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post #11 of 18 Old 10-12-2010, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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If he raced, all he knows is to take the bit and run. For starters, I initially would not do anything with him dead straight. That's just asking him to brace against the bit and go. From the moment you get on and are warming up at the walk, try to ride with flexion so that you can see his inside eyelashes. Shallow serpentines where you alternate every few strides to change the flexion will start getting him to understand bending. Make sure to provide him with a nice soft inside leg to bend around. Every time he responds properly and softens even a little to the bit, reward him immediately by softening the contact so he knows that's what you want. Most TB's learn this exercise very quickly.

From there I would teach him leg yield, shoulder-fore and haunches-in at the walk. All will achieve suppleness and get him understanding bend and working from behind.

Be very clear and simple with your aids. TB's can get frustrated easily if they do not understand what you want. If he starts to get worried, just back up to an exercise he knows until he settles down and then move back onto the new one you want to teach him. Assuming you have access to trails, go out and play every few rides instead of working to keep him happy and fresh. I'm sure you'll do great with him.

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-12-2010, 08:40 PM
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short back, harder to fit a saddle to, not great for dressage, won't stretch out at much over long distances (although his legs make up for that). but short backed horses tend to not use their back end as much, so you'll have to teach him to carry himself through his hind quarters. Long legs, more chance of injury, can be harder to teach the finer points of dressage because they ahve to learn to coordinate extra length, may have a harder time collecting and perhaps will over-jump until he learns to control his bounce.

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post #13 of 18 Old 10-12-2010, 09:10 PM
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oh my he is gorgeous, I would be all about him! Go get him!
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-13-2010, 12:01 AM
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Extending on what Puck said - you need to bore him first. Before you start working on movements, get him bored while he is being ridden. A straight OTTB sees being mounted as galloping - you want him to go at a walk or trot or canter without thinking about taking off. Walk him till he is calm and bored. Trot him till he is calm and bored. Canter him. Make him bored so that he forgets about racing. Most OTTB when they get excited, tend to start pulling, putting their head up in the sky and jogging along sideways. When he does that, walk him till he is asleep again IYKWIM?

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post #15 of 18 Old 10-13-2010, 12:44 AM
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I like this horse. He looks really well put togehter, and tho he has his head a bit high in the photos, he wasn't really tense looking , certainly not that frantic , braced trying to run right out from under you look I have seen on some OTThorses. He has actually a rather soft eye and relaxed face and lip. In many of those shots he had one ear turned back to the rider so he wasn't totally tuned out. I really think he seems to have a good mind and he will come down onto the bit, Just dont force him .
He is really nice and I envy you. He is too much horse for lil ol me, tho.
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post #16 of 18 Old 10-15-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ohio
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Thanks for the advice guys!
I'm going to go pick him up and bring him to the barn on Monday.
i wonder what my other boy will have to say about this.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-15-2010, 09:10 AM
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Oh my goodnes he is beautiful! I love the way he is put together - personally I much prefer short backed horses for eventing. Sure they have a little more trouble with the dressage phase but unless you find yourself in CCI** it won't hold you back. However..... love love love a short backed horse for jumping and those long legs will be good on the XC course!

Just a word of advice - if you want him for eventing and he is straight off the track, I would spend a good six months educating him on the flat before I even let him look at a jump. Sure cavaletti work here and there but you will need strong basics before you introduce obstacles. Take him to a few schooling dressage shows if you can to see how he reacts with a crowd without the adrenalin of jumping and XC as well. Then start some small events next year some time and see how he does! Of course that is just what I would do

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post #18 of 18 Old 10-16-2010, 12:22 PM
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I like him. He's built to run. Like others said, spend a LOT of time on your flat work. With OTTB's I do a lot of circles, with reins encouraging the horse to stretch down. Also work on transitions and half halts. Keep in mind, this horse has been taught to pull against a riders hands... not yeild to them. DO NOT get in a tugging battle, you will lose, or at least kill your hands in the process. Allow him to move out a bit. The biggest mistake I've seen with OTTBs is that people try to make them move like smaller horses. Do not try to package the trot, allow it to stretch instead of march (which he'll be prone to with a shorter back).

When you do move to jumping, I'd spend some initial time on grids. His current natural form is knees down bunny hop. This makes sense with the slope of his shoulder and length of legs. You need to teach him to jump in stride, bringing his knees up and rounding his back. It will make for a smoother, more economical jump.

I think he's cute, and has a nice soft eye. I don't know how far he'll go (most of that's heart, not talent), but with the right personality I'm sure he can do anything.
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