The Colt Cam

Posted in: Horse Training

On my personal blog, I run a series (when I’ve time and I’m starting colts), called the Colt Cam Chronicles.

This winter, like last, I am participating in a 12 Week Riding Challenge.   It’s run on Facebook through Northwood Farms (in the Pacific Northwest), and the goal is to kind of encourage you get out and spend time with your horses  during a time of year you might not otherwise do so.

I like to ride when it’s decent in the winters (the past couple weeks have been spring-like and I’ve really enjoyed myself), but not so much when it’s only 20 degrees in the barn. I’ve got Raynauds and that often makes life more challenging.  The Challenge doesn’t have winners or losers — basically the goal is to get the following:  40 horsemanship hours and 30 rides. You can count your groundwork or rides as hours, and you’re only allowed 5 bareback rides.  Personally, I’m not a fan of riding bareback.  It doesn’t do me a lot of good to go check cows bareback, so I figure why do it at all?

Last year, I started a colt, and this year I chose to do the same. Only I chose a colt that’s uncertain about people, super slippery and otherwise has no use for me. I totally blame his mother. She was the EXACT same way when I started her. For two weeks, every time I saddled her, she bucked and snorted and otherwise looked like a horse from the TV pen at the NFR.  Granted, I didn’t know then what I know now, and that’s what this post is about. Preparation.

Rival (DX Late on A Rival) has spent more of his life without human interaction than with human interaction at this point.  He’s coming 4, so I’ve got my work cut out for me in helping him realize I’m not going to eat him for lunch. He’s not going to stomp your head into the ground or kick you as he runs by. He’s more inclined to scoot away from the danger, or you, and then look to you to help him realize he’s still alive.  The only trait he got from his sire, was the looks. Everything else most certainly came from his mother. Every other colt I’ve started by his sire, has been laid back, quiet, calm and are otherwise glad to be around you. Rival wants to let down, he just can’t bring himself to do it. Yet.

I’ve been trying to take video along the way. Below are a couple clips from my time with him.

The first time we roped his belly, it was on. I have slow motion video of that, that’s not uploaded.  Let’s just say that what you’ll see below is a drastic change from the first time we roped his mid-section in mid-January. Why would we do that, you ask? Well, I’d like to have him prepared for the cinch, the back cinch and any other issue that might come our way. We need him to realize that pretty much anything that happens to him while we’re around, isn’t going to kill him – and that we can make it go away/or be better.  Forward is always the answer I’d like him to find.  I’d like a thoughtful forward, not a panicked forward.

I’ll try to keep everyone updated on his progress. I’m 24 hours into the challenge, and not counting the 20+ hours myself and our ranch intern already had into him from the past summer getting him halter broke and ready to geld, I’m not certain I’ll even complete the challenge, because he’s nowhere near ready to ride yet.  I should have him ready to saddle by the end of this week, however!

Happy Trails!



Posted in: Horse Training

About Jenn Zeller

Jenn Zeller is the creative mind and boss lady behind The South Dakota Cowgirl. She is an aspiring horsewoman, photographer, brilliant social media strategist and lover of all things western. After a brief career in the investment world to support her horse habit (and satisfy her...

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