Let Them Be Light: Colt Starting
- September 15, 2016
- Savanna Simmons
My husband Boe and I are tying into a few colts this month to get them going and be able to play with through the winter. I am posting this as almost a reminder to myself, and those of you like me: let them be light. I am naturally heavy-handed and also bring out the quietest in horses. Sometimes this is nice (not the heavy part); if a horse is nervous, something in me helps them be quiet and comfortable, but if they are a little doggy, as my choice in horse tends to be, I don’t bring out the snappy, sharp movements. They aren’t hot, which is good, but they also aren’t snappy and athletic, even if they are bred to be such.
So here’s my reminder to myself and those of you like me: be light and let your horses be light. Operate with slack in your lead when you can. Bring the life up without the direct use of legs and do as much as you can without contact to their face or mouth. Push it, use your body instead of hands and spurs. Find encouraging moments when your colt needs them or is stuck, think through situations in your horses’ eyes. You’ll have a better, sharper, happier colt for it. Teach your colt to learn and be flexible, and you do the same. Be the horseman your horse wants you to be and your horses will be the kind you want underneath you. Interact with them like they’re a broke horse, but remember they’re a colt. Happy riding.
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...