By Chloe Salisbury
From the September 2018 Issue
In 2016, when I was thirteen years old, we welcomed a seven month old filly into the family. For years I had dreamed of buying a young horse and training it myself, after seeing a friend do the same. At the time I was looking for a 2-3 year old prospect. We found a few, one in particular that I was very serious about, but things fell through.
One night my parents and I were searching the web and came across KT Ranch - a large AQHA breeder just a few hours away. They had many fillies and colts that were for sale, all bred great, built great, and most with flashy colors on top of all that! We ended up driving over to look at their horses within the next week or so. There were four or five foals I was specifically interested in. All wonderful prospects, which didn’t make it an easy decision. But I ended up choosing a filly that was then called ‘Lena’.
She had spectacular cowbred breeding. Built amazing, and a beef cake even at just three months old. She was one of the only foals that would let you touch her, only briefly and only on the rump - the foals were basically wild, all in a herd together, and had a very friendly personality. We met both of her parents as well which also had similar puppy-dog personalities along with all of their other assets. And like icing on the cake, she was flashy as they come - a dunalino with a beautiful white blaze. Before we even went to the ranch, I just had a feeling she’d be the one. I was instantly attracted to her photos online, and then after meeting her and her parents, I was sold.
October 26, 2016: We brought ‘Jus Plain Royale’ AKA ‘Jazi’ home. She knew nothing but the very basics of halter breaking. I remember one day I chased her around her little pen for nearly an hour before she let me simply clip the lead on her halter. Though within just a week or two, she completely warmed up to humans and loved being with you! Little did I know, less than two years later, I’d be where I am with her today.
I’ve never bonded with a horse like I have with her, we have a unique and special connection that I cherish - a connection I believe you can only gain by raising a horse yourself and being their teacher, like I have with her. She’s now two and a half years old, 14.1h, and 967 lbs! It’s been the most rewarding and amazing journey training her. Through all the stages, even the rough ones that I wanted to give up, we’ve grown together and she’s made me the horsewoman I am today.
Though I’ve been riding since five, I’ve never trained a horse before her. The way I honestly learned how to start a colt is through reading books and watching hours of training videos on YouTube from professional trainers. Many told me that I’ll ruin her because of my lack of experience, that you can’t train a horse through YouTube, and much more. But my smile grows real wide as I watch her blossom into my dream horse through all our hard work.
The first time I sat on her truly felt like a dream. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. A major milestone in my journey with Jazzi. I have twenty-two rides on her now. She’s not bucked one time. She has taken each new stage of riding in stride. I did our first ten rides bareback, and even through the transition into saddled riding, never has she freaked out in fear, or anything like that. Yes, we have our bad rides. Rides that I push her too much or misread her, end up frustrated and regret my actions. And yes, we will have plenty more. But I’m in love with the horse she’s becoming. She’s a joy to ride. I recently rode her away from home for the first time, and it was at an event. She didn’t spook once and rode great! I also recently took her on her first trail ride - same goes for that.
As for the future, I’ve chosen to take her in the direction of barrel racing. I plan to pattern her next year, after she’s much more ‘fancy broke’. But whatever ends up becoming of her, my heart bursts with gladness and thankfulness, for this journey. I’m so blessed to be able to do something like this, especially at my age. I give all the glory to God, my Savior Jesus Christ. He deserves all the glory, because without Him, I wouldn’t have any of this. I indeed wouldn’t even be alive! Glory to His name.
If you have a dream of starting a colt or any other thing you may dream of doing, don’t let people tell you ‘you’re too young’ or ‘you’re not experienced enough’ or the various things they say out of their own self-doubt to try and bring you down. To try and make you feel like you’re not good enough. Trust Gods plan and timing always. Remain humble, kind, and always work hard. Always do your best. I deeply thank all of you who took the time to read this article. It’s my hope that you may find some inspiration through it! I’m here for all of you, anytime. God bless.