We offer a range of livery packages including training, working, full, part and grass livery. Please see our livery page for more details or get in touch to discuss your individual requirements.


Starting a horse is the process of introducing the first saddle, long lines and rider. It is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential phases of the horse’s life. A good start can install good behavioural patterns and a willingness to work. Starting a horse is different to the traditional breaking method as it works with the horse mind as well as his body creating a bond built on trust. The horse is encouraged to see the human as a leader to work with in partnership they become far more mentally stable and often their whole outlook on life is changed for the better.

Bringing on / Schooling

Joanna enjoys producing her own young horses and competes in a verity of disciplines, although her passion lies in eventing. She believes that eventing gives the horse such a good all-round education and enjoys the preparation that goes into it. Horses can be taken for schooling to improve their flat work or introduce them to jumping. Young horses can also be taken to be introduced to the training show environment and older horses to compete.


Re-starters are horses that people have begun the starting/breaking process with and then experienced problems. Sadly many people underestimate what it takes to start a horse successfully and create a willing partner.

Remedial work can be done with many of these horses but unfortunately it takes much longer to undo undesired learned behaviour and to rebuild trust than it does to do it right in the first place. Remedial work can also be done with ridden horses that have developed an unwanted behaviour such as napping, rearing or bucking. These horses will undergo a thorough assessment, including physical soundness, after which an honest opinion will be given as to the quality of horse that can be produced.


Ground work is fundamental to any equine – human relationship. In the wild the only way one horse can assert authority over another is to move its feet. Therefore for you to be a good leader to your horse you must be able to control your horse’s feet.

Ground work can be done close to the horse on the halter or at a distance on the long lines. Either way it is a fantastic way to improve your relationship with your horse, teaching manners, respect for your space and it is also great for building confidence both in horse and handler. Above all it can also be great fun for you and your horse achieving things you didn’t know were possible.


Balanced Equine can help with your loading problems whether they be into a trailer, lorry or starting stalls. Joanna starts with ground work to build trust between herself and the horse and then assess what the horse is afraid of. Is it the ramp? Is the horse claustrophobic? Joanna then works with the horse to overcome this fear and get it confident about loading into and standing quietly in the trailer, lorry or starting stall.


A spooky horse can take some of the pleasures out of riding. Particularly if out on a hack you have to be on super high alert just in case you come across a bicycle, Leprechauns in the bushes, or worst of all the dreaded plastic bag!! Balanced Equine can help by working with you and your horse to help him overcome these fears. We cannot guarantee a “bomb proof” horse as the horse is a wild flight animal after all but we can make a big difference to his confidence level when approaching scary objects


Joanna worked in racing for several years before setting up her own business. She worked with point – to – point and National Hunt horses in Ireland before spending twelve months as Head Girl on a flat yard in Australia.

Balanced Equine specialise in the backing and schooling of yearlings, store horses and older horses. Joanna’s patient approach and vast experience means that your horse will receive the top class care and attention to get him off to a great start for a career on the track. We can take on both homebreds and horses direct from the sales for starting under saddle and also take horses for pre- training before they go on to a trainer’s yard. Sales preparation, rehabilitation and re-schooling can also be arranged. Please call Joanna for an informal chat to discuss your horse’s individual requirements.

Joanna also has experience in re schooling ex racehorses to give them a chance at a second career whether it be a quieter life as a leisure horse or as an RoR horse for competition.

“In the autumn of 2010 Joanna took on a very nervous thoroughbred horse we were having great difficulty backing at home. She got the job done magnificently and when Fergus returned home a few months later he was ready to crack on and begin his successful career as a racehorse. We are indebted to Joanna for her help in getting him on the right track and I would not hesitate to use her again.” Katie Scott Racing, Galashiels

Before and after photos of Fergus the racehorse:
Fergus with the backing dummy Fergus winning

Other Services

Balanced Equine also offer a range of other services including, desensitizing the horse to clippers, catching, standing still for mounting and preparing for the vet or farrier.If you have a specific need or more information about any of the service listed do not hesitate to contact Joanna for friendly help and advice.

Although Joanna will help clients get riding their young horses after backing or re schooling she does not provide riding lessons.

Before Balanced Equine starts work with a horse Joanna requests the owner to fill out a short assessment form so that we can identify the key goals that you would like to achieve. Joanna will then work with you to devise a plan that suits you. Joanna likes the owners to be hands-on so that she can coach you for a successful future with you horse.

“I first met Jo on Sunday 1st February. She arrived at my farm to collect my three year old that had never been loaded and was terrified of the horsebox. Within an hour she had him in the box, completely relaxed and ready to travel. The following three weeks were the most enlightening experience I’ve had. The technique and professionalism shown by Jo towards me and my horse were exceptional… She is a credit to you (Kelly Marks), your teachers, and your organisation and to Monty Roberts himself. I would never again allow a horse of mine or anyone’s I know to be trained using conventional methods.” A. Norton, Carlow, Ireland