Discernment: The Fourth Ingredient

Discernment-the ability to judge well. 

When a person takes in all of the information available to them and draws upon their past experiences to assimilate a plan of action that produces a positive outcome, their ability to judge well improves exponentially. The only way I know to learn this is through experience. So the question is, ”How can someone best increase their experiences?”

When it comes to working with our horses and trying to learn how to operate with feel, I know of no better way to gain the necessary experience than by starting colts. When someone is working on starting a colt their awareness suddenly increases to new heights! Whether or not the breast collar is perfectly even isn’t nearly as important as maybe it used to be. Suddenly how the horse feels about being saddled is way more important than that breast collar being perfectly even. 

Concentrating on the little things like being prepared BEFORE we attempt to do something with a colt becomes a top priority. Yet, too many riders don’t put enough thought and effort into the importance of doing this with their old, reliable riding partner. Too often people are too tired or too lazy to engage themselves in this intense concentration when working with a horse they know, but it becomes much more important and much easier to do when you’re the one putting the first ride on that colt!

Lots of people want things done and they want it done now, on their schedule. Try having that mind set on a colt’s second ride. Often times a colt is a lot less forgiving on his second ride. If a person has not learned a whole lot of patience by this point, I guarantee you they will before ever getting to ride number three. 

When you take that colt out of the round corral for the first time to see a little bit of the world, you are certain to look back at all the many experiences you and that colt have had in a very short time. You’ve learned how he feels when everything is good with him. You’ve felt what he’s like when he’s a little unsure. You’ve learned how YOUR feel can influence him. Now you must discern all of this knowledge and these past experiences and apply them through “feel” to insure the success and safety of you and that colt on this first outing. 

Thank you to the participants in this year’s Colt Starting Workshop. The work all of you did was outstanding. Van and Karla, you guys are the best and your colts are top shelf. Most of all thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this a success. 



Mark your calendars for next year’s
RPH Colt Starting Workshop on May 3-8, 2020!

*Photos from the 2019 RPH Colt Starting Workshop: