Colt in Preparation for Show
When preparing a colt for show, start
the procedure at least six (6) weeks prior to the show date.
||Use a lead rope with a chain
under the horse’s chin at all times when handling. It gives
the handler control and does not hurt the horse, but does get
the horse’s attention.
||Lead the colt daily for 15
to 20 minutes. Walk in a circle, going in both directions,
just as you would have to do in a show ring. The colt
should have its head just in front of you at all times.
||Make sudden and unexpected
turns – sometimes making tight circles in both directions –
when leading the colt so he is forced to pay attention to you
and anticipate your movements. It teaches the colt to always
pay close attention to you.
||Teach the colt to go fast,
i.e., run beside you, or go slow – always at your shoulder.
||Never allow the colt to TROT
when you are leading. This can be avoided by forcing the colt
to carry his head as high as possible. Practice running with
the colt gaiting next to you – shaking his head up as high as
you can. If he trots, slow back and start over. Never
reinforce a trot.
||Expose the colt to as many
obstacles, loud noises and different surroundings as possible.
You can play a loud radio – walk him next to traffic – just
let him experience everything.
||Work the colt with other
horses or colts at home to get him used to following or being
followed by other horses – and also having other horses coming
close to him – don’t want him to lose his concentration.
||Have someone walk around
your colt while he is parked out, as though he were the judge.
Have that person wear a hat and tip the hat to the contestant.
Have that person walk up close to the colt and even touch the
colt, but do not allow the colt to move. If he does,
reposition him and make him hold it – head held high.
||Have someone work with
another colt next to your colt as though he is having trouble
with that colt and it is acting up. Then make your colt stand
still while this is going on – paying attention to you only.
You will frequently have colts around you that misbehave while
||Have someone next to you use
a whip with their colt and make a clicking noise, but make
your colt stand still and pay attention to you only.
Your colt should now be ready to lead into the showing. Good