Horse Starting Course Testimonials
Feedback From Course Graduates

"Before doing Steve Brinkworth's Horse Starting Course, I was a bit fearful, lacked confidence in myself and trust in my horses... I was stuck and really had no idea how to move forward.

Worse, I was letting my own fear and insecurity limit my daughters ability to be the great horsewoman I believe she will become.

I love my horses and wanted to feel relaxed and effective around them and provide my daughter with leadership and mentoring in handling them.

I took my relatively unhandled filly (after a week of stressing out whether I would get her on the float) and my riding horse, on a 10 hour journey to South Australia, to do the intensive Horse Starting Course.

It was huge for me to take two-weeks out of my business and family life, but it has all paid off ten-fold!

The thing is, the Horse Starting Course is not just about Starting Young Horses, it's about giving older horses a new start too - and it was also about reprogramming me - I am amazed at how much I learned about 'me' and how I could be more effective, not just with horses, but in life. 

The Horse Starting Course has provided me with tools and a mindset to go forward calmly, confidently and positively."

Thank you Steve and Sally,


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Elise S - Victoria - November 2012

"When it was time to break in my young horse I wasn't confident enough to start myself but I did want to be part of the process and not just send her away.

I found out about Steve through Facebook and I really liked the calm way (no buck) of breaking he was talking about, so I booked the course for me and my horse.

The difference between day 1 and day 2 was amazing and I realised very quickly that I had given my horse the best start by booking the course.

Steve's method totally makes sense and it helped me understand my horse's behaviour and also helped my horse knowing how to help herself. It's amazing how much we've both learned in those 5 days.

Steve is so dedicated to the safety of both horse and trainer, he has so much patience and energy to teach you and the horse, if it wasn't for Sally he would have been teaching us 24/7!

I would recommend this course to anyone who has a young horse or a horse that has behavioural problems or you are trying to retrain. On top of receiving all this knowledge from Steve and Sally you also get to meet some great people!

I will definitely be back for more."

Big thank you to Steve, Sally, 


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Bianca Grigg - Clare Valley South Australia - 2017

"My initial motivation for attending Steves Horse Starting Course was simply to gain enough knowledge to be able to complement work done with my horses by a professional starter.

Boy - was I surprised!!

Steve’s approach and unique methodology opened my eyes to an entire new way of interacting with horses forever – not just during the starting process.   His technique is based on understanding and leveraging the primal instincts of the horse as a prey animal plus the simple fact that nature has not ‘built’ them to naturally carry us humans.   Everything he teaches is logical and based on the natural anatomy & behaviour of the horse, yet I am not aware of anyone else - here or overseas – who has cracked this code of interacting with our equine friends.

I have come away with a 100% new perspective – including lots of ‘relearning’ – which gives me so much hope and positivity for the future of my beautiful horses."


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Michelle Pilot - New South Wales - 2017

"Steve and Sally Brinkworth are an awesome partnership who deliver their Horse Starting Course as a well-tuned team!

Steve is a natural born teacher who is diligent and patient and makes sure everybody understands the lesson before moving on to the next topic.

He has a lifetime of experience with horses and has developed his method around this.

Steve and Sally ensure that safety is always first and that a confident and happy relationship between trainer [you!] and your horse follows.

I completed this course with my nearly 15-year-old daughter and am confident that she and I now have the foundations of a safe and happy relationship with horses for life.

Alice is now training 'Trumby' a 2-year-old brumby herself and I am excited & proud to see her progress with him.

If you have an opportunity to do this course, no matter what your discipline in horses it - you won’t regret it!"

Thanks Steve and Sally

Kind regards,

Veronica & Alice 

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Veronica Phillips - Victoria - 2017

"Firstly, I can not thank you enough for the fabulous experience I have just had.

The five days were totally amazing and your philosophy behind your methods is like no other and it “ROCKS’.

I left on such a high after believing that it was time to sell the horses and find some other leisure activity.

Unlike the [other] clinic, I attended, where I drove home in tears, I feel I have the confidence to at least make an effort to give the horses a solid foundation to keep them comfortable and safe.

You are an awesome team and it is wonderful to have people who are very passionate about what they do.
I am thrilled that I followed the recommendations of a few people who know you and we need more like you in the horse world.

