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Racking Horses

This is a discussion on Racking Horses within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Spotted raking horse stance
  • How to slow a racking horse down

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    02-19-2013, 03:48 PM
  #11
Weanling
BUT, they can be very hot

"BUT, they can be very hot"

They like to go, and slowing them down is sometimes a problem. They tend to get excited rather easily. It makes for an excellent horse, but you have to handle them carefully, so they don't blow up.
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    02-19-2013, 06:55 PM
  #12
Foal
First, a "hot horse" is a horse that tends to be overexciteable with more forward motion that is hard to rate or slow down. These types of horses are harder to collect at times with tendencies to blow up if not handled correctly. They are not harder to train but can take longer to train since their minds can be blown pretty easily. I found breaking each step down even further so the horse doesn't get overloaded with stimulus keeps their minds calmer.

I was interested in your idea of Standardbreds being rougher gaited as I've found it normally to be the opposite. Standardbreds and racking horses in general are normally purer in gait than breeds more geared to the show ring where fads and trends can destroy a good gait. Some STBs can be rougher at slower gaits but those have not been trained to use themselves properly.

To train an OTSTB to rack is really not super hard, I spend normally 30 days or so just letting the horse go on a loose (not thrown away just a bit of slack/sway in the rein) rein with just a plain snaffle. I am working on a 4 beat walk, teaching them leg and seat cues, and building up their top line. After I feel confident that the horse is swinging nicely at a good walk I start introducing contact and collection. I am looking for a horse to shift their weight to their hindend while lightening up in their front. I only take up as much collection as needed to engage the hindend, I want as soft of contact as I can get. Once I feel that shift, I let them go in that frame for 5-6 strides than I loosen contact to give them their head back. I slowly work on collection until I can have them comfortably collected.

Once the horse firmly and calmly understands collection, can engage the hindend, and lighten the front end with only the minimalist of contact do I start looking for increasing of speed at the walk. I never want the horse to get pacy so I am looking for that 4 beat gait and by driving the horse forward by seat/legs I can increase the speed of the gait without losing quality. Again, take this slow and easy, get increase of tempo without losing rhythm, then after a few strides, bring them back down to their natural walk and let them stretch into that contact. If the horses head goes up and the back hallows you will lose the smoothness, so always have the horse seek contact by stretching down into the bit.

I do not use long shanked bits, and my current OTSTB gaits off off a Pee Wee bit really nicely. I've had great success with a simple snaffle bit and the shank bit I've used with nice success is a 4" snaffle (NOT a tom thumb) but most horses do not need that kind of leverage. If you train your horse to use their whole body then they do not need those super long shanks normally.

Yes, I realize I take longer than most to train but I do not want to fry a horses brain and I'd rather the horse enjoy his new job.
     
    02-19-2013, 10:58 PM
  #13
Weanling
Very hot:

That's the same thing they were telling me about that one young horse in particular. I just wanted to make sure I understood it correctly.
I was told to that they were being fed a high protein grain. And because that young horse was stalled all the time, it made him hot too.
And I had a hard time controlling him. The last trip down the run way I did, I couldnt stop him. He just fought the bit the whole way. That's why I said he was to much for me. I don't need that.

I will say that young horse was a rough ride but the faster we went the smoother he got. It was the slower pace or coming down from the speed rack that he got so rough it was like riding a trotting horse.
     
    02-19-2013, 11:00 PM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idrivetrotters    
First, a "hot horse" is a horse that tends to be overexciteable with more forward motion that is hard to rate or slow down. These types of horses are harder to collect at times with tendencies to blow up if not handled correctly. They are not harder to train but can take longer to train since their minds can be blown pretty easily. I found breaking each step down even further so the horse doesn't get overloaded with stimulus keeps their minds calmer.

I was interested in your idea of Standardbreds being rougher gaited as I've found it normally to be the opposite. Standardbreds and racking horses in general are normally purer in gait than breeds more geared to the show ring where fads and trends can destroy a good gait. Some STBs can be rougher at slower gaits but those have not been trained to use themselves properly.

To train an OTSTB to rack is really not super hard, I spend normally 30 days or so just letting the horse go on a loose (not thrown away just a bit of slack/sway in the rein) rein with just a plain snaffle. I am working on a 4 beat walk, teaching them leg and seat cues, and building up their top line. After I feel confident that the horse is swinging nicely at a good walk I start introducing contact and collection. I am looking for a horse to shift their weight to their hindend while lightening up in their front. I only take up as much collection as needed to engage the hindend, I want as soft of contact as I can get. Once I feel that shift, I let them go in that frame for 5-6 strides than I loosen contact to give them their head back. I slowly work on collection until I can have them comfortably collected.

Once the horse firmly and calmly understands collection, can engage the hindend, and lighten the front end with only the minimalist of contact do I start looking for increasing of speed at the walk. I never want the horse to get pacy so I am looking for that 4 beat gait and by driving the horse forward by seat/legs I can increase the speed of the gait without losing quality. Again, take this slow and easy, get increase of tempo without losing rhythm, then after a few strides, bring them back down to their natural walk and let them stretch into that contact. If the horses head goes up and the back hallows you will lose the smoothness, so always have the horse seek contact by stretching down into the bit.

I do not use long shanked bits, and my current OTSTB gaits off off a Pee Wee bit really nicely. I've had great success with a simple snaffle bit and the shank bit I've used with nice success is a 4" snaffle (NOT a tom thumb) but most horses do not need that kind of leverage. If you train your horse to use their whole body then they do not need those super long shanks normally.

