Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
The lady I got my ottb from told me he was high-strung and an "a-hole" on the ground. Sure, he needed to be gently reminded that I am in charge, and other than a biting habit (which we're working on, and he doesn't actually make contact with teeth), but the real Scout is calm (for a TB), sweet, and friendly.
I've been working on ground handling (he had absolutely NO understanding of space and the usual manners), lunging, and long reining. The long reining (behind him - far from the hind feet, in case he gets any ideas) is actually perhaps the most useful thing I have tried with him (other than ground games), as it gets him used to the bit being used for steering and stopping. Before I got on him (which I did bareback - perhaps not the most intelligent thing to do), I made sure he would stand still while I walked around him, stood behind his shoulder, etc. Since most ottbs don't stand for mounting, this was very important to me. I then got a stool and stood next to him, stroking his sides, then began laying across his back, and we're about to progress to a saddle. It is a slow process, but very very rewarding. I just pretended he had never been ridden before, and went from there! 8)