Colt Starting - Shimmering Princess - The End of her Start under Saddle [Slideshow]
To start a young horse to me is much more than just teach him to accept the saddle and to carry a rider on his back.
These are my goals for starting a horse:
- the horse becomes confident as a learner,
- to build respect without fear and
- to preserve its curiosity and dignity.
The horse should be easy to handle on an everyday basis. It should be understanding and confident in people and itself. It is up to me to show the horse all different aspects of being a successful partner to their human.
Princess has reached the end of her start under saddle. She had in total 18 rides, of which none was longer than 20 minutes to make sure to not over stress her physics. After all, at this stage, it is the mind that needs training, not the body. As she is only turning 3, I chose to not canter her yet.
Click through the pictures to see all the things Princess learnt during her colt start.
Standing still and accepting the shower
As always, Princess is open for a little fun!
Giving the feet and standing politely for the farrier. Princess is fully involved!
Standing for saddling (and grooming) without being tied.
Princess loves to push the ball! She has developed a lot of confidence within herself, the environment and into the human and his requests.
Puzzle solving: Sideways over a pole
What a smart girl she is!
She also learnt to stretch forward down at the trot. It is important that she learns to move in a healthy way already on the ground.
Circling game at the canter on a loose rope and with all the saddle pieces bouncing against her side. Nothing impresses her anymore, she stays calm and connected.
I like to introduce work over ground poles early. It is not only good gymnastics, but the horses learn how to sort out their 4 feet...
She learnt to lower the head for bridling. I am starting all horses bitless. For Princess, I chose a very light Bosal.
Pushing the ball also while riding.
Mobilise and yield the shoulders
Follow the rail - she learnt to keep gait and direction at the trot.
Mobilise and yield the haunches!
Whoa! She already stops like a pro! She definitely has the innate talent for this.
She also learnt to turn without the use of the reins with the help of the cloverleaf pattern.
Yielding the shoulders with lightness will one day lead to a spin. It also teaches the horse to respond well to the rider's legs for direction.
Light and easy hindquarter yields give control and prepare the horse to learn lateral work later - like haunches in.
Princess was a very good student. After I won her heart and interest, she learnt very fast and with a lot of willingness.
Engage mentally and win the heart
Horses learn so fast if we encourage them to be involved in the process. Princess is a great example how important it is to engage them mentally and to win their heart. No fight, no fuss, lots of progress and a mare who wants to give her best.
Read more about Shimmering Princess