Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Experience In Starting A Horse

My daughter Vera in previous post talked to you about a horse that had never been handled. I think she did a great job in those post, but I would like to talk to you about starting a horse that has had some ground work and has been handled from birth like she talked about in some of her first post.

As I said in the beginning what I relay to you is from my experience and what I have learned from others over the years. On a news program this morning the commentator was asking a political figure a question. When the party answered, the commentator said, "let me read what you said 20 years ago," then he ask," why is your answer different now than then?" The political figure answered, " I hope I have learned something in 20 years." Don't ask me how I started a colt 50 years ago, because it was a lot different. I usually mounted a horse a whole lot quicker than I do now, and I also, usually dismounted quicker than I wanted . There is a better way!

Before you begin working with your colt with the objective of riding him, I suggest you have available to you a round pen. The first one I built by the standard John Lyons had at the time and I made it 60 ft. in diameter. I found that I can accomplish the same thing in a 50ft diameter pen and I don't have to walk as much to make contact with my horse in order to keep him moving. It doesn't take a horse long to realize you can't reach them from the center of a 60ft round pen with a lariat or lunge whip. I also used the John Lyons technique of a lariat (and it works), but I have also found I have better control of a "carrot stick" (fiberglass rod with a knotted leather popper tied to it). However, don't throw the lariat away because there are several times you will want to use it later. Of course you will need a halter, lead, and later a saddle, pad, and bridle with a snaffle bit.

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