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To show a colt in hand, if he is a breed that the natural lofty motion is desired....spend 15 minutes with him 3X daily simply letting him "park trot" in an arena. Just stand in the center of the arena, and attach a white plastic grocery bag to the end of a lunge whip. Don't crack the whip, or make any sudden or sharp movements, as this will encourage the colt to run or gallop and what you want is simply to "air him up" so that he performs a lofty, airey, park trot up and down the arena. Most often, simply slowly lifting the whip in the air from the ground, and back down again is sufficient to "air him up". Remember, the purpose of the whip/bag is to startle the colt enough that he naturally "flags" himself, and strengthens these muscles, not the muscles that are used by galloping or running.
If you are showing in halter in quarter horse classes, then you want to work the colt at a slow, steady trot on a lunge line, long and low for about the same time frame every day, but AFTER he has had time to free exercise on his own, and get the "yahoo's" out of his system!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|