The third video in the Willing Partner series, ‘The First Ride’ continues along the journey of colt starting with Peter Campbell. Peter begins by reviewing some of the lessons learned from the previous ‘Ground Work and Saddling’ DVD, working again with the two-year old colt ‘Jake’ from the Hat Creek Ranch in Long Valley, CA. This is the second time this colt has been saddled and it goes as smoothly as the first, thanks to Peter’s careful preparation. You don’t want to sneak around a young horse, but you don’t want to overexpose him either. You want your horse to keep searching for the answer, without being afraid.
In this video, Peter goes through a more thorough process of acquainting his horse to the saddle, gently exposing him to things that he will encounter later on in his career as a saddle horse. This includes being able to switch eyes on objects in front, beside and over top without becoming tense or bothered. Peter uses both the flag and lass rope around the horn to build confidence in a variety of situations. He emphasizes the importance of teaching a horse to build a brace in preparation for mounting. “The getting on is easy, it’s what happened before you got on that gets him ready for getting on.”
Once mounted, Peter patiently directs and drives his colt, making use of his horse’s ideas. It is in this phase that you first accompany them and then ask them to accompany you so that eventually you can accompany one another. He offers some handy tips on how to keep the flow in your colt and what to do if your horse wants to travel too close to the corral fence. Peter also provides a good demonstration of how to handle a situation when your colt is confused or resistant to the idea of lateral flexion.
“Remember, it’s the smallest change and the slightest try headed in the direction you’re heading in. You can’t get it all at once; you need to get it in small tiny increments so that he learns how to get there not by you forcing him.” – Peter Campbell
In the last segment of the video, Peter shows how to successfully put a snaffle bit on for the first time and shares tips on how to encourage a colt to keep his tongue under the bit.
Running Time: Approx. 90 minutes