Dear Friend and Horseman,
Welcome to another Horse Training Tips Insider.
In this issue, I answer several questions that were sent to me by my subscribers.
Unfortunately, one of my answers is going to offend some of my readers and I’ll have to pay the price for speaking my mind.
Please remember, if you are one of the people who’s upset with me, you must first DO the prescribed experiment BEFORE sending me the nasty email.
Okay, let’s get started.
Horse Training Questions & Answers Plus Stallion Advice
Here’s the first question…
I have been checking out your website and am interested in talking to you about starting my colt. My colt, is only twenty months now, when would you think a good time to start is?
I have never messed with reining but would really like to try it with this horse. I should also mention that my colt is cow hocked. Is that much of a problem?
What do ya think?
Just in case your colt is extra talented, you want to get him started early enough to be ready for a futurity. I’d start him sometime between February and April.
You could actually start doing some preparatory ground work right now.
Handle him enough so he’s not afraid of people. You could also teach him to lunge but don’t work him too hard. Maybe only 15 minutes a session.
Now, if the futurities aren’t important to you, I’d wait until April, May or June to start the colt.
I’d suggest you make arrangements with me about two months ahead of time to make sure I have an opening for the colt.
Be aware, cow hocks can be a big problem for a reining horse.
It kind of depends on how cow hocked he is.
If it’s mild, I wouldn’t worry about it. If it’s pronounced, he’ll splay way out during the stops and get sore. Cow hocks are also usually weak hocks.
For reining, having a structurally sound horse is the way to go. I wouldn’t spend too much money on a horse that wasn’t built right.
It might be a good idea to let me see some photos or a video of the colt before hauling him to me.
If he’s not built good enough to send him to me, you might consider training this colt yourself.
The videos in my Foundation Training Package will show you exactly how to get started.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
I always wait in anticipation for your next email and I am never disappointed, even when they are a re-run. It gives me a chance to remember all the valuable info you have.
One thing I have always wanted to ask a well known trainer (such as yourself), I am a woman and have been riding horses all of my life (literally) I am now a trainer and coach and have been so for about 12 years.
I have always ridden or owned at least one stallion, weather it be a customer’s horse or my own personal mount and I have never had any real problems.
My question to you is?
What would you say to a person if they told you a woman should not be handling stallions?
I have heard a lot of reasons some such as: women are not strong enough. And the chemicals in a woman’s body at certain times of the month can trigger a stallion to go nuts.
I am not a power house by any means but in most cases I do get my point across. I am a woman and I have never had a stallion act nutty while I was having my cycle.
So what’s up? Am I missing something or have I been lucky not to have run across one of the bad ones?????
Looking forward to your reply.
An avid reader and very happy customer.
Good to hear from you.
I know many women horse trainers. And without a doubt, when it comes to training horses, most women can do anything a man can.
Everyone knows women aren’t as strong as men but strength is seldom
Yes, stallions can sense a woman’s cycle. Some studs react to it, others don’t. As long as the stallion knows who the boss is, there usually isn’t a problem.
Whenever somebody tells you a woman shouldn’t be handling stallions, mention Lindy Burch, Cathy Dawn and Sandy Bonelli. All three have won more than a million dollars in the cutting horse arena. And some of the time, they are showing stallions.
Now, after having said that, I also want to say there are definitely TWO KINDS of stallions.
There are the GOOD MINDED ones that are EASY to train and be around and there are also the AGGRESSIVE, high testosterone terrors that are DANGEROUS no matter who is handling them.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
Thank you for these training tips about stallions. I handle a stallion for a friend 3 to 4 times a week and sometimes he gets that “I’m going to get you” look in his eye… thanks for bringing this to my attention.
This stallion has a history of being violent but I’m hoping he will mind his manners while I am handling him.
Knowing this, I am a little hesitant but there is no one else to handle him and I am afraid if he stays in his stall he will just get worse.
Please Pray for me and this situation. Thanks.
I’m glad you like the training tips.
I sure wish you could leave handling this stallion to someone with a LOT of experience.
If you absolutely must do it, I’ll give you some advice that I learned “the hard way”.
However, not knowing you personally, I’m a little hesitant to share this information with you. It could be very DANGEROUS.
If the stallion is giving you that “I’m going to attack you look”, it’s time to put something on his head that gives you a lot of control.
I’ve used a bosal made of ½” iron with a fiador throat-latch that works great. You might try something like this on your stallion.
Some stallions have learned to attack BEFORE you can get anything on their head. They will stand there giving you threatening looks and if you approach, they’re on you in the blink of an eye.
If this is the case with your stallion, you need to think about your physical safety.
Is working with this aggressive stallion worth risking your life?
I’d say, definitely NOT.
Now, if this stallion isn’t too bad yet, I’d proceed as follows:
Take the time necessary to get this stud to really RESPECT you.
