What do you do with your colts after they're started?
 
 

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What do you do with your colts after they're started?

This is a discussion on What do you do with your colts after they're started? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Is it ok to ride a colt on trails by them selfs if they have had 90 days riding
  • Colt starting circles bending yielding to bit

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  • 2 Post By Phly
  • 1 Post By waresbear
  • 3 Post By smrobs
  • 5 Post By Cherie
  • 1 Post By Elana

 
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    05-07-2013, 04:02 PM
  #1
Foal
What do you do with your colts after they're started?

After you have the first 3 rides or so on your colt, what do you like to do with them? Do you keep them in an arena working on speed, turning, etc.. or do you go out on the trails or behind cows right away?
Can you, in a nutshell, describe your first 30-60 days with a young horse for me?
     
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    05-07-2013, 04:17 PM
  #2
Yearling
I personally don't have access to cows very often so in addition to trail riding I like to get my horses started on working each other similar to how you would a cow. It's great for building their confidence so long as it's gone about in a way that makes a winner out of both the one I'm riding and the one that's playing the part of the cow. I'd be reluctant to run another horse down the fence and turn it hard, but love to do slow work that builds on their handle-ability (gathering, driving and ponying the others around). I and many others seem to find that too much dry work (as in arena exercises) eventually gets them bored and performance falls off whereas having a job to do and somewhere to go keeps their mind fresh and engaged!
     
    05-07-2013, 05:45 PM
  #3
Started
We just ride, ride,ride. Everywhere we can. Take em to shows, even if we just ride em around the parking lot. Trails,walk patterns, ride around cows etc, just ride. We want a solid ride before any actual work or performance is introduced.
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    05-07-2013, 06:08 PM
  #4
Foal
First ten or so rides are spent just learning how to carry a rider, walk, trot, stop, and turning and giving to each side. Then we usually go out with another experienced horse and rider out on trails or to check cows, something new and refreshing. Depending on the horse will depend how much schooling they get and how much out riding they get. Most of my youngster's try all their stunts in the first 15 rides somewhere and then are generally really good.
     
    05-07-2013, 06:26 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I just ride them. There are fences to be checked. I find it great for young horses to be ridden while checking and patching fences. Lots of standing, the rider getting on and off. The condition of the grass to be checked. I might have them in the vicinity of cows, but I don't expect much of them, other than they still need to keep their mind calm.

If I have absolutely nothing to do, we just go. Put on as many miles as their brain can stand.
     
    05-07-2013, 06:37 PM
  #6
Trained
We do arena work, we go on trail rides, we haul to shows, in other words, exposure, exposure, exposure.
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    05-07-2013, 06:51 PM
  #7
Showing
I do a bit of everything. Once they are confident enough (and I'm confident enough in them) to go outside the roundpen, they see a ton of country at all 3 gaits. During the summer, we keep pasture cattle for a feedlot so there are 8-10 pastures to check, a few hundred cattle to count, in and out of the trailer, getting on and off, covering rough country, and sometimes a sick one that needs doctored.

In addition to that, I'll take some time each ride to spend just working on their handle and responsiveness. Work on circles, cruise control, bending, their stops, their neck reining, leg yielding, sidepasses, having ropes swung off them, even dragging stuff occasionally.

Basically, after they are trained enough to be ridden outside of a pen, I start treating them as if they were an old broke horse and that's what I expect of them.
     
    05-07-2013, 09:10 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
We think it take a mixture of:

1) 'wet saddle blankets' or 'miles' -- however you want to describe it

AND

2) Drills and the boring stuff.

If you depend on wet saddle blankets and miles, your horse will learn little other than to go forward and 'guide' a little. Obviously, these are first and foremost on the first few rides, but the horse learns little more. A month off and you only have a horse with the knowledge that the first 3 or 4 rides puts on them plus they are more forward -- often times waaaay more forward.

You must mix in a LOT of jogging and loping circles, lead departures, softening and collecting in the bridle to get a 'slow lope' and a smooth jog and a lot of leg yielding and bending. You need a lot of work on shoulder control or you will never have what we call 'a good handle' on a horse -- I don't care how many cattle you go out and drive or attempt to sort or work. A horse has to be taught to yield to leg pressure; to bend when asked and to stay straight or nearly straight and NOT just bend when you want the shoulders to move.

Miles and wet saddle blankets does not teach any of this. I have gotten on too many ranch horses that had been used on the ranch successfully for years, had drug thousands of calves to the branding fire, pulled off the horn and would load any critter in a trailer miles from the nearest pen. But, they were stiff as a board (Not the same thing as 'straight), galloped with a spine jarring gait (did not know how to slow lope), did not yield to the bit or collect in any way and stopped stiff and hard even when they tried to stop on their hind ends (usually because they had had their head yanked off way too many times). They would go anywhere you pointed their heads, but they beat you to death getting there, were completely 'cold' and unresponsive to the bit and could not slow lope a round circle if their lives depended on it.

To get a really broke horse that is worth riding or worth anything to sell without teaching the boring stuff is like getting a concert pianist without them practicing scales or getting an Olympic Class figure skater without hours of doing the compulsory figures.

Personally, I do not like to teach the 'compulsive figures' in an arena unless the horse has on sliding plates. [If they are wearing sliders, they cannot be ridden in rocks or on dry grass.]

But, I knew every smooth spot in every pasture that did not have gopher or armadillo holes in it;

I knew every clearing on the trail where I could sneak in 5 or 6 circles at a lope before loping on down the trail;

I knew every spot I could lope downhill to help collect a horse;

I knew every tiny place in the hills and on the trails where these boring things can get done to teach the horse how to guide lightly in the bridle and get 'soft' in the face;

A horse needs to learn how to shorten his stride and learn to 'short lope' and slow jog;

He needs to learn pretty collected (head down) a$$ underneath him lead departures in the lead I asked for on a straight line from a walk; [Not 'hop up' in front or 'jump' into a lope.]

He needs to learn to give in the face AND back up lightly and quickly.

All of this needs to be taught to any good ranch / trail horse plus spins, roll-backs and quick moves if the horse is headed toward actual cow work.
     
    05-07-2013, 10:33 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I knew every spot I could lope downhill to help collect a horse;
This bit has me intrigued. Sounds similar to backing horses uphill to help them use their hind end!
     
    05-08-2013, 08:16 AM
  #10
Green Broke
I used to get them out on the trails and then would ask for things out there. Once you have a stop on them and are reasonably confident there won't be a bad wreck (too many roads where I lived and did this) I would get them out.

You can work on every arena exercise outside the arena. Fact is, back in the dinosaur years I had to ride at least 2 miles to a ring I could use. Everything else was taught here and there because all I had was here and there. I had lots of hills so the challenge was to find a level place to do some circles.

The horse I taught high level dressage to was worked on trails.. to do a half pass, shoulder in, one tempe changes, and so forth.

Training needs to happen everywhere.. and it can. Changes in location help to make a confident horse that will do what you ask where you ask it.. JMO.
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