Activities for a 3 yr old OTTB? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-05-2012, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Activities for a 3 yr old OTTB?

Does anybody have any fun ideas for activities to do with a 3 yr OTTB to help keep him stimulated and learning?

He's been off the track for almost 2 weeks and we are keeping things simple and going slow. We are already working on the basics (standing at mounting block, standing still under saddle, tying and standing still, etc.) and a few things under saddle like relaxing, paying attention, and bending (good to right, bad to left).

He is very curious so while I am not pushing a huge work load onto him, I want to keep him thinking and not bored.

I also started hand walking him over ground poles and raised ground poles. Will do so under saddle later, as well as weaving through cones.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-05-2012, 01:59 AM
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I would look up Clinton Anderson's groundwork. He worked with an OTTB named Tricky. The eps may be online at downunderhorsemanship.tv

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-05-2012, 02:06 AM
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My OTTB was four when he retired. He spent the first two months being a horse with another horse in a pasture. He needed to get used to a new diet and having space. After that, we started with the basics, just like a young colt....even the simplest of things, like he knew nothing, which really he didn't. He also needed to get used to just having human attention that was more personal than he was used to. Just took it slow and he was a wonderful guy!
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-05-2012, 08:39 AM
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We ride the ones we get for miles and miles and they seem quite happy with that.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-06-2012, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input!

I wish I could ride him for miles out on trails, but the only accessible trails we have (without trailering out) are on the riverbed (city riverbed, not a real river, haha) and surrounded by non-savvy horse people in parks, etc. who like screaming "HOORRSSIIEEESSS" and running up to the fence. An adventure for later down the road when he has more training under his belt.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-06-2012, 02:36 PM
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He's only a baby but as he is off the track, that doesn't especially matter as he's already been ridden.

If I were you, I'd just give him plenty of turn out and train and work him as if he were a few years older.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-07-2012, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
He's only a baby but as he is off the track, that doesn't especially matter as he's already been ridden.

If I were you, I'd just give him plenty of turn out and train and work him as if he were a few years older.
Thanks.

He gets out everyday, either handwalking & turnout, lunging & turnout, or riding & turnout (I like to try to put him in the turnout everyday... even if he was ridden, so he can walk around, roll, etc., as long as I can find an empty turnout). I have only ridden him 3 times (going to ride again tomorrow), and have lunged him twice (working on "how to" and voice commands).

He has a very long way to go, but while he has been lunged over jumps (prior to me getting him), I will not be having him go over fences again until he is over 4 yrs old (will be 4 yrs in Feb.), and then at that it will be very minimal and not often. We are going to focus on the flat a lot and trot/canter poles under saddle for a while.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-07-2012, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
He's only a baby but as he is off the track, that doesn't especially matter as he's already been ridden.

If I were you, I'd just give him plenty of turn out and train and work him as if he were a few years older.
That I don't agree with. Regardless of how early & hard he was started, he's still a baby & while horses are precocial & his mind should be up to it, he's not physically mature yet, so I'd be doing very little/light ridden or high impact stuff with him yet, until his spine's 'closed'. Anything & everything beside that is good though. Race horses tend to know how to be basically ridden & know how to tie up, go on trucks, etc, but aren't taught much that they have to think about, much to do with manners & such, may not have experienced many different environments, etc.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-07-2012, 04:07 AM
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Ah Loosie, it wouldn't be HoFo if we agreed. :)

I wouldn't be jumping the horse, but I would turn it out 24/7 and then ride it as normal.

Manners, I expect that from day 1 whether that's a foal or a 3 yr old. Obviously you'd expect more blips along that road with a younger horse, but the expectation remains the same.

As an OTTB owner, who is not yet really jumping my own horse despite my goals because my horse cannot collect. If my horse could collect, and was 5, I would jump.

I don't believe that your average OTTB owner is attempting the piaffe with a horse, and I think it's all pretty much easy riding.

Yup horses need to mature mentally, but is regular riding asking too much of them? I wish OTTBs were not ridden so hard so young, but they are. Heck western riders are breaking their horses at 2, I wouldn't do that til 4 if it were my horse.

I firmly believe that your average OTTB owner with regular vet care, normal human being (not abusive) is going to damage the horse any more than has already been done on the track - and that can't be undone.

Edit to add, I agree no high impact work, that's not what I was saying, just normal riding.

Last edited by AlexS; 10-07-2012 at 04:09 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-07-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
Ah Loosie, it wouldn't be HoFo if we agreed. :)

....I firmly believe that your average OTTB owner with regular vet care, normal human being (not abusive) is going to damage the horse any more than has already been done on the track - and that can't be undone.
Ah but it seems we do agree on quite a bit and you're quite possibly right above IMO too, I just like to play it safe
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