Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Colt Starting

Two days ago, I found Pete in the round pen working with Zannie, a two-year old filly. In the early stages Pete works with her to flex and yield to pressure both off lead and on. In the accompanying photos, Pete ask for flexion and applies side-pressure to Zannie, lightly encouraging her to yield. When she does he gives her a release.

Just as for children the beginning experiences of young horses are impressionable and have long-term consequences. Getting a young horse off to a good start is both essential to a good long-term outcome. If they are forcibly or abusively handled, they will remember the experience long after the event. If they are handled with disciplined guidance and limit setting, they will learn that the world is trustworthy. The way in which their own temperment accepts this kind of training also plays a role in how they develop .

Zannie's calm temperment makes her easy to work with. When Pete saddled her for the first time, Zanny bucked once as she ran around the pen and then just stopped. Then late this afternoon I found Pete riding Zanny in the round pen peacefully on just her second ride.

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