During the winter on the farm I had very little to do until my children got home. So I started working with our colts. Unfortunately we had to many to give them individual attention as I had when we first started breeding American Quarter Horses. Back then as I was putting the colts in or out of the barn I would take my youngest child (approz 30 to 40 pounds) and let the colt feel his weight, while holding on to my son, the colt never got his full weight. They were taught to lead from the time they born. They were so intuned to the light weight of my sons, that they never even flinched when I started blanketing them when they turned a year and ahalf.
As I said that was back when we had just a few mares and colts to work with.
However when our herd got up to twenty one, it was no longer a hobby. I found my self taking the saddle off of one colt and throwing it right back on another.
However during the winter, I would work with the more rank colts, I would start by putting a saddle blanket on the colt and strapping it on. Leading the colt around until it relaxed.
I would have it bridled,(I used a hackamore bit)
I would reach across the colts back and gently pull the far rein while puting pressure on the colts neck and the near side (my side)with the near rein. Then I would reverse it. Again I have my quirks, I don't believe in a horse only being trained to mount from one side. By applying light weight pressure on the colts back from either side, it became accustomed to weight. And the next step was the saddle. If you have a pony saddle, use it! If your a man, EASE a saddle onto the colts back. If your a woman of small stature find a pony saddle, flip the stirup (on the far side) over the back of the saddle and ease the saddle onto the colt. Get the colt used to the saddle. If the colt starts to buck (let Him) do it again and again. Don't make a big battle of it. repetition will win out. It may take days weeks or months,
Always have a treat that your colt likes, Sugar cubs, carrots, apples. and be very generous with them. Meaning several peices a day. (To many apples will give your horse colic.)however always continue you lessons with reining, It makes the final training in the spring when the colt reaches two years old so very much easier.
Here's another trick to avoid getting kicked or having the saddle thrown on you, keep the rein nearest to you rather tight. So it swings the horses rear end away from you.
Good luck and be careful.
i first read about gentling colts when i read 'Farmer Boy' by Laura Ingalls. i don't have any horses, but someday i would like to. even one would be wonderful.
Do you have a place to house a horse? Or can you afford to stable it? If so, there are many horse rescue units through out the nation. Go on the e-net and check out your location. These horses are reasonably priced. Usually just for the cost of transporting them and their feed to bring them back up in weight. Many people are dumping these horse along the road and leaving them to fiend for them selves with out food or water.
Mizrancos (Name of one of our horses)
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