Overall picture of training goal

Before you can start to train a high stepping horse the following elements should fit well together:

  • horse
  • trainer
  • equipment (buggy, harness, bit)
  • grooming (clipping, braiding, clothes handler, rider or driver)


The perfect horse doesn't exist. Horses usually lack something in one or more of the pyramids.
It is the task of the trainer or handler to deal with this, overcome it or make the best of it.
The following aspects are very important to become a good trainer:

  • talent
  • knowledge
  • experience
  • a suitable horse

 Equipment & grooming

The importance of proper equipment and grooming is an essential part of the universal appeal.
The equipment in training should be solid and fit perfectly.
Show equipment and grooming should represent the show element:

  • clean and fit perfectly
  • quality, style, properly suited to division
  • equipment and attire should not detract from the horse
A real show horse exceeds personal preference! You can be snared by a high stepper that is not completely suited to your taste.

Training philosophy

Trainers often have their own philosophy or way to work. Some horses fit automatically in their system, with other horses the trainer and the horse have to overcome more to let it work.

Personal taste

In training personal preference is often an issue. Some trainers do better with sensitive horses, others prefer them more at ease.

ADHHA acknowledges personal preferences and tastes. Correctness, quality and universal appeal incorporates more refinement as well as less refined horses. If you prefer refined horses, ones with sharp motion or ones with a loftier type of motion, overall quality is the goal.

ADHHA training goal

Steps in training

The Show Horse Training Pyramid represents essential steps needed to achieve universal appeal of the high stepping show horse.
Each step is an element which must be achieved before moving up the pyramid toward the ultimate goal.