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Colt Starting with the Method

Clinton’s first colt starting clinic at the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch was held at the beginning of June. Over 30 participants brought their young horses to the ranch to start under saddle. The horses ranged from Quarter Horses and Paints to Arabians and Warmbloods. Clinton started by having each of the participants work with their colts in the roundpen and then moved on to Fundamentals groundwork. Exercises on the ground focused on desensitizing and sensitizing to pressure so that the young horses were not only quiet, using the thinking side of their brains and prepared for a rider, but responsive and attentive to cues. Clinton’s approach to colt starting, which he learned from his Australian mentor Gordon McKinlay, is focused on preparation and safety for both horse and rider. By the end of the clinic, the participants put several rides on their horses, which included taking them on the trail and working over the obstacle course. Look for a slideshow covering the colts’ transformations from halter broke to riding calmly outside the arena.