It’s been a few years since I’ve put a first ride on one of my own colts (one I raised out of my mares). The last one I started was Dolce, and she’s 5, coming 6. But in the past couple weeks I started her half brother, Fridge. Many of you will remember when both he and Dolce were born! He’s so handsome, and he’s also a moose. He will be as big as Dino (who has grown to almost 16h). All I need are more big horses for little ol’ 5-foot nothing, me.
Our first ride went well- he’s given me no indication whatsoever he’d be troubled. He is just sweet y’all. In fact, he’s been handled (other than when he was halter-broke as a weanling by my niece and a ranch intern) about 5 times other than as a weanling. I brought him in and did some groundwork with him for a day, saddled him the next time and reviewed the basics. The third time I got him ready to pick me up off the fence, and the fourth time I got on and off of him from the ground. Strangely enough I’m much more confident and feel better getting on from the ground than from the fence. I just haven’t gotten on from the fence enough, I guess. I also, swung my rope over his back (while sitting on the fence) and threw it past him into the round corral, and coiled it up. He struggled with staying put for that, but I rubbed him and helped him, though I knew it needed to get better. So the next day my plan was to put it around his neck, and do some driving in the round pen, changing eyes, and switching the rope over the saddle horn each way. I knew that would be a way to help him get used to seeing it out there, moving, getting longer and shorter. I also flagged him this day. He was completely unconcerned. It’s his breeding yes, and he’s never had a human lie to him either. He’s no reason to think we’re out to get him, so he’s no need to feel defensive. Nukie is one of the best at making gentle colts and Fridge is no exception.
Handling #5, Zach was around, and as I’ve not yet started a whole lot of colts, I like having him there, so I can borrow his confidence. We worked on getting him soft on the ground, giving his face off the slightest touch of the lead rope, disengaging his hips with the lightest touch of a stirrup. When that got good, I got on and had the best time. He was completely relaxed with me up there. He was soft and kind and willing (as they all are if we give them a chance). He walked out good, and Zach’s going to help me build a better accelerator in this colt than I built in Dino. In everything I do with him, I will offer him the best option first, because if you’re remotely interested in making a bridle horse, you can’t go to thumping on them off the bat. You’ll make ’em dull to your leg. Dino’s a great case in point. Though we’re backtracking and making progress there! You’ve got to give them the best deal to start, even though they may not know what that means. The ride went better than I expected. I’ve got to work on visualizing how I want things to go and be, so I can be the best for my colts. I have Rival and Lily (out of my mares) to start this fall, as well as others.
I don’t have any video or anything like that (yet), so a couple photos of the handsome bugger will have to do!
Isn’t he just handsome?
If you’re at all interested, I’d be happy to do a series chronicling our progress.