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I want to give a big Thank You to all my friends and family that came out and supported me for
my first Colt Starting Challenge.  It was an unforgettable two days and I made a bunch of new
friends.  The horse I drew for the challenge was a pure white (Camarillo) Horse, with two blue
eyes named Opal.  She was a very sweet horse but was not happy when it was time to start
putting those feet to work.  We worked through some respect issues right in the beginning but
she quickly accepted her place as the follower in our herd of two.

The first day we got 2 hours to work with our horses.  My main focus was on building a solid
foundation of knowledge and trust with Opal.  I was in no hurry to get her saddled until I felt that
she was 100% ready mentally. Once the saddle was on, I was there to support her through her
fears and she quickly accepted the saddle.  After 20 more minutes of ground work we were
both ready to ride.  She happily accepted me as a rider and we work on speed control through
all three gates, coming off of leg pressure, stopping, and backing up for the remainder of the

The second day we had two 45 minutes sessions to work with our horses before the obstacle
course challenge in the open arena.  The first 45 minutes I repeated everything Opal learned
the first two hours on day one.  The second 45 minute session I created a mini obstacle
course and we practiced until we were both getting tired of being cooped up in our 50 foot
round pen.

I did everything I could to prepare Opal mentally and I couldn't of been more proud of her when
we ran the obstacle course. For a horse with only 3 1/2 hours of training, I felt we where
working together as a team.  She never showed any fear, I never had to get after her to speed
up, and she set the brakes to stop every time I asked.  Opal came out a winner and will make
a wonderful horse for anyone lucky enough to owner her. (
More Pictures)
Preparing Opal for her first ride.
Preparing Opal for her firsr ride.
Opal and I running the obstacle course.
Colt Starting Challenge
Eric Neilsen
Equine Services
Eric Neilsen
Equine Services
Contact: Eric or Yevette
Phone: 425-295-1970
King County, Washington
& surrounding areas.
Eric Neilsen
Equine Services
© 2015 EN Equine.  All Rights Reserved
Opal running the obstacle coarse.