** Please note out books for 2016 and 2017 colt starting have been closed until farther notice.
* Beginning August 1, 2014: drop off and pick up days for colt starting will be Monday - Wednesday, this will also apply for visiting or checking on horses. Please call to schedule a time for visitation.
As of Jan. 1, 2015 our colt starting rates are changing.*
Some Spots Open Jan- May
Located in the Heart of Sand Mountain, Albertville Alabama.
Here at Rafter C Farm we specialize in colt starting, trail, trail course introduction and ultimate trail course training. We start colts with easy and refined techniques that work. We adjust the starting and training to each individual horse's needs. Most colts are exposed to: obstacle courses, trails, cattle, traffic and all kinds of terrain as well as being started on working- buggies or wagons. We are not breed specific and have references if needed. We use our own horses for trail, pleasure, cow work, traffic control, Extreme Cowboy Racing, showing and much more. We do from time to time offer our personal horses for sale. We will also do consignment sales for the public. Check out our for sale page!
Please contact us to schedule / reserve spots as they book fast, we take a limited number each month. Please read our legal terms and conditions page.
Our goal is to get your horse(s) started with a good foundation and instill the basics. Each colt is started and worked to its individual needs and ability and we adjust our methods to each horse. We use proven methods and techniques. Not all horses come around as quickly as others and sometimes require a little more time. Each horse gets ground work and saddle time each day. We have an indoor riding arena where we get horses started and do some minor fine tuning type things. Horses are exposed to trails, traffic, cattle work when possible, all kinds of terrain and we take colts with us to different farms which exposes them to new environments, horses and people. Basic obstacle course work is usually included in colt starting and is a great experience for young horses. For more detailed obstacle work they need to be left longer. Preferably 60 to 90 days if not longer. Horses must be halter broke upon arriving at RCF for colt starting to begin. If horse is not halter broke, the firsts month's session ( 4 weeks) will be basic handling, halter breaking, ground work and handling of feet.
If horses are far enough along we may also enter them in events such as: Extreme Cowboy Races, Trail Horse Competitions, Western Pleasure, Barrels, Fun Day events and breed specific events or shows. ( owners are notified prior to the event and are responsible for the entry cost.) At times we also try to break them to work either to a ground slide or a buggy.
30 days is not a finished horse and is not considered bomb proof or kid safe. It is up to the owner as to continue or further the riding and training on the horse. We are not breed specific and will start and breed you may have. We are not or do not claim to be trainers. We are colt starters and expose them to as much as possible in the time they are here. Some horses progress faster than others and some are mature enough to be pushed harder. Our effort with each horse is formed to its ability and our methods are modified to fit your horses personality and ability. We do trial ride, work cattle, start them on the extreme course and make some camping trips. We will and do take in horses that have already been started but we do not guarantee anything on these horses. We do not guarantee to fix problem horses. We do recommend you leave your horse for more than one month ( 4 weeks) but that’s at your discretion and left up to you.
Our base time is usually 4 weeks. We do keep horses longer upon request and if we feel it is necessary will strongly advise this to you.
We do require a negative coggins, vaccination records up to date for the year, and shoes on the horse(s). Some people prefer the bare foot program, that’s fine, supply your own easy boots if you wish not to shoe your horse. We ride very rough terrain and want to take care of their hooves. We also require or suggest you bring the feed and hay your horses are use to. This stops the drastic change of feed and will help prevent colic. ( we can and will supply feed and hay for an additional cost.)
We do take in horse that are already broke but prefer not to. Some horses that already have been started do come here for trail course training thought we prefer to start them from the beginning ourselves. We had rather not have problem horses though we do acquire one from time to time, as we can not guarantee to fix them.
We have references if needed.
Spots book fast. We do require a deposit to hold your spot. Horses are booked as we receive booking calls.
We try to limit ourselves to 3 or 4 outside horses. This give us better opportunity to put a good amount of time in each horse.
We keep a daily log of everything done with your horse, how he/she responds and the progress we see he/she is making and the hours put into him/her. We also take photos on our trail riding trips,camping trips and when being ridden on the course or at events.
We will make you a copy of the log book along with photos if you would like. Please let us know this up front.
We help horses with trailer loading problems, ground manners or other minor issues. We will travel locally to help you and your horse! Have a trailer loading problem, call us!
**Trick training is NOT included in the basic package for colt starting. If you are interested in having your horse trick trained, please contact us for details. Please note: not all horses are suitable for performing tricks.**
We like to be punctual, on time and reasonable. We keep a schedule and routine in our profession. We expect the same from others or at least some consideration of notice if plans change, things run behind and so on. When spots are booked with us for colt starting, everything required ( Neg. coggins, vaccination records, shoes...) is stated at that time and you should have more than plenty of time to make sure things are ready long before your set day/time. We generally stay booked months out in advance.
As of 9/28/15 if you wait till a few days before your scheduled time and then realize all required work is not ready and need to move your drop off date a few more days out, you MAY BE RESCHEDULED for the next avi. opening or forfeit your spot and deposit all together as we have clients that are ready and waiting to bring their horses. Please be advised of this change.....