Colt Starting Basics with Dick Pieper

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Whether you want to ride a winning performance horse or simply train a nice horse that you can enjoy, you’re going to need the basics. 

In the 23-page Colt-Starting Basics e-book, after Dick Pieper discusses the basics of starting a young horse, he moves on to reining maneuvers and how you can use them to teach a horse to be handy whether he enters a show pen or not.

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This young-horse training plan includes: 

  • Collection.
  • Hip movement.
  • Spins.
  • Stops and rollbacks.
  • Circles.
  • Backing.

This book doesn't present any revolutionary ideas, Dick says: "What I talk about isn’t new. Xenophon talked about the basics of using your body correctly and teaching your horse to use his body correctly when he invented dressage in the 12th century."

In Colt Starting Basics, Dick Pieper uses Xenophon's his principles and works in Xenophon's suggested order:

"I won’t move forward until the horse has grasped each basic – lateral softness, collection and hip movement – thoroughly and completely," Dick says.

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"The goal is to produce a horse that is so conditioned to do what I ask that I could pull him out of the barn in the middle of a snowstorm in the middle of the night after a week off, and he would respond correctly to the cues I give him. I want him calm, with no distress, just an automatic response to my cues."

About Dick Pieper

Dick Pieper is internationally recognized as a horseman’s horseman, and this iconic individual has influenced and developed the careers of riders and trainers for decades.

Dick’s résumé in the performance horse industry is extensive. A multiple AQHA world champion, Dick is also a past president of the National Reining Horse Association, an NRHA Futurity champion and a member of the NRHA Hall of Fame.

Dick has been an approved judge in AQHA and NRHA, as well as the National Cutting Horse and National Reined Cow Horse associations. He currently serves on the board of directors for both the Ranch Horse Association of America and the American Stock Horse Association.

His success as a trainer and competitor is legendary, but perhaps Dick’s biggest skill is his ability to communicate with people. His common-sense approach and his empathy for his equine partners resonate with riders of all skill levels. After his extensive career in the performance world, Dick now shares his wisdom and training techniques in a book, a series of training videos and clinics called “The Language of Horsemanship.” More information is available at

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