Figure 8 for a retired racer

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Figure 8 for a retired racer

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    07-28-2012, 12:28 AM
Figure 8 for a retired racer

I have a 14 year old retired Thoroughbred who is very strong on the bit, especially in the field, and I have been riding him as a show horse/ fox hunter. I have tried numerous bits and we are using a kimberwick right now. He constantly resists the bit, ignores my bit commands unless they are harsh, keeps his mouth wide open while twisting his jaw around, and sometimes gets his toungue stuck over the bit both in the field and in the ring. He will also sometimes break into a gallop from a canter in the field and not stop without pulley rein and sometimes that's not enough even with all of my weight behind it. Would a figure 8 noseband be a good choice to help stop some of this? Also, is a figure 8 noseband on top/below a regular noseband be okay? I have seen it once before but I am not sure if it is okay for foxhunting and showing. Opinions please!!! Thank you!
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    07-28-2012, 06:49 PM
Sounds like he has major holes in his re-training. I'e ridden several retired racehorses who were retrained and they are fine as long as they were retrained properly.
    07-29-2012, 12:14 AM
He was retrained and showed by the same owner who raced him and he was usually great (no horse is perfect) but he had at least a year off 2 years ago and my aunt who breaks and trains has helped us a lot with him but she has only suggested a stronger bit. He does evade the bit and I heard that the figure 8 can prevent him from twisting his jaw to evade commands. I am not so sure what to do at this point he's so incredibly sweet and well behaved on the ground and in the ring, but when we go outside the ring he's just really bad about being held back.
    07-29-2012, 01:05 AM
I have also seen a combination of a figure 8 noseband AND a regular noseband under the figure 8 so that the use of a standing martingale can still be applied. Is that okay? I was thinking about using that combination for Fox Hunting and possibly our faster paced trail work.
    07-29-2012, 01:10 AM
You shouldn't be harsh or putting all your weight into your horse's mouth... that's just asking for more problems.

I know it's been said before, but this really sounds like a major training issue, not a bitting issue, he should be willing, obedient, responsive and light in a snaffle, if you can't do this, you shouldn't be using a leverage bit, and he needs some more training.

Using a harsher bit and being harsh on him is only going to create unpleasant experiences with a bit and it going to make him want to evade the bit even more.
    07-29-2012, 01:48 AM
I have been riding him in the ring with a french link, full cheek bit, but on trails I use a bit that looks similar to a kimberwick without the different rein slots. He is more than willing to walk, trot, canter, but stopping is the main issue out of the ring. If he is "fresh" in the ring he may want to keep cantering but is 99.9% controlled with the french link. When we ride in the field with another horse I think he may go back to his way of thinking that he used when he raced, he absolutely hates being last, he's just too slow. That's when the kimberwick comes into use, he will not stop for me unless I use a lot of pressure or pulley rein. But also in the ring he will evade bit commands, like turning or me trying to keep him going straight while he wants to stare at something. If work is too boring he will just look at everything la di la di da, doesnt spook, is just bored and wants to look at everything.
    07-29-2012, 01:50 AM
Oh, and me putting all my weight in his mouth was my attempt to stop him after he took off full gallop in a bean field and it was my desperate attempt to stop him so he wouldnt injure himself by stepping in a hole or anything. I forgot to mention that.
    07-29-2012, 02:25 AM
You aren't supposed to pull when your horse gets out of control. You are supposed to turn him in circles untill eventually his circle is too small and he has to slow down. This is one of the best methods.
That, or sometimes, if space allows, intstead of asking for a stop, push them harder and don't let them slow, and by the time you let them slow they will be willing to. It's worked once for me before, but it's not a common method, and isn't always advised.
    07-29-2012, 05:49 AM
Could you do some slower work on trails or in a field?

Also, have you tried doing ground poles, cones to bend around, lot's of circles, serpentines etc. To keep things interesting?

It sounds like he has issues with accepting contact, and it would help to get a trainer and work on that if you don't have
One already.

I strongly recommend that you use a running martingale rather than a standing. Standings can be dangerous on uneven terrain where the horse needs to be using it's neck fully in order to balance.
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    07-29-2012, 10:13 PM
I was aware of using circles to stop but I wasnt prepared for the situation because we had him for 3/4 of a year and he hadnt taken off with anyone before. Maybe he thinks im a jockey because I weigh about as much haha just kidding. But when he did take off I tried circles but I couldnt see his feet because we ended up in the middle of a bean field a few inches tall and I didnt want to risk stepping in a hole. We do a lot of pole work and gymnastics and circles, doing a figure 8 trot, stop, trot, stop routine. But we cannot afford a trainer, I only get occasional lessons from my aunt and grandmother and some critique from my dad when they arent there. Also, the meathod of pushing him harder isnt an option where I ride, the fields are too small. I am also looking to buy a running martingale at the moment. Doing my research to get the best deal. But thank you all for your feedback, I greatly appreciate it

figure 8 noseband, fox hunting, horse shows, kimberwick, retired thoroughbred

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