The #1 cause of bad horse wrecks… bad colt starting… and pretty much any bad activity having to do with horses.
Dear Friend and Horseman,
Welcome to another issue of the Horse Training Tips Insider.
Because of my website, I receive tons of messages from people asking for help concerning their horses or horsemanship.
I try to respond to as many as I can but there are simply too many to respond to them all.
Below is an example of the majority of those messages.
They usually start with:
Larry, please help me… my horse won't stop.
Or… My horse (or colt) bucks me off… my horse runs away with me etc, etc, etc.
All the above problems share one big common denominator and here it is…
A LACK OF "CONTROL" OF THE HORSE.
Yes, that's all.
No big hidden secret. No complicated cause and effect. No horse whisperer mumbo jumbo. Just simple reality… a lack of control.
After reading that, I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking… Larry, you're so full of it.
I DO have control of my horse and he still does all those bad things. You must be suffering from Alzheimer's or something.
Here's my reply.
No, you only THINK you have control. Because if you REALLY did, your horse wouldn't be doing all those bad things.
Here's a typically common example.
Folks routinely send me colts to start. And most of the time, those colts are only halter broke. Other than getting them friendly, the owners haven't done much with the colt and that's the way I prefer it.
However, I occasionally get colts that the owner has tried to start himself.
The owner's story usually goes like this:
Yes Larry, like I told you on the phone, I've been working with this colt and I've got him ready to ride. All you have to do is jump on and go.
I usually respond with… That's great Mr. Owner, what exactly have you done with the colt?
Well Larry, I've pretty much done all the work for you.
I've sacked him out so he's used to everything.
I've been driving him… however, for some reason he won't stop chomping on the bit.
But the driving has really put a nice head-set on the colt… however, whenever I pull on the lines, his chin drops right down on his chest and he won't turn. Not sure why.
I've also "ponied" this colt a lot. Yep, nothing gets a colt broke better than ponying.
Mr. Owner, after you did all that to your colt, weren't you tempted to get on and ride him yourself?
Well Larry, I didn't mention it when we talked on the phone but I DID ride the colt… several times actually.
The first ride went great. The colt let me get on and he walked around nice and quiet. I was really happy with him.
Second ride, the colt wouldn't go into a lope so I spanked him with the reins. He took off and ran away with me. And then he wouldn't stop, even though I pulled back on the reins as hard as I could.
He eventually slowed down enough to where I could jump off.
The third ride, the colt seemed kind of nervous and scared. Not sure why.
He wouldn't stand still for me to mount but I managed get on anyhow. For some reason, as soon as I was in the saddle, he went to bucking and managed to buck me off.
However, I did the right thing.
An old cowboy once told me that if you get bucked off, you gotta show that horse who's boss and get right back on.
So I did… but he bucked me off again. Only this time, when I landed I broke my collar bone and had to go to the hospital emergency room.
Anyway, the colt hasn't been messed with now for several months so he's nice and fresh and ready for you to start riding.
So… since I'm here delivering you the colt… why don't you go ahead and jump on him so I can watch?
Well, since you're here… and the colt is so ready to be ridden… why don't YOU jump on him?
Every professional horse trainer who's reading this is shaking his head and cringing right now.
Because they have ALL experienced this story before… many times.
And they are well aware of the DAMAGE that has been done to this colt by his owner.
Damage that won't be easy to overcome.
Now, for the people who are NOT professional horse trainers, let me explain what this owner has actually done to his colt and why it's so detrimental.
I'll keep it short and to the point.
#1. The owner has all but ruined the colt's mouth. The bit chomping and the colt's chin dropping to his chest are problems that may be with that colt for the rest of his life.
The chin dropped to the chest, renders the colt practically uncontrollable. And yes, the owner caused this by not knowing the CORRECT WAY to drive a colt. And in reality, he would have been better off by NOT driving the colt at all.
#2. Due to the owner's lack of understanding, he has taught his colt to run away with a rider. He has also taught the colt to associate FEAR with the act of being ridden. Not the ideal way of starting a working relationship with the colt. So now, instead of willingly being ridden, the colt dreads it.
#3. This one may be the worst… The owner has TAUGHT the colt to BUCK. He not only taught him to buck, he taught him how EASY it is to get rid of a rider.
So now, when the training gets uncomfortable for the colt, his first thought is to simply get rid of the rider. A couple of bucks, the rider falls off, end of problem.
Once a colt has learned these bad things… it won't be easy to get him over it. Plus, it'll probably take an "above average" hand to get the job done.
Now, I usually go ahead and take these poorly started colts in training but the bad start really sets the colt back.
In most cases, I can get them over their problems but they probably won't turn out as good as they would have been without the problems.
Here's the million dollar question.
HOW COULD ALL THOSE PROBLEMS BEEN AVOIDED IN THE FIRST PLACE?
HERE'S HOW… TEACH THE COLT TO BE CONTROLLABLE.
Yes, it's as simple as that.
A colt that's controllable can be PREVENTED from running away.
A controllable colt can usually be PREVENTED from bucking.
And in most cases, he can be PREVENTED from getting scared and having a bad experience under saddle.
And guess what… if the colt never learns those bad things… you'll never have to get him over those bad things.
NOTHING… I MEAN, NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TEACHING A COLT (OR ANY HORSE) "CONTROL".
It's how you stay safe. It's how you keep the colt safe too.
Want to learn how to start a colt right and establish "CONTROL" so he doesn't develop problems?
Want to know how to get "CONTROL" of a horse so he'll lope slow on a loose rein, do beautiful turns, lead departures and stop lightly from any speed… with just a touch of the reins?
Watch the streaming video course, Lope Slow with Complete Control.
Want to know how to "CONTROL" a horse that ALREADY has really bad behavior problems like bucking, kicking, biting, rearing and spooking… enabling you to fix all those problems?
Watch the streaming video course, Groom, Saddle, Ride & Fix Bad Behavior.
Okay, that's all for now.
Larry Trocha Training Stable