unienville is certified by Monty Roberts to start and train horses using his world-renowned gentle, effective horsemanship methods.

“A good trainer can get a horse to do almost anything. A great trainer can cause the horse to want to do it.” ~ Monty Roberts

About Simon

Simon has spent the past 3.5 years studying gentle, effective horsemanship under world-renowned horseman Monty Roberts and his team of Certified Instructors from across the globe. Through his company, Equiville Horsemanship, he offers a range of horse and human training programs.

Monty Roberts has spent over 70 years refining his techniques and is a globally recognized name in the equine industry, having recently been name one of Horse & Hound Magazine’s “Top 50 Horsemen of All Time”. And Simon has had the privilege of learning from the master himself, working at Flag Is Up Farms in California with Monty training remedial horses, wild mustangs, unbacked horses, thoroughbreds-in-training, and yearlings and foals.

Simon Marrier d'Unienville, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, working with Monty Roberts and Diego at Flag Is Up Farms
Simon Marrier d'Unienvile Monty Roberts Certified Instructor with Shy Boy and Monty Roberts
Monty Roberts horse training - Simon Marrier d'Unienville, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, working with Monty Roberts and Diego at Flag Is Up Farms

Our Training Philosophy

Many horse trainers use the term “natural horsemanship” for their training. However, as Monty Roberts says, there’s nothing ‘natural’ about training and riding a horse. And at Equiville we prefer the term gentle, effective horsemanship.

Simon’s training always starts with creating a willing, trusting partnership between horse and human. Achieving willingness involves building the horse’s confidence in themselves using effective, logical training techniques based on natural equine behaviour and an understanding of their psychology. And this, in turn, creates a happier, more well-mannered, more cooperative horse – both on the ground and under-saddle.

Horses started at Equiville have gone on to work in a variety of disciplines, but all share a common foundation of softness, both mentally and physically.

Our horse training programs include:

Starting and Backing Horses

Experienced horse people, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and “World’s Greatest Horseman” winner Ron Ralls, have called Monty Roberts’ methods incredible, and we feel privileged to be part of Monty’s “worldwide family”. And for the first time in Africa, your horse can be certified as started by a Monty Roberts Instructor.

Effectively using Monty Roberts’ techniques have been proven to produce calmer, safer, more willing horses, both on the ground and under-saddle. And, by choosing to have your horse started by a Monty Roberts Instructor, you are giving your horse the best start in life, regardless of their intended discipline.

The 10-day starting process includes:

  • the gentling process

  • training off pressure

  • the starting process including building a willing partnership

  • first surcingle, first saddle and bridle, and first rider

  • picking up feet and standing for grooming, the farrier and vet

  • basic (ridden) schooling

  • desensitization to a variety of objects and stimuli

  • training to the mounting block

  • trailer loading

Equiville Horsemanship - Monty Roberts horse training
Placing Ardall rider - Monty Roberts Certified Instructor - starting and backing horses
Starting horses in Monty Roberts method by Monty Roberts Certified Instructor - first rider on quarter horse

By starting your horse “the right way”, using a non-violent, non-coercive method, you will have a happy, willing partner going forward – giving your horse the best start in life. Not only are Monty Roberts methods world-renowned and kinder to your horse – but also much faster than traditional training methods – meaning less time spent away from home.

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Advanced Schooling / Flat Work

Equiville Horsemanship, in partnership with some of the top riders in their field, offer continued education after the starting process – across a range of disciplines including Western Mounted Games, Western Pleasure, Polocrosse, Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing.

Available at your yard (+ AA travel rate from Midrand) or at Equiville Manor in Midrand. Please contact us for further information.

Equiville Horsemanship - Schooling for horses - jumping
Equiville Horsemanship - Schooling for horses - western pleasure
Polocrosse horse training - Equiville Horsemanship
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Remedial Horse Training

Is your horse a biter? Do you cringe every time the farrier is due to come around? Do you have a bargy horse? Does your horse rear, buck or bolt? Or do they spook at the slightest thing? Do you have a head shy or previously abused horse? Do they have an unexplained phobia you just can’t overcome?

A large percentage of behavioural problems are due to a horse being in pain / discomfort. If you’ve had your veterinarian check your horse for physical ailments but the problem still persists – we can help.

Using Monty Roberts’ methods Simon can assist your horse in overcoming a variety of remedial problems including:

  • bargy horses

  • biters / nippers

  • kickers

  • non-loaders

  • rearers

  • horses that blast off

  • difficult to catch

  • buckers

  • head shy horses

  • horses that refuse the bit

  • spooky horses

  • balkers

Bomb-proofing kids’ / novice’s horses also available.

Monty Roberts Certified Instructor Simon d'Unienville desensitizing spooky horse to plastic
Simon Marrier d'Unienville, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor, trailer loading starting and backing horses
Working with remedial horses - standing for the farrier - horse training by Monty Roberts Certified Instructor

Monty Roberts methods have helped tens of  thousands of horses worldwide overcome behavioural issues by discovering the root cause of the problem and re-training the horse to no longer continue the unwanted behaviour – giving them a fresh start in life.

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Ground Manners for Racehorses

Monty Roberts has spent over 50 years refining his techniques with racehorses and is a globally recognized name in the racing industry, helping many famous horses return to their careers after working through their difficulties. And effectively using Monty Roberts’ techniques have been proven to produce calmer, safer, more willing horses on, and off, the track. And over 5 days, with 30-minute sessions per horse, per day, our ground manners program schools horses-in-training in the following:

  • Ground Manners: To lead well, over-track, and stand quietly.

  • Training Off Pressure: Monty’s patented technique to stop horses leaning on the rails in the starting gates, losing value time.

  • Desensitization: Accidents and injuries happen with spooky horses and desensitization to a variety of objects and stimuli curb this.

Monty Roberts Ground Manners for Racehorses
Monty Roberts Certified Instructor Simon Marrier d'Unienville at Flag Is Up Farms Racehorse training
Monty Roberts Ground Manners for Racehorses
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Yearling Sales Preparation

Well-schooled thoroughbred yearlings with good ground manners and a large over-stride fetch a higher price at the yearling sales.

We offer yearling sales preparation to training yards and breeders to help prepare your youngsters for the sales.

Over a 5 day period, with 30-minute sessions per horse, per day, we will train your thoroughbreds to come off pressure, over-track in their strides, lead in a straight line, stand quietly, and be desensitized to busy surroundings.

Thoroughbred yearling sales preparation
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Foal Handling

Foal education comes in three stages: handling, haltering and leading. And while handling and haltering can be worked on by owners and staff, preparing your foal to lead well can be detrimental in inexperienced hands.

We work with breeders and yards on foal handling programs that suit their time and budget requirements – teaching foals to come off pressure, lead well and load easily. And desensitize them to a busy environment.

Monty Roberts Instructor Simon d'Unienville working with foals at Flag Is Up Farms
Monty Roberts Instructor Simon d'Unienville working with Arabian mare and foal
Monty Roberts Instructor Simon d'Unienville working on leading with Arabian mare and foal
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Horsemanship Courses

We also offer Monty Roberts Certified Courses including the Monty Roberts Introductory Course of Horsemanship

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And Horsemanship Clinics including Spooky Horse Clinics, Trailer Loading and Ground Manners

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