I charge by the month. Preferably I don't like to take in colts for less then two months .
*Starting Colts: consists of a horse that has never been rode before. When a colt comes to me to get started the first thing I do is ground work. This consists of getting control of the horse's feet. By doing this I get two things to happen; I get the horse to respect me as his leader and it gets him to start using the thinking side of his brain which will help him understand what I'm trying to teach him.
My ground work consists of, Yielding the hindquarters, Backing up, Yielding the forequarters, Lunging for respect stage 1, Sending exercise, Circle driving, Lunging for respect stage 2, Flexing, Bridle bending exercises, and Desensitizing to my tools (Flag, Trap , Stock whip, Rope, etc). In the mean time, getting the colt used to the saddle while doing the ground work.
I like to ride my colts in the halter or side pull for the first few rides, from there on I'll ride them in a smooth snaffle bit.
The first steps I use when riding a colt consists of: One rein stops, Cruising lesson, Follow the fence, Yield the hindquarters, Bending transitions, and a lot of other exercises that helps to get the horse softer and gain better control of the horse's five body parts.
If possible within three weeks, I want to get the colts outside and train them around trees, along the road to traffic, and get them use to everything I can come across in the outdoor environment.
Spots for spring training fill up about 6 months in advance, so if you are thinking spring training please don't wait till spring to call!
As a trainer, I also observe a horse's nutrition, feeding habits and health. These may be discussed with a veterinarian and horse nutritionist if I suspect the horse might be ill.