There are many trainers, riders and horse owners out there who could benefit a great deal from your practices.
I am loving the book and have already looked several times at the “KEY’ to get a firm handle on what I am trying to achieve and get it right.

Keep up the great work you do!"

Kindest regards Sharon

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Sharon D - Victoria - 2017

"I cannot thank Steve and Sally enough for starting me and my new TB, Shadow off on the right foot. We have just completed the Horse Starting Course and I have learned so much. 

Steve is approachable, friendly and a great teacher.  I have never met anyone who is so generous
with his time and knowledge. Sally is warm and open, I always felt that she had our learning in the
front of her mind. She compliments Steve perfectly and they make a great teaching team. 

I was worried about coming on an intensive course - there are so many horse people running
them now that I didn't know how to choose a trainer.  I didn't need to worry. 

Steve's methods are sensible, positive for the horse, safe for everyone and logical. He is the only
trainer you need! He is able to explain exactly why he does what he does and he often predicts
the horses next movement through judging his body language.  

Of course, I have so much more to learn (I have already signed up for the Graduate course!) but I
feel confident in what I have taken away from the course - I know what I am looking for, how to
achieve it and am enjoying working with Shadow and practicing what Steve has taught us. 

Thanks Steve and Sally I cannot wait for the next course!"



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Sarah Macdonald. Director, Canine Comprehension - Victoria - 2017

"Dear Steve and Sally, 
Thank you so much for everything in Coffs Harbour last month.

Diana and I have both been around horses for well over 30 years now and the insights we learned from you both during the Horse Starting Course have really enhanced our horsemanship skills.

We are now much more confident in starting our new horses ourselves and also most importantly in giving all our current horses the skills they need to remain calm, confident and safe in any situation and hopefully really excel with all future training.

The balance between theory and practical was just right with the theory portion simple and easy to understand while the practical was done in such a way that we got to see the results between each individual horse and how their performance levels changed up and down from day to day.

Also, the material we took home with us has been really useful as we started doing things ourselves without Steve’s supervision.

Considering the varying experience levels of the course participants you both managed to effectively communicate so everyone was continually engaged and interested and that was certainly a challenge in the pouring rain and wind that we endured in the last couple of days and there was not a single complaint about the weather just simply a focus on what was being taught.

All up we had a great time, learned heaps, met lots of fantastic new people and all our horses will benefit greatly from just a few days with you both so again a very sincere thank you and I am sure we will stay in touch for many years as we continue with our horses."

Kind Regards

Michael and Diana

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Michael McBride and Diana Piper - New South Wales - 2015

"I was very fortunate to be offered the opportunity of learning about Horse Starting from Steve for six days – all by myself.

Throughout this ‘internship’ I have found Steve’s style relaxed, positive and encouraging. I learned the logic of being consistent with my expectations and behavior when working with each horse.

I now recognize that the lesson does not end after the saddle is taken off or after the round yard session, it continues as I lead the horse back to its yard, put its rug on, remove the halter and leave.

Every time I see my horse is a learning and teaching time. This includes feeding times. Through this intensive training, I have discovered some things I was not aware I was doing, such as yielding to the horse and how I sat in the saddle. I realized that I had been approaching my horses with ‘my plan’ without realizing (as I do now) that the horse needs to ‘choose’ to do what I want and recognizing how my actions influence the horse’s decision making.

Throughout the week I have seen my own skills improve significantly. Like many pleasure riders, much of my knowledge has been gleaned from friends and a run of teachers across a range of riding styles. I have developed a range of skills, both on the ground and in the saddle; some good and some needing improvement. Steve has respectfully identified those of my skills that need refining or adjustment and we have worked on these throughout the week.  I look forward to continuing to learn and improve.

Steve is able to explain his philosophy of horse starting through clear, easy to understand visual diagrams and is able to suggest easy ways to track the progress of your horse.

One of the most profound things I have noted during this time is that ‘posture is the foundation of all behaviour’. Bad posture leads to bad behavior, Good posture (and a well balanced horse) leads to good behavior, a calm horse and self-carriage.

