So I thought I would show you all some pictures of Bit of Energy (Bobbie) my OTTB that I bought in April this year.
When I bought her she had not been touched in two years since she left the track, left to run wild in a huge paddock with other TB's. She had always had a reputation for being extremely hot and difficult to handle and as such the trainer never thought of selling her as a riding horse, she was bound to be a broodmare only. When I said that I wanted her he told me I was stupid and she would never amount to anything. For a while I nearly thought he was right.
After a couple of vet visits (she was in very poor health) some dental work and a couple of consultations with a chiropractor she began looking a bit healthier so we started with very light work. After two years off you can imagine how weak the muscles in her back etc were so we took it pretty slow in the beginning.
Once the real work began, that's when the fun started She WAS a holy terror!! She would race off as I was trying to mount like she was heading out of the starting gates. Once I got on she had a great rearing/spinning trick that she would pull on me, at one stage almost hooking her front legs over the arena fence. Not happy. So we worked on her behavioural issues first, really making sure her mind was right before I did too much. If she was bad she got a very heavy workout. If she was good I would just walk her once around the arena and get off.
Then I started schooling her mostly at a walk and trot to be responsive to my cues. I started in a full cheek snaffle, used a french link snaffle for a while and now school her in a thick rubber eggbutt snaffle (you can see it's pink in the pictures!) and she is doing great in it.
She has done a couple of dressage tests at Introductory level (walk-trot tests) and did OK. She was a little hot and didn't relax as much as I would have liked but it is still all new to her. She scored 54% in the first test which earned us a 4th place and 59% in the second test which earned us a 3rd. We are hoping to do a couple more in January and may do training level also.
I honestly don't know how many OTTB's I have trained over the years but I swear I learn something different from every single one of them. This horse has taught me that you can't always rush things. Sometimes you have to listen to the horse to see what they are ready to learn. It is really only in the last couple of months that Bobbie has done much real training, prior to that it was more about getting her in the right mindset.
So here are the pictures!
Trying some leg yielding (still working on this):
Canter, still green but she is getting there:
Thanks for reading!