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It’s no secret that the foundation you put on a colt sets the tone for the rest of his life. “You’ve probably heard me say before that the first six weeks of a horse’s life under saddle are the most crucial in his career,” Clinton says. “When you start a colt, it’s important to keep lessons simple because you have to break the information down for the colt so that he understands what you’re asking him to do. Horses are intelligent creatures, but they are simple. They’re a lot like 4- to 6-year-old kids. Kids in this age group are very smart, they catch on quickly, but they are very simple.”
A mistake people often make when starting a colt is getting hung up on the details—worrying about the colt cantering on the wrong lead, leaning his shoulder in as he’s cantering around the roundpen, etc. “You have to keep it basic for the colt—learn how to confidently carry a human at all three gaits, and then work up to worrying about leads and collection,” Clinton says. “When you keep it simple, colts progress very quickly.”
If you’re undertaking the task of starting your own horse this year, be sure to arm yourself with knowledge. Clinton’s Colt Starting Series takes all the guesswork out of starting a horse under saddle and helps troubleshoot problems that are likely to come up. The series follows the training progress of Ransom, a wild mustang. Clinton details the training process from catching and touching the gelding for the first time through introducing the saddle and the first ride. You’ll learn how to progress a colt’s training, including how to handle the first ride outside of the arena.
Learn more about the Colt Starting Series on our website.