I have a 15-month-old gelding. My plan is to train him, over time, into a riding horse that will last me for the next 20 years. Through Steve’s work with both the horse and me, I am confident that I will have a calm, responsive and responsible horse, mentally and physically, with whom I can enjoy a long lasting and worthwhile horse and rider relationship. Many thanks Steve!"

Sue Klerks

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Sue Klerks - Victoria - 2015

"Well folks, I am back from... undertaking one of the most AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, PERFECT and LIFE CHANGING experiences of my life.

...I spent two weeks Colt Starting with Sally and Steve Brinkworth...

The people were amazing, the training was thoroughly professional...

The Horses, Steve and Sally taught me more than I ever could gain watching a DVD or reading a book (as many of you know I am good at doing both!) and I am a new improved version of my horsey self. 

I never thought I could grow so much in such a short time, but I feel it, and so do my horses...

I can't recommend Steve Brinkworth Horsemanship Essentials or the Horse-Starting Course highly enough to do it justice. Any of my equine savvy friends that are interested should just go and experience it for yourself. You will NOT be disappointed. xx "


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Tracy Chapman - New South Wales - 2012

"Hi Sally and Steve,

Well it's taken me a week to recover! all that learning fried my brain, but  hopefully it will stay in there and I will do my best to keep those hind legs working on all my horses..............

I put Patrick out in the paddock and you can see he is using your method and moving with the head down and using the hind quarters.

I went out to catch him and put the pressure on with the stick and string, he looked over at me and ran up to me, how good is that the two weeks sert gave him a lot of confidence. 

Yesterday he was running around as was the other horses so he was a bit stirred up so I put more pressure on him and he Galloped up to me!!! and then followed me in to the stable area :)...

...Thanks again for... really putting yourself out and making me feel welcome."

Regards Fiona  :) x 

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Fiona B - VIC - 2010

"Hi Sally and Steve...

Thought I better give you an update on the girls... 

We had an excellent trip home, thank God (no rescue remedy needed) and although I have only worked the girls about 4 times each we have now advanced to the solo TROT!!! on both. 

They have been perfect in everyway. 

(My husband) has been giving me a hand to get them going forward which has been fabulous as they did get a bit stuck at first. Now we have a a little cue going.. right rein, left leg then a little squeeze with the right leg and off we go !! ( I hope that's right, anyway it gets us going with out any fuss).

And I just say "trot" for trot as I taught them the verbal cue on the lead/lunge. 

So all is going great so far!!

I've also started working with another 2 year old gelding, the same age as the girls and although he is a bit bigger over 15hh I cant wait to get on him and start his riding career too. He is a wary horse, but very submissive, so
dropping the head and moving forward in that frame has been very easy to teach him
...anyway thanks for all the knowledge and hospitality you shared over the two weeks. 

I feel much more confident with young ones now. 
I will keep you updated on our progress."

Kind Regards

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Ros M - NSW - 2010

"Sally and Steve,

I had a blast over the 2 weeks, it was a real eye opener.

I had a personal space issue with my filly while I was leading her, within a couple of days of being home that was all sorted and now I don't have to worry. 

Thanks heaps for having me and giving me a new outlook on how to get my horses to be respectful to my boundaries.


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Tahnee Y - Western Australia - 2010

"Hi Sally and Steve

2 weeks ago I started in the round yard VERY determined to follow Steve’s instruction. He’s (the horse) only had about 6 – 8 short sessions (since the course) and I am very pleased. 

He has remembered his training. He hasn’t reared up or pulled back in weeks. 

I’ve worked out how to stop him cheating (his back end wasn’t on the same track as his front end).

Now he is trotting around quietly (mostly), head down and soft and carrying himself and flowing along quietly with rhythm and quite a bit of lift. Less so without a rope, more so with one.   

At liberty the head is up and looking at the view (cheat) but he is still quiet and totally listening to my verbal commands. Today I put 2 poles down and he lifted his legs underneath himself without lifting his frame. Beauty!  

He even cantered quietly (not in frame) which is a huge improvement from charging around climbing the round yard walls till covered in foam – just because he was in it.  

I am still going to try and keep up the Steve work...all up I’m streets ahead of where I was."

Kind regards from Sue 

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Sue D - VIC - 2010