Find out what current and past clients are saying about Chris and Caren Ruthven and C&C Colt Company.
Lone Star Horse Report Article
Excerpt taken from an article in the December, 2007, issue of the Lone Star Horse Report:
Sandy Holcomb, a dressage rider and trainer and a breeder of Lipizzan sporthorses, had a young gelding that would rear when frightened or stressed.
"He had the potential to be a talented dressage horse, but several trainers refused to even attempt to work with him," she reports. "Then I heard about Chris Ruthven.
"We spoke several times on the phone, and I knew even before I met him that he was the right person to start this horse. Sure enough, within minutes of unloading him from the trailer, Chris was working with him and had thrown his weight over the gelding's back.
"He has an exceptional talent for being able to read a horse. Chris knows just when to push to the next level, and he knows when to quit and let the horse think about things.
"He is my only choice to start my youngsters under saddle. Each one has come back to me more confident and eager to begin their dressage training.
Golden Curls Ranch - Colt Starting
"I looked for the right natural horsemanship trainers for many months and then found Chris and Caren with C&C Colt Company in Whitesboro. I had purchased two of the greenest horses you'd have ever met; a stallion, Renegait Chesterfield and a recently gelded, Renegait Cinnamon River. In fact, feral might be closer to an accurate description as these four year old horses had not even been haltered before. But, I was certain my Curly and FoxTrotter/Curly cross were going to be the most wonderful horses to ride and be around and Chris and Caren helped me achieve my goal.
"The first night Chester and Cinnamon River arrived at C&C Colt Company we knew we had found the right trainers. The stressed driver screamed and called the horses crazy and stupid...well, I later realized it was because she didn't know how to handle them. Chris and Caren were calm and with a few soft words the horses came right out of the trailer that they had been bullied into and left standing for hours. They started grazing and acted as if they were glad to be at their new summer camp. It was as if they could already sense they were at a place where they were treated with respect.
"Over the next several months my friend, Marion, and I would visit Camp;C Colt Company weekly to see Chester and Cinnamon River. On our overnight stays (it's about 200 miles round trip from my ranch in Kaufman, Texas) we would hang out at the barn and learn so much about why the horses do what they do and how to help them be the best horse they can be. I've learned from Chris that horses want to please you - you just have to let them know how to do it.
"Our guys are home at our ranch in Kaufman and both are under saddle. You would never believe it is the same two horses. They are both loving, willing and happy. At C&C Colt Company they really do mean it when they use 'a gentle approach to a confident horse'."
MJ Arabians - Foaling and Imprinting Services
"We have recently begun breeding Egyptian Arabians. Last year, we had a beautiful bay filly from outstanding bloodlines. However, there was one problem: she was born in our pasture and was wild as could be! We could not get near her! When we sold her, we had to herd her into the trailer with her mother. This was obviously an experience that we did not want to repeat! Our Parelli Instructor referred us to Chris and Caren for imprinting and halter breaking for our next foal. What a difference! Our colt, Jassur, is not only gorgeous to look at, he is extremely well-behaved. He is now in show training for the Egyptian event. We have been told that he is the best behaved colt in show school! This is not surprising, because, thanks to C&C Colt, he had a great foundation: easy to catch, ties and leads well. He trusts people and is not afraid, but is respectful. What a difference!"
Mindy Passmore, MJ Arabians
Arabians, Ltd. - Horse Training
"I always cringe when our breeding clients mention sending their babies off to another trainer. We hear stories about trainers that think Egyptian Arabians are a handful. Mindy and Jim Passmore had told me about how impressed Chris and Caren were with the horses of our breeding. I took a sigh of relief...I was really impressed when I received a weanling colt that Chris and Caren had worked with. Jassur had obviously been handled with loving care. He knew how to lead, pick up his feet and had a calm, trusting personality that only comes from respectful, kind training.
Laura Cronin and Diane Taylor also have one of our kids with the Ruthven's, this one for under saddle training. Laura and Diane are pretty particular about how their horses are cared for and trained. They are so happy. These two must be great trainers if Laura and Diane are happy...
