Colt Starting Dancing - My Program for her First 8 Rides [Slideshow]

Gabi Neurohr Colt Starting - First Trail Ride

Dancing finished her colt start and went with success through my program of the first 8 rides. She has been on little trail rides, alone and with other horses, and is now ready to go home and have some holidays.

I want to share at this point my colt starting skeleton I follow during the first few rides:

1.Ride: accept the human on the back, lateral flexion, no moving

2.Ride: repeat the things from the previous session – then let the horse discover that it can still move with the human on the back. Lot of horses think they can`t move and are pretty stuck. Once they get it, the ban is broken. With most horses, I don`t trot in this session.

3.Ride: First trot with the rider. Understand go and whoa – find forward

4.Ride: ride in a bigger arena, behind another horse or even the first trail ride. I start to be more particular about direction and forward

During every ride, I listen to the horse, add a little extra step, let the horse discover rather than making it do new stuff. I use the help of other horses, bigger places and trails to help them find out what I expect, what their new job is. I want them to like their new “life” as a riding horse – and these first few rides are so important to get done well. As we all know – the first impression is what counts!

When I came back home from my journey, I found a very relaxed and happy Dancing. Everything was right there in place and I could continue the program. I decided to work her only every second day, because of the riding. I tend to keep the first 10 rides very short, somewhere between 10-20 mins. Understanding is what counts, not physical action and exhaustion. One departure to a trot on a light request – that’s enough for a horse to get it. 

On her 5. ride I took her on her very first trail ride, with Thomas and his mare Flirt as company. Dancing did really well, no spooking, no nothing.

Ride 6 and 7 were again in the arena in order to improve transitions and direction.

On her 8. ride I decided to take her on a proper trail ride with 2 of our working students and their horses – Mathilde with Undur and Anne with Hidalgo. Dancing was just great, we trotted long stretches – in the end, she even took the lead. We had not one spook or buck. And she seemed to really enjoy it. 

Dancing's first trail ride in pictures


Time to say Good Bye

Two days later her owner Carole came for the final session and to pick her up. Dancing is started at walk and trot, she happily accepts the rider and I think she found it all very interesting. It is time for her to go home and have some holiday. The plan is that she continues her education later this year. 


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