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Sunday, November 22, 2015

At What Age Should One Begin Training Colts and Wild Horses




This is a subject of great debate, with little scientific support for any particular age, that is hampered by the belief that waiting is always better. It is one of the topics easiest to find opinions on and hardest to find facts on.

I strongly believe that one of the key variables is the quality of the instruction given to the potential trainer. When a child is properly trained in natural horsemanship they can become first rate colt and wild horse trainers by as early an age nine or ten.

Chris is about fourteen. He is shown here with a cremello Choctaw mare, Zee, that he is training and doing spectacular work with. Yesterday Emily put a tremendous amount of time into working with Mozelle, a beautiful Choctaw mare who is the daughter of Rooster. By the end of the day she was riding her down the drive between the pastures. Emily is about 13. ( I cannot go with precise ages--I teach a lot of kids and it turns out that even if I do remember their specific ages the ages are subject to change annually.)

When properly taught, with a constant eye on building the confidence of the child and teaching the child to keep safety paramount, great results can be achieved by kids. Such results are dependent on the trainer of the little trainers completely rejecting all the teaching of the established horse world that deal with how kids should be taught horsemanship. One can no more pick and choose from the teaching of that world than one could carefully remove small parts of a container of spoiled milk in order to use the good parts.

Like the milk turned rancid, there is nothing untainted in its teachings.


1 comment:

George W said...

Everyone has an inner child....it is good for the outer child to oearn these lessons before it becomes the inner child.
When a tree grows in the forest, it adds a new layer, a new growth ring each year...those growth rings are a physical memory of everything that happened to that tree through its life, a scorched one from a brush fire, a scar from having grown over a rusty nail, or thick, resilient rings from times of lush growth. Humans are the same...it is just harder to tell.
Young Dalton, age three, drove this home the other day after just a few day's at the farm...playing horsey, he galloped up to his mom and said "I am a horse! Protect me!"
And a little child shall lead them...
I chanced to meet Steve's very first little rider last night...who I promptly invited to come back out on a Saturday...said she wanted to bring her daughter.
And the circle shall be unbroken, by and by....
-Lloyd