It just takes 33 minutes to make an untrained horse into one that’ll ride around, even do tricks with her.
More than 100 spectators gathered to watch and listen as Scott Daily did just that at the Topeka Farm Show.
The Arkansas City trainer-clinician was working with a “barely halter broke” two-year-old sorrel filly owned by Diamond L Ranch of Council Grove.
“She’s sired by their top performance stallion Ranger Cookie, so we know there’s potential here,” Daily credited.
Eight 12-foot panels were fashioned into a round pen for working the filly in a tie-halter with a long rope.
Moving her around the pen at a walk then trot, Daily evaluated, “The filly’s a little nervous, not moving very freely. She wants to stay by her buddy over there, but she’ll figure out what we’re expecting.”
Verbally smooching and clicking persuasively to his trainee, Daily soon had the filly going at all three gaits both directions.
“What’s done one side must be the same on the other,” he said. “She did need a little motivation.”
The filly was brought in beside the trainer as he put the rope over her back and hips. “Very good,” he complimented. “She needs to get the feel of things and know we’re not going to hurt her.”
Again working from both sides, Daily critiqued, “The filly’s more cautious on her right side, but that’ll come, too.”
Moving the rope around her middle, the trainer tightened it some simulating a saddle girth.
Then, he moved the rope back into her flanks causing a little fright and kick. “It’s okay, there we go,” Daily calmed the filly.
The young mare’s head was pulled towards her heart girth from both sides to get more turn and flex.
“Good job. She’s a fast learner,” he credited.
Saddle pad was taken down from the rail and moved around the mare’s head, neck and shoulders.
Soon, Daily had the pad on her back without any negative response as it was moved around.
“She’s ready for the saddle,” he said slowly putting it over his arm to let her see and smell.
Gently, the saddle was placed on the filly’s back, then taken off, back on and shuffled around. Daily again worked from both sides of the mare with still a bit more nervousness on the right.
Girth of the saddle was slowly pulled up on the filly as she flinched and moved away. “I don’t want it too tight, but it has to be snug, stay put when she goes to move,” Daily said.
The back cinch was loosely fastened as he pressured the saddle from side to side on her back.
Again, the filly was circled in the pen both directions changing gaits which made her kick up at the canter. “It’s okay. Nothing’s going to hurt you,” Daily pacified.
Satisfied with the filly’s progress, the trainer brought her in beside himself and put his foot in the left stirrup.
First with a little weight on her back, Daily stepped off, then up again stretching his chest over her body. The maneuver was repeated on the right side with some caution.
From the left mounting side, Daily stepped up into the saddle, put his weight down, and immediately dismounted.
Tying the lead rope around her neck as reins, Daily tucked the excess into his belt loops.
He mounted into the saddle, slowly positioning himself securely as possible. The mare adjusted her legs and body to the weight.
Her head was pulled into his leg so her feet moved some and she became more used to the rider.
Repeating the action both ways several times, Daily soon had the mare walking carefully in small circles.
“She’s pretty tight,” Daily said as he asked for more freedom of movement. It wasn’t long until the filly was circling the pen.
“We’re ready for more speed,” he insisted prodding her into a trot.
“Very good, very nice,” credited Daily, nudging the mare into a lope.
Before long, the trainer tapped her hip with the lead shank to increase speed. Changing directions a couple of times, Daily continued to lope several circles.
Riding into the center of the pen, the horseman took his lariat from the saddle and rubbed her with it. He formed a loop with his rope and swung it around the filly’s head and body.
“She really catches on fast,” credited Daily, replacing the lariat to his saddle and moving to the rail.
He got his bullwhip, started moving it around the mare and before long snapping softly. Only a bit bright eyed, the mare remained fairly relaxed as Daily loudly popped the whip several times.
“Very good. I’m proud of her,” he complimented.
Standing up in the saddle on the mare’s back, Daily removed his hat, nodded: “Thank you Topeka.”
It was 33 minutes start to finish.