It is wonderful to hear of these trainers that obviously are working to bring out the best in each horse they work with, while preserving their personalities and infusing such a trust of people.
I would recommend Chris and Caren to any of our clients."
Manager & Head Trainer, Arabians Ltd.
Peter Kent - International Horse Trainer Certification Graduate
"I met Chris Ruthven when I was 14 years old in New Zealand when we were both apprentice jockeys. As a driver for a horse transport company in New Zealand, horses are a part of my every day life. But I didn’t realise how much I had to learn – I just did things in the way I always had, without knowing there was a better way.
When I first came to the States for three weeks to Chris and Caren’s wedding in 2000, I got a chance to see what Chris could do with horses and it inspired me to learn more. So I came back in 2007 to spend time at C&C Colt Company. I learned more there in those 3 months than I did in 37 years.
Back in New Zealand I began starting young thoroughbreds for the racing industry as a hobby. I came to the States again in 2008 to improve my skills and developed a greater understanding of horses and how they think. With this knowledge I began starting horses for a living when I went back to New Zealand. Now in 2009, with the beginning of the Apprentice Programme, I am spending my fourth summer with Chris and Caren and am always learning more. My understanding improves with each horse I start.
C&C Colt Company has given me the ability to load horses on floats more easily without bringing them stress, which is so important for my job as a horse transporter in New Zealand. Working with horses has not only become so much easier, but also more enjoyable. If I had learned this way of handling horses years ago, my employment opportunities in the industry would have been unlimited and I could have saved a lot of time with those who had issues. Thank you for all your help and the great times along the way."
Peter Kent, Apprentice from New Zealand
Gisela - Horse Trainer Certification Student
"Thank you Chris and Caren for a wonderful, fun-filled and very educational month. Thanks for making me welcome and being part of the crew. I had a great time meeting and working with some of the other horses and people, watching Chris performing magic with problem horses, going on trail rides and a night ride and accompanying you to various lessons and shows in the area.
In 2007, as a beginner rider, I bought a 3 year old thoroughbred gelding in an auction. At first everything was great. We passed Parelli's Level 1 with the help of the DVDs and some weekend clinics with a Parelli Instructor. The real issues began when I started working on Level 2. During the weekend clinics things were good, but as soon as I came home, my horse did something unexpected I did not know how to deal with and although I was supposed to know how to read my horse I couldn't. Especially when we went riding he did not want to go forward anymore or he wanted to go straight and not around a corner, so we had our little fights to determine who's the boss.
In January 2009, after I was gone for 3 weeks, he suddenly started really to buck, kick and reared when I tried to ride him. On the ground he dragged me all over the pasture on a 22 foot rope. I realized I needed help, but where to go? Sending my horse to a trainer would not solve my knowledge deficit! For the last two years I had watched multiple shows and audited some clinics of other natural horsemen besides Parelli: Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox and Dennis Reis. Most of these trainers did not even offer a program for my horse, the classes had 20 students and often lasted only 3 days (the longest one week) and the prices were outrageous.
By accident, I found C&C Colt Company's website. They actually offered an apprenticeship program for a month and both had trained with Parelli. So in June, I loaded my horse and we went there. I learned so much from both Chris and Caren, and all the horses there. I was so impressed with Chris' gift to read each one of the horses and his calm and relaxed way to deal with them, his impeccable timing in applying and taking off the pressure, asking for more or stopping. I met horses, initially scared and not trustful, after a few days relaxed, happy and easy to catch. I met a little Arabian filly frightened and unapproachable when I first arrived, at the end of my stay she was led with halter and lead rope and on the pasture she would come to me to be rubbed. A Paint yearling with a little attitude, had his attitude adjusted, was halter broke, had his first wash, his feet trimmed and was trailer loaded all in a friendly, nonaggressive way. I truly saw a place where the relationship with the horse comes first and not the task.
Thanks again for taking the time and having the patience to teach me how to deal with my horse, to see when he is asking questions and instead of ignoring it, I can finally answer him. Does that mean our relationship is perfect? No, we both have a long way to go, but he and I have a start and a foundation to build from and to go back to when things go wrong. We also have a plan how to progress and grow. Thanks again."