I was terrible at starting colts. Almost every colt threw me. I broke fingers. I got concussions. I ruptured a disc in my back. They bucked and snorted and reared, I got frustrated, and we went into a downward horse training spiral.
Plenty of horse trainers could start colts with crops and spurs, so what was I doing wrong?
Bringing older horses back into work was just as bad. They were snorty and stubborn and unwilling partners. Even with older horses, crops and spurs did more harm than good.
Then, I realized the problem wasn't me! I was never going to be comfortable whipping and spurring my horses, and the traditional horse training methods were never going to work for me. I knew I needed to do something different, something that transformed my horses into fit, willing partners, but what?