Both Colt Starting and Young Horse Handling are offered by Sam for a select number of horses each year during December, January and February. Please find the schedule here.
Colt Starting is a generic term for ‘Starting’ a horse under saddle. This applies to fillies, colts and geldings of the age 4 or under. I do still start horses the same way that exceed this age as well.
The starting process takes a minimum of 4 weeks and the horse does not have to have had lots of handling up to that point. If your horse is halter broken and can be transported, then that is enough preparation.
During the 4 weeks the colts will be prepared on the ground first, building their confidence and establishing yields. Once saddled, I move the horses out in a round pen, then they head out on-line into more open country. Under saddle the horses will be taught to bend, move out in walk, trot and canter, back up and sideways.
All this begins in a rope hackamore until there is softness and confidence, then they will graduate into a snaffle bridle unless advised otherwise by the owner.
The last week is trail riding and some dragging of objects for more exposure.
There is a compulsory 2 day handover for the owner, to develop their understanding of their horses new capabilities.
Foundation Training – This is for a horse that has been started and needs to develop patterns that lead towards becoming a reliable riding horse. This is where all 4 savvys (See Parelli.com) come more into play and horses become more educated about their responsiblities.
The start isn’t just something, its everything!