As many of you know, I specialize in colt starting, & it is what I am most passionate about. Starting a colt is one of the most important impressions you make on their futures. It is of the utmost importance to do it right the first time. I always cover everything I possibly can on the ground first, such as; round penning, respecting my space, coming to me and moving away as soon as I ask, yielding hindquarters & forequarters, backing up, desensitizing to as much stuff as possible (grocery bags, tarps, bells, noise makers, flags, anything that moves quickly or makes loud or strange noises, obstacles, etc.), saddling, sacking out, briding, bitting, & ground driving. This way when I am ready to get on, they've already been exposed to just about everything that I'll be expecting of them. The first time I get on, all I do is lean over both sides, mount/dismount, mount & sit on them, pet them, etc. This way the first time I ride them, the only thing that is different is that I'm moving with them. I have found that if you only expect them to process one thing at a time in the beginning, it makes what you expect black & white, which in turn makes for a more willing and confident colt. On the first ride, all I want from the colt is to walk trot and canter both directions. I am not worried about steering or anything else. In order to stop them on the first ride, I just disengage their hindquarters by executing a one rein stop. Eventually doing the one rein stop and saying whoa, will translate over to stopping without doing the one rein stop. I always start colts in either a side pull (bitless bridle with rope noseband), or a loose ring (o-ring) smooth snaffle.