Starting a Horse Under Saddle


Following are some of the remarks people invariably make when they watch me work start a horse under saddle.

“That horse is quiet. What happens when you get a wild one?”

“I’ve got a colt at home you couldn’t handle like that.”

“The youngsters by this stallion all buck and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“This mare’s progeny are fighters. They all kick and strike and pull back.”

Fortunately, not one of these statements is true. Every horse can be “quiet”, just as every horse can be “wild”. It all depends what we teach them.


I’ve started more than a thousand horses under saddle. Horses of all ages and from all different backgrounds. When someone tells me that a horse is wild or mad or unbreakable, or that a certain breed are buckers or kickers or fighters, I take absolutely no notice.

However, I always listen to every horse. Some horses tell me that they’ve been frightened and have been taught to kick and buck and fight. Others tell me they’ve been well handled and they are relaxed and confident with people. Either way, it’s just what they’ve been taught.

Every horse can be started under saddle as demonstrated in this video. Every horse can be started without bucking at any stage. Every horse can be started without chasing and ropes and restraints. Every horse can be started without sweat and distress. There are no exceptions.

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