The beginning of 2016 means we have a whole new set of colts to start.
By Kelli Neubert
January 7, 2016
It’s a new year, and that always parallels with embarking on some personal goals and changes around our outfit. Luke and I have discussed resolutions, predictions and challenges for 2016, and we have concluded that there’s really only one option for us.
As of January 1st, I’m excited to announce that we are going green.
Our “green” doesn’t involve an electric car, biodegradable plastic ware or solar panels. I’m not referring to the color either (it actually involves a whole passel of sorrel, bay and roan!)
Nope, our “green” refers to swapping out our set of horses that we had in training last year for fresh, bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, unstarted 2-year-olds.
Our business is a funny one. Just when things seem to get lined out—the horses feel more broke, understand how to read a cow, and can maneuver their bodies to do as we ask them—it’s time for them to move on. Most of the horses that we rode all year leave our program, continue with other trainers and become finished show horses.
And we start all over again.
It’s an exciting time for me. I enjoy recognizing the different talents in the new colts and getting to know their personalities. It’s fun to handle, saddle and ride them for the first time. The process changes them forever, and it’s neat to be part of that first step in creating a partner that will be ridden for years to come, especially when we get to follow the successful careers of horses that started in our program.
I understand that some people don’t like to start their horses too early, and that’s a respectable choice. No matter the horse’s age or discipline, going from green to broke is a slow process that involves lots of learning for horse and rider. However, in most arenas of the performance horse world, 2-year-olds are started early and consistently ridden and trained so they can compete in futurities toward the end of their 3-year-old year. I like to see horses get started when they are strong, solid-minded, confident—and hopefully gentle!
I know we’re not alone in going green. There are many cowboys, trainers and horse owners who have the same challenge ahead this winter and spring. It’s a special process and I commend all who decide to make it a part of their new year.
As for us, I foresee many shades of “green” in our future. Thank goodness it just so happens to be my favorite color!