The first video in the Willing Partners series, ‘First Touch’ is a fine example of how to approach and handle a foal from the very beginning. Join Peter Campbell on the Hat Creek Ranch as he works with a four-month-old colt. The key is to present yourself in a manner where they can respond with respect and without fear. If you can present yourself in a way that they can understand, they won’t get afraid. Encourage curiosity and forward movement in your young horses and always try to leave them in a good frame of mind.
Never pull on a young horse. Set them up to learn how to give to pressure and recognize the slightest try. As Peter says, ‘I think the reason we have some trouble with them is we really don’t know when they’re trying to do something for us until it’s already happened.’
Peter is always looking to work with the mind of the horse. If you can guide the mind, the feet follow soon after. Over a brief period of time, this colt is learning to wear a rope, follow a feel, step his hindquarters over, and change eyes. It doesn’t take a skilled roper to accomplish this work. Peter demonstrates how to place the rope on and take it off in a manner that is easy and natural; that won’t startle or otherwise bother the horse. He also discusses safety features in choosing a suitable rope and corral. These techniques presented here are important for handling young horses, but are also useful for re-starting older horses. Peter’s philosophy however, is essential for improving all aspects of your horsemanship and relationship with horses.
Running Time: Approx. 28 minutes