The TSB crew has waited a full year to see how well Sean Patrick, horse trainer and author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE book and DVD set, and his “WildCard” colt “Joker” have progressed.
In March of 2013, eight “WildCard” trainers drew playing cards that decided the order in which they would each choose a three-year-old colt from the Road to the Horse 2013 AQHA Remuda from the 6666 Ranch. Sean was one of these trainers, and after drawing the “Joker,” he returned to his home facility in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, with his chosen colt (appropriately dubbed “Joker”).
Sean had one year to prepare for a test of horsemanship at this year’s Road to the Horse, which will take place March 13-16, in Lexington, Kentucky. If he and Joker win the WildCard competition on Thursday, March 13, then Sean will step into the arena with the other Road to the Horse stars and get a shot at the overall World Championship of Colt Starting title.
“Preparing Joker for the upcoming event confirms the need to cross-train our mounts,” says Sean. “Since the competition includes obstacle, rail work, reining patterns, fireworks, cattle and so forth…he must be ready for anything!”
Check out the amazing progress Sean and Joker have made together over the past year:
And in the spirit of preparing a horse to handle anything, here are some easy-to-use tips from Sean’s bestselling book THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE:
5 Ways to Increase Your Horse’s Handling Time
I like to increase handling time in a variety of ways. I know that the more I interact with my horse, the more comfortable he will be with me and his surroundings. Here are a few suggestions:
1 Take a horse “along for the ride” to a show, clinic, or new training facility. Trainers do this on a regular basis just to introduce inexperienced horses to new places, sights, and sounds.
2 Tie your horse while you are working around the barn or ranch, or finishing the chores. I often ask my horses to stand tied in a shady comfortable place while I do my busywork. I want them to be relaxed enough to do this regularly and have it be part of their daily routine.
3 If you have more than one horse, tie one close to your riding arena or round pen, wherever you are training, while you work with the other. This lets him absorb the commotion related to action in the ring that doesn’t involve him, and encourages confidence.
4 Plan a short workout and cooling-down period, tie a horse for a break as you work with another horse or finish chores, then return to your horse and work on something different—perhaps another riding session, some groundwork, or a bath. Always remember to warm up and cool down, but there is no reason why you cannot lengthen the duration of saddle time with a break in the middle.
5 Lead or “pony” your horse down the trail. Your horse gets exercised while learning to respond to halter pressure, see new sights, and behave in the company of another horse.