Starting your horse well for a lifetime of Partnership

The majority of “problems” we encounter could have been avoided from day one

I don’t want a BROKEN horse

I want a confident, happy partner. Is “starting” your own horse a dream of yours? Or maybe you do it for a career? Well here’s an opportunity with one of New Zealand’s leading Clinicians – Ken’s expertise in the starting of young horses is unsurpassed. Come and join him for a 9-day intensive adventure – working with the horse and you – mind, body and spirit. Develop the skills to safely begin the journey for horse and rider, keeping the horse’s spirit intact and creating a relaxed and willing partnership.

Do it right the FIRST time

So many of the horses we see are “re-starts” – this is an area of Horsemanship where our “Kiwi-can” culture can be very detrimental for the horse. When the process goes wrong we can end up with a horse that can be dangerous – just like Bilbo in the video. Luckily Jeremy saw something in Bilbo and brought him to Ken – and as Jeremy says in the video – Ken saved Bilbo’s life.

Being Started can be the most stressful time in a horses life and we want to guide you in the process so that both horse and rider come through the process intact and happy. At the end of the 9 days you will be able to walk trot and canter together, pick up his feet, put a cover on, ride in the arena and out over the farm and up on the bush trails – and have a happy partner that trusts you and you can trust him.

It’s not about “forcing” and “making”

Setting things up so the horse can find it, giving him the time that he needs to think and figure things out, letting things be his idea. Ken will guide you through the process of preparing your horse to be saddled and ridden.

You are able to bring 2 horses with you – your established horse and one to start. Ken will coach you how to use your established horse to help you start your green horse. Using another horse to help you in the process can be very beneficial and comforting for the green horse.

Safety for both the horse and rider is paramount and Ken will be there to support you every step of the way.

Horse riding

What’s Included In Your Starting Clinic Package


Experience a fabulous 9 days at Retreat Ranch, Ken and Janes beautiful property in the Bay of Islands. Stay on-site and make life long friends. Fully immerse yourself in horsemanship at its best.


You get to bring a horse to start under the expert guidance of Ken Dromgool, as well as another support horse that will provide you with safety and stability for the ongoing development of your freshly started horse! All three of you get trained!


Prior to the clinic get Kens DVD on “Beginning the Journey” with a young horse – taking you through the process of starting a you horse – a priceless resource for you.


get comfort from being supported the whole way through the process – gain valuable knowledge that will set you up for the rest of your life with horse.
Please Note All Prices Are In New Zealand Dollars and includes Good and Services Tax

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Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We have the answers

Fully equipped kitchen to store and prepare your meals in The dining room and lounge where you can socialise and relax Bathroom (with toilet and shower)

Yes – you are able to camp in your float/truck as part of the Clinic fees and grazing for your horses is also included.  We do have some Twin Share Cabin beds available for hire. Contact us to check for availability.

You need to be at least 18 years

Yes – we often help people get their horses to the clinic as people have floating issues and that is the reason they want to do the clinic and it is also the reason they don’t get to the clinic! So give us a call well beforehand to organise this – we are happy to help you out.

No. If you can’t attend the full 9 days you will need to choose another date.

Ken will take up to 8 people. We also have our Interns assisting us so there can be up to 3 people teaching – you will get plenty of individual attention.

Yes – we keep this Workshop small and personal so you and your horse get plenty of one on one attention. When Jane and Ken are both there you have 2 dedicated highly experienced teachers as well as our highly trained Interns.

Definitely – working your horses is one of the things that we really enjoy it helps get you and your horse to a place where you can really start to get connected. If you don’t want us to work your horse that is perfectly OK too – just let us know.

Customer Testimonials

Was really cool to put some of Jed and my new skills to use today out in the real world of a trek. 1. Self load in float to get there✔ 2. Quick ground school to check attention and softness✔ 3. Park up so I can mount off float mudguard ✔ 4. Cruise along calm and soft with no spookies✔ 5. Open a couple of gates without getting off✔ 6. Stand nicely for me to remount when required ✔ 3 hours of up hill down dale and not a hoof out of place! Love this horse more all the time! Things have certainly changed for the better since starting the Dromgool journey, and it’s cool how my friends are also noticing and commenting on the huge changes they can see in us both 😀 thanks Dromgools xx


Horseback riding
Horseback riding
Hi all. Omg i had the most amazing time doing this clinic! I observed for a day about 6 months ago an truly loved Ken an Jane!!! They are just super fantastic and fun but serious! It was a huge huge step outside my comfort zone but they made it so easy! I never felt embrassed or scared an was even speaking up!! Amazing people. This has not only helped my confidence in my horsemanship but reflected in2 my every day life as well! Im so in for a few more clinics yet!! Thank you so much!@@


I want to say a HUGE thank you to Jane and Ken, for the life changing experience Dante and I have just had on their riding holiday. Being able to put everything that we have learnt on the clinics into practice, was incredible for us. So many light bulb moments and seeing the small pieces of the puzzle come together and make such hugely profound changes with my horse, have just blown me away. I have now got a very happy and safe horse and am enjoying every minute.


Horseback riding
Horseback riding
Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing weekend. My green QH is so lucky to have done her 10th, 11th and 12th rides at your Auckland clinic. I know this has fast-tracked her learning fantastically and given her a massive boost so early in her ridden life. It was great to both Jane and Ken understand her immediately and teach her so much. I’m very grateful for the guidance and direction you both gave us!!


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