Mattias Tromp, PonyApp, Young Horses, Pro-Tips

A Universal Truth on Training Young Horses: Stars Aren’t Born, They’re Made

PonyApp Pro-Tips on Developing Young Horses with Rising Star Mattias Tromp

Mattias Tromp is a PonyApp U25 Ambassador and accomplished Grand Prix rider, who specializes in developing young jumper prospects. Along with tips on training and competing, he also shares the importance of keeping his team up to date and the benefits that come from being a pro-active professional.

Finding a Young Horse

When looking for a young horse, what are the top 3 things you take into consideration?

Training Young Horses

I think one of the most important qualities given the technicality of today’s sport is rideability. You see this a lot in older horses that are very talented show jumpers, but they’re not rideable. They’re very inconsistent, they’re not hugely reliable, and when it really counts, the readability tends to get in the way. The next thing is the scope. That’s also become a big test in today’s sport, without it the horses are limited. Then obviously, the carefulness.

Young Horse Training & Development

As you start to develop a young horse, at a basic level, where do you start and what follows?

Training Young Horses
© Colorado Horse Forum

I think a great point of reference is the german riding scale as far as developing horses. You start with rhythm, then suppleness and contact, impulsion, straightness, and then collection. I think it’s a good scale to follow and a good direction for the horses because it makes sense, one kind of leads into the other. When you’re developing the young horses, I think overexposure is one of the biggest things that people do wrong. They overexpose the horses to horse shows, they over train them, they try to do much too soon. I think their 4,5, and 6-year-old years are times to kind of take it easy and not do too much.

When you are training at home, what do you like to work on the most?

I think a little bit of dressage work with the horses is important, they learn what the different aids mean, and again that you develop suppleness, and self-carriage. I think that’s another thing that maybe could be done a little bit better across the board as far as today’s professionals go.

“A lot of horses learn to rely on the rider for balance. If you can teach the horses to carry their own balance, their own rhythm, and they’re not relying on the rider for that they become a lot more self-thinking.”

-Mattias Tromp

They don’t need their hand to be held the whole way around which at the end of the day results in a better sport horse.

Training Young Horses

How often are you showing your young horses vs just training at home?

Through their 4,5,6-year-old years, I do not like to show them a ton. You see that a lot, people have a cute six-year-old or five-year-old even and you see the horse going into the gate every week, and you think why? What does that horse have to prove at the moment? All you’re doing is over-exposing the young horses and teaching them that the sport is mundane which is the kiss of death. A bored horse is not going to turn into a great sport horse. You need to let there be some excitement and let the horses still feel that’s a little bit of a new experience as they’re developing. Once they’re older and they’ve learned a little bit more and have developed a little bit more, I think it’s time to start showing them more.

If the horse is owned or co-owned with another party, how do you keep them in the loop?

Recently, I purchased two young horses with an investment group I am a part of, the Dolomite Partners, and our goal is to take on limited investors as a way to make the sport more accessible to the average investor by allowing them to get a piece of the action. Through the PonyApp platform, you’re able to create a profile where you can update their training videos and show videos leaving you a nice concise place where investors and partners can see how their investments are developing as well as creates an easy way to share your horses, their training, and their success with potential future investors.

PonyApp Training Young Horses

Has that extra transparency helped you / the development of the horse in any way?

I think as a trainer and a rider it’s important to go back to square one to look at the whole picture. With these profiles allowing you to look at the development as you’ve gone along, it brings some clarity, and by having all your investors in the loop seeing what’s happening with their horses and being able to witness the development themselves, it allows the whole group and the whole party to be able to come to well informed and well-educated decisions.

Follow Mattias’ exciting 7-year-old, Manhattan, on PonyApp if you want to see his training in action. Mattias tracks their training both at home and at shows. Check out their latest video where they succesfully jumped their first FEI Grand Prix!


Find out more at

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Reply

Posts you might like

PonyApp Guide

PonyApp “How To” and FAQ’s

As the go-to platform for competitive equestrians, PonyApp has amazing features you can use to improve your riding and manage your equestrian life all in one place. See how to use PonyApp best!

Read More »