The second video in the Willing Partners series, ‘Ground Work and Saddling’ is the next step in preparing a colt to accept a rider. Watch Peter Campbell as he works with ‘Jake’, a two-year-old colt from the Hat Creek Ranch in sunny Long Valley CA. While Peter regularly works from horseback, the exercises on this video are presented on foot for the benefit of those without a saddle horse. He begins with the process of catching and leading – first with a neck rope, then with a halter and lead. Taking time to prepare a young horse to wear a neck rope is essential for staying safe and building trust.
‘We’re looking for the colt to understand that he can have his self-preservation and still do what we’re asking him to do.’ – Peter Campbell
Peter demonstrates how to direct the life in the horse – from the mind to the body, to the legs, to the feet. You’ll find that if you first accompany them that they’ll be more willing to accompany you and soon you’ll be moving together as partners. Remember that with a busy young horse it’s important to look for the places where they want to stand. Timing is the best reward.
Peter uses the help of a barrel to help his colt shape up for leading. He teaches him to move his quarters smoothly and correctly, pushing equally with all four feet. Shifting the hindquarters should always be a forward motion, while shifting the forequarters is a backwards motion. He then uses the ‘world method’ with a flag and a cinch rope to prepare his young horse to wear a saddle. Once saddled, Peter takes his colt through upward and downward transitions until the horse is smooth and even at all gaits. The horse must be able to change eyes without becoming tight or bothered. This is an area where horses and riders often get in trouble – the horse must have an opportunity to experience and see new things on both sides. For colts worked on foot, it is also important for them to see and respond to the rider from above using fence work.
Whether you’re looking to start a colt of your own or have a saddle horse in need of a restart, this video has the information you need to stay safe, be effective and develop a solid foundation with your horse.
Running Time: Approx. 102 minutes