Put the iron bosal on him (or a stud chain) and do some groundwork.
Teach him to lunge well. Get control of his body parts.
Teach him to move his hindquarters and shoulders away from pressure. Get
him to back up and go forward without a hassle.
If he threatens you at all, make him pay SEVERELY with that bosal or chain. Jerk it abruptly and hard from side to side.
When a stallion decides to attack you, his body language will usually telegraph his intention.
However, you will only have a split second to react before he’s on you. You MUST be ALERT and AWARE at all times, when handling an aggressive stallion like this.
VERY, VERY IMPORTANT:
When you discipline an AGGRESSIVE stallion, you’ve got to go about it the right way or risk suffering the consequences (like your ear being ripped off your head, your face caved in from being struck or your bicep muscle bitten in two and ripped off the bone. You know, stuff like that).
The correction (discipline) must be IMMEDIATE, SEVERE and over with QUICKLY.
The correction must be immediate so the stud associates his bad behavior with the discipline.
The correction must be severe to make the stallion think you can hurt “HIM” more than he can hurt “YOU”. If you correct him in a half-hearted way, your actions will only make him mad and he’ll jump on you and do serious damage.
The discipline must be over with QUICKLY (within a few seconds) or again, you’ll only make him mad and he’ll attack you.
You see, physically, you aren’t capable of really hurting a big, mature stallion.
When you discipline him severely, initially he’ll be surprised and shocked by your aggressiveness.
However, if the discipline lasts longer than a few seconds, he’ll realize you really AREN’T hurting him that bad and the fact that you are “trying” to discipline him will tee him off big-time.
You’ve now shown him how physically weak you really are and he’ll make you pay the price.
You MUST END the discipline while the stallion is still in the initial “shocked” phase.
If you don’t, you could find yourself on the ground with one of your arms torn off.
Teaching a stallion to accept the hobbles and side-line is another good way to get his respect. Actually, most horse would benefit greatly if taught to stand hobbled. I show how to do it in my video titled, “Colt Starting Magic“ dvd.
IF POSSIBLE, GIVE THIS STALLION A JOB.
If there is any way to get this stallion tired, do it. Give him a JOB to do.
It would help this stallion’s mind a bunch if he had something to do instead of standing around bored all day. If there is any way to get him ridden several hours a day, it would certainly help his outlook on life.
Hell, it would help EVERY horse. There is nothing better for a horse’s WELL BEING (or a person’s for that matter) than a good days work.
If you keep a stallion in a stall all the time, he’ll come out just looking for trouble.
Please be very, very careful.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
A SPECIAL NOTE FOR MY “COOKIE TREAT” READERS WHO ARE OFFENDED BY WHAT I WROTE ABOVE
I already know some of my readers are going to go absolutely insane after reading the advice I gave the lady above.
They are going to say, “This kind of treatment is cruel and inhumane.
The only thing an aggressive stallion needs is to win his trust with loving kindness”.
Well, if you are offended, then so be it.
The lady above, is going to put herself in a situation that has the potential to be very, very dangerous. Her life and limbs could literally be at stake here.
I’m NOT going to give her some nicey-nice, double-talk BULLSHIT!
I’m going to tell her the TRUTH.
If you do not like what I write, then simply don’t read it.
The “UNSUBSCRIBE” link is at the bottom of EVERY email I send out.
Undoubtedly though, I’m still going to catch hell and receive a bunch of nasty emails over this. However, before you write to tell me how crude I am, I’d like you to do a little experiment.
Go to your local STUD FARM and ask to see the RANKEST breeding stallion they have on the place.
When you approach the stall and that stallion charges the door with his ears flat back and his mouth wide open, let’s see if you are brave enough to stick your hand out and offer him a cookie.
If you are successful and he takes the cookie without also taking your arm, I’ll tip my hat to you and publicly apologize.
If you are NOT successful, I’ll give you the phone number of a physical therapist who can teach you to type with one hand.
OKAY, ONE LAST QUESTION
I noticed in all your Foundation Training Video’s you don’t use any kind
of martingale. Along with the video’s I purchased the German Martingale.
At what point in my training would I use it?
Thanks for all your help.
It depends on the horse and how the training is going.
Some horses will never need it. Many will though.
If a horse isn’t dropping off the bit vertically or giving his head laterally as good as he should, I’ll start using the German martingale beginning with the second month of riding.
Some horses I’ll start using it sooner and some later. Bottom line, if the head position isn’t right or if the horse isn’t giving lightly to my hands, I use the martingale until it gets right.
In my opinion, the German martingale is the best and most practical training aid there is. And you were smart to get it because at some point in your horse’s training, it’ll help a bunch.
However, to get really good results, it’s important that you use it RIGHT. And have it adjusted properly for your particular horse.
Well, this wraps it up for this newsletter. I hope
you liked it.
time, have fun training your horse.