Yes, I realize I take longer than most to train but I do not want to fry a horses brain and I'd rather the horse enjoy his new job.

Very informative . Thankyou.
     
    02-19-2013, 11:02 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
"BUT, they can be very hot"

They like to go, and slowing them down is sometimes a problem. They tend to get excited rather easily. It makes for an excellent horse, but you have to handle them carefully, so they don't blow up.

Now Mr Bob if you don't mind,,define "blow up"
     
    02-20-2013, 01:08 AM
  #16
Foal
When a horse blows up either it is a full blown explosion ie rearing, bucking, kicking or some implode and go quiet and freeze (which if continued to be pushed will explode)
It is never good to push a horse to explosion, it just undermines the horses trust in you, it sets back training, and you have to go several steps backwards and rebuild.

I will go out on a limb on the young horse who got away from you, he is poorly trained and is fighting the bit because he hasn't been properly taught the bit. You never introduce speed until the horse can show two distinct rates of speed at the walk. Without a solid walk you have no foundation on which to build speed.
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    02-20-2013, 12:11 PM
  #17
Weanling
These "hot bloods" are my favorite riding horses. Several questions have come up. I was told that walking one of these horses for an extended period of time (a yr or more) would make them better. Also, heard they would smooth out with age. And heard they need high protein feed for growth.

I'd really rather call these "hot bloods" big engine horses. I'd classify all 6 of mine as big energy horses. They will all walk when asked, but you don't have to ask them twice to move on.

You don't feed big engine horses high protein feed that just makes them worse, and they overheat too easily. If you want to put weight on them it is high fat feed, and very low protein, no corn period.

They will not smooth out with age alone. The quality of his gait has nothing to do with age. Either they have it or they don't. You can do a lot to smooth it out with trianing, but that can be done at any age.
I don't think it is good to keep any of them stalled for days without daily exercise. Especially young ones. And those that have "hot blood" are even worse when stalled. BUT, the last thing I'd do is turn them out with other horses. They get buddy sour faster then most. Then you have worse problems. I like to put then in a field by themselves. Hopefully, with no other horses in touching distance.

We have some riding friends that have 2 Pretty Boy offspring. They have a terrible time with buddy sour issues. And they are HOT.

Walking the horse for a year is ridiculous. That shows a lack of training ability, or an unwillingness to give the horse the time needed to properly train the horse. If you restrict one of these horses to too much calmness, they rebel and blow up. They need enough training to be able to stop them, then take them to the trails and let'em go as fast as they want, in gait, until they tire. Then ask them to go a bit further at the speed your going. Then bring them back down slower, and slower. As soon as they are cooled off going slower, then do it again, and again. It releases the built up energy they have and they enjoy the work. Rather than being forced to go slower. And never try and collect these horse up, all that will do is make them blow up faster. Let them move free and easy. If you want to bring the nose down a bit after they are doing everything else perfectly, that usually works, but in the beginning give them their head. Let them go as naturally as possible.

I never ever ask these horse to doggie walk, it just plain not something these horses will do, without too many other problems. And get them to respond to speed changes with the seat, rather than the bit. You almost don't need to bit to ride these horses if they are properly trained.

If you don't allow these horses to play, it is not a matter of, if they will blow, but when.

And very important, we must remember horses do not TRUST, it is not in their make up. Horses do not have a sole, and trust is not in their make up. They respond to stimuli, period. But they are also much more a tuned to the stimuli and surrounding around them than any human. They can tell when the humans around them are depressed, angry, etc. before we can. They detect a very slight difference in your voice tones. Every wonder why one day they respond to the word "whoa" and the next day they don't. It's not the horse, it is the human's different way of saying it. Every wonder why one day they will travel just fine, and that night the human rider gets little sore back, and the next day, the horse won't travel correctly at all. It's not the horse, it's the human. The real trick to excellent training, is teaching the horse to respond the same to humans that do it just slightly different.

I am prejudice when it comes to the big engine horses. It seems to me, IMO. They are more perceptive than the "dead heads". Very, very slight differences in cue, voice, etc, are perceived quicker with these horse. Seems to me they are more alert, and watching for very minor changes.
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    02-20-2013, 08:16 PM
  #18
Weanling
Wow...alot to digest here. I've learned quite alot. Thanks to all the responces.
     
    02-20-2013, 08:57 PM
  #19
Weanling
Fighting the bit: the young horse did not like the bit at all, not only fought it while riding, but just standing there, like in the pic I posted. He kept throwing his head, fighting it.

But that horse had tons of energy and go. He had been racked hard and quite awhile before I got on him. Even after all that, and with me riding him more. He was lathered up good. But still ready for more. We took him in the barn and the steam was rolling off him.
Id say he has a mighty big motor on him. Lives up to his pop.
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    02-21-2013, 09:09 AM
  #20
Weanling
If you rode him with the bit shown in the picture, it's no wonder he didn't like it. Long shank, probably a high port "walking horse" bit. Worse bit in the world to ride any horse with. He probably had very little ground work, and was never introduced to a gentle bit for training. Probably used it, claiming it, was the only way to stop him.

I'd love to have the horse, but I already have plenty. Plus, he is coming 3 yr. You can't really train these horses until they are at least 4. You can do a lot of ground work with them, but I wouldn't think about riding one of them until they are at least 4 +. Training them under saddles takes a lot of long hard rides. That's too much for a 3 yr old.
     

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