Thursday, August 6, 2020

USEA: Producing a Young Horse

For a humane and extremely successful approach to starting young horses, check out the USEA podcast Producing a Young Horse, with guests Lauren (Kieffer) Nicholson and Max Corcoran, hosted by Nicole Brown. Since Lauren and Max have been involved with all aspects of producing young horses, the topics range from breeding and the initial evaluation of a young horse to the under saddle work and beginning competition.

Lauren Nicholson works for David and Karen O'Connor, and "has spent the last 15 years bringing hundreds of horses along in their barn and for Jacqueline Mars’ program which breeds and produces horses from the ground up." Max Corcoran, now president of the US Eventing Association, "also spent over a decade on the O'Connor Eventing Team grooming and working with the young horses." The O'Connor team has been known for decades for their dedication to starting young horses using low-stress, humane methods.

Early on in the podcast, Lauren made some very interesting comments about what she looks for in a young horse. Knowing she's looking for a horse with the potential to become a 5* eventer, what is her top priority for selection? Conformation? Precocious jumping ability? Nope. Her top priority is trainability. Tune in to the podcast to hear her reasons - and listen also for Lauren's deep understanding of how young horses think. Her decisions and advice are rooted in that, which explains her success over many years.

This podcast is worth a listen by anyone involved with horses, especially youngsters.

Click here to listen to "Producing a Young Horse."

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