Horse Training Philosophy

The C&C Colt Company’s unique horse training philosophy has been developed by combining various methods and principals gained from a variety of sources over a number of years. Chris has combined his own personal experiences across a range disciplines and industries with certain aspects from notable trainers in various equine fields.

These experiences range from starting and training thoroughbreds in the racing industry in both New Zealand and Japan, to roping on rodeo circuit in New Zealand as well as studying various disciples from classical dressage to western reining.

This also includes the use of natural horsemanship principles and techniques he learned directly from masters of the natural horsemanship movement, such as Ray Hunt, Lee Smith and Pat Parelli.

Chris has also worked with and started colts for many notable trainers such as reiners Pete Kyle and Bobby Harrison, roper Robbie Schroder and general horsemanship clinician Jack Branard.

All of these experiences have helped to form the C&C Colt Company philosophy over time.

Our goal is always to turn out a confident horse that knows and can do whatever job it is given well. In doing so, both horse and rider more easily achieve their goals and will not only excel in their chosen field, but will also have a more enjoyable experience all around.

Through our quiet and gentle training methods, we build communication, trust and respect, the building blocks of a solid foundation.

A Strong Foundation – The Key To Success

The way a young horse is started has a lot to do with how he performs as a finished horse. No matter what goals you have for your horse, from a competent trail riding companion to Olympic level dressage horse, a strong foundation is the key to your horse's success.

Those horses without a strong foundation will experience problems along the way. However, most behavior problems that people encounter with horses can be resolved and/or prevented through the development and reinforcement of that solid foundation training. This is done by re-building the foundation one block at a time.

Building Blocks – Breaking Down Tasks To Simple Components

Every task can be broken down into a series more simple components – basic building blocks that are easier for the horse to understand rather than trying to do too much at once, which can confuse both horse and rider. By breaking things down into simple black and white, the horse will learn more effectively. Get these building blocks in place and everything else just comes easy for them.

Psychology And Learning – If The Software Isn't Right, The Hardware Doesn't Work

Traditional horse training is very physical and typically addresses psychological issues with physical answers. Chris stresses the importance of addressing psychological issues with a psychological answer. As Chris puts it, "If the software isn't right, the hardware doesn't work."

Taking more of a mental approach to horse training rather than a physical one, Chris allows the horse to figure things out and find the right answers on their own, giving them time to think things through and process the ideas presented to them. In essence, he teaches the horse how to learn.

Being One Step Ahead – Reading The Signs

Chris' years of experience with different breeds and individual horses has given him the ability to see beneath the surface issues a horse is having and get quickly to the root of the problem and correcting it.

By focusing on reading the horse and understanding the horses’ perspective, Chris knows what the horse is going to do before the horse does. As a result, he reacts sooner to the more subtle signs the horse presents – ones many may fail to see – before they become a big issue.

Going Along For The Ride – The Importance Of Softness, Feel And An Independent Seat

Chris advocates letting go in the saddle by riding with your seat rather than the reins. By sitting in the middle of the horse and using the hands for guiding rather than forcing a frame, the horse becomes softer and more responsive, and the rider becomes more confident, trusting the horse to take them for a ride rather than the rider taking the horse for a ride.

With traditional riding lessons, the student is often encouraged to bring the horses' face toward the body with the reins in order to achieve collection. Chris works to bring the horses' body to the face, achieving collection in more natural way and eliminating bracing issues.