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Leading yearlings with bits?

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  • Leading problems in foals and yearlings

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    12-27-2012, 01:22 AM
  #21
Foal
A halter is useless. Even have a horse take off with just a halter? How much chance do you think you have of stopping them? Yes, even with a bit they can and will get away but your chance of stopping them is higher.

I find when a horse spooks with a bit on, most times when I get on their mouths for that odd second they stop thinking about what they are spooking or running from and that's your chance to regain control over them.

When handling yearlings with bits, you need the right handler for the right horse. You need to be able to teach them. Yes, we have recieve yearlings that don't know how to lead which is a pain, and why some breakers and very useless but we reteach them and get them on the right path. Sadly once they are gone from our farm, people do ruin them but at least when we give abck or send yearlins away they are taught correctly. If you can't do it right, get the right handler and sometimes you will have to suck it up and try your best.
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    12-27-2012, 02:14 AM
  #22
Green Broke
I completely understand where your coming from boldstart. I just feel as though with what my boss was telling me about the yearlings always having to be led with bits. I find its his and a few others way of leading horses easily instead of teaching them to lead properly in the first place. I don't know if I am making sense with what I just tried to say.
     
    12-27-2012, 02:18 AM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by apachewhitesox    
I completely understand where your coming from boldstart. I just feel as though with what my boss was telling me about the yearlings always having to be led with bits. I find its his and a few others way of leading horses easily instead of teaching them to lead properly in the first place. I don't know if I am making sense with what I just tried to say.
You're making perfect sense and unfortunately, it's all too often the way TBs are handled. Wait til the last minute to halter and lead them, stick a bit in their face to make it HURT when they are wrong, instead of taking 5 days, working with them patiently and intensively and making it really pleasant when they're RIGHT. Do the same thing when they're sent off to race. Never been backed or even walked around a track or arena at home, go to the track at 2, never been conditioned and BAM they're racing. And we wonder why so many break down early. It's really sad.
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    12-27-2012, 04:35 AM
  #24
Trained

Twelve months of age and already mouthed well enough that I knew 10000% she knew to give to the bit if she stepped on the reins. Also reliable enough to ground-tie that I knew she was highly unlikely to step on the reins in the first place. Not a TB, and not flighty, but learning what the bit was all about purely for the purpose of having one in her mouth for conformation classes at shows, because I prefer the look. She is now two years old, I have given her to my mother, and she has been lightly backed and is being left to mature for a couple of years.

My two year old TB is in the process of learning the same skills that I taught Satin before that photo was taken... Magic, I have only had for 4 months or so, and she was severely head-shy when I first took her on, so it's taken me this long to be able to get the bridle on her without a fight, let alone try to teach her anything with it!

Edit; my point is, there's nothing wrong with bits in yearlings' mouths, provided the horse knows how to lead properly first, and is taught correctly how to give to bit pressure. Unfortunately due to a large number of horses and a limited amount of hours in the day, there simply isn't time to do this in many racing stables and breeding establishments [as they are often under-staffed when you look at horse-to-human ratios - I know the week I spent at a large, respected performance horse breeding and training establishment was enlightening; between us five girls, the owner, and the two trainers, there were 70 broodmares, 20 competition horses (including stallions), multiple clients' horses, and I don't know how many foals... it wouldn't have been so bad if the owner's wife and the sixth girl were not overseas at the time I was there but even so that is a LOT of horses for the number of staff to manage!]
     
    12-27-2012, 11:47 AM
  #25
Green Broke
Quote:
A halter is useless. Even have a horse take off with just a halter? How much chance do you think you have of stopping them? Yes, even with a bit they can and will get away but your chance of stopping them is higher.
I disagree. My BO has a colt on the farm, out of a mare that had a reputation for being difficult as a youngster(and is still a handful) and a stallion that was a handful. Due to good handling and being properly halter broke he is incredibly easy to handle. At a year old he is 15.2hh, kids that come to the farm like to walk him around the pastures, in a web halter.

I just halter broke a 1800# clydsdale stallion. With nothing but a rope halter he leads perfectly, any where. He went from no respect and walking through the halter(out of ignorance) to completely respecting it. No chain, or bit. I'm a smaller woman at 5'4", and not very strong(major issues lifting 50# square bales). No big strong guy helped me.

Quote:
Wait til the last minute to halter and lead them, stick a bit in their face to make it HURT when they are wrong, instead of taking 5 days, working with them patiently and intensively and making it really pleasant when they're RIGHT
I hate the fact that people can't take the time to properly train these thoroughbreds. Most are worth $3000-$500,000+++ as yearlings, yet no one takes a couple hours to train them properly for a carreer that requires being handled several times a day. I then get the race track rejects and have to retrain something that would have been very simple to train a yearling in the first place.
     
    12-27-2012, 12:56 PM
  #26
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
You're making perfect sense and unfortunately, it's all too often the way TBs are handled. Wait til the last minute to halter and lead them, stick a bit in their face to make it HURT when they are wrong, instead of taking 5 days, working with them patiently and intensively and making it really pleasant when they're RIGHT. Do the same thing when they're sent off to race. Never been backed or even walked around a track or arena at home, go to the track at 2, never been conditioned and BAM they're racing. And we wonder why so many break down early. It's really sad.
Any horse who is worth more than a few $ will have had about 6 weeks sales prep. They are brought in, led with halters first and then bits, groomed, bathed, handled daily and walked in hand to teach them to step up and walk. Yes, you get the backyard handler who thinks he knows something, but any good breeder/handler will have taken the guts of two months to prepare the horse. It is in the terms and conditions of all the sales complexes here that ALL horses must have a bit in their mouths while outside their boxes - age, gender, ect does not matter.

We do not bring any of our TBs out of the box or field without a chifney. Our chifny's are all attached to a single piece of leather that goes up and behind the ears. A chifney to them is like a head collar to any other horse, it is a part of every day life.

Also, a TB has plenty of schooling before it actually races. The thought that it is just sent out racing is rediculous. It takes us about a month to break the horses before they are galloping with the string, and even then it is several weeks more before they do a proper piece of work. Trying to say that they are not conditioned is rediculous.. you have to have a horse mentally and physically right before you can safely bring it out onto the racecourse. It isn't like you pull it out of the field and stick in the starting stalls.. heck to get them INTO the starting stalls happily takes time, patience and proper training.

OP - Your boss wants the horse in a chifney. This is standard practice in racing/bloodstock. It's a case of like it or lump it. At the end of the day this isnt a pet or a pony, it's a blood horse who has learned a bad habit that could hurt himself or somebody else and it needs to be fixed now before something happens.
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    12-27-2012, 01:15 PM
  #27
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple    
Any horse who is worth more than a few $ will have had about 6 weeks sales prep. They are brought in, led with halters first and then bits, groomed, bathed, handled daily and walked in hand to teach them to step up and walk. Yes, you get the backyard handler who thinks he knows something, but any good breeder/handler will have taken the guts of two months to prepare the horse. It is in the terms and conditions of all the sales complexes here that ALL horses must have a bit in their mouths while outside their boxes - age, gender, ect does not matter.

We do not bring any of our TBs out of the box or field without a chifney. Our chifny's are all attached to a single piece of leather that goes up and behind the ears. A chifney to them is like a head collar to any other horse, it is a part of every day life.

Also, a TB has plenty of schooling before it actually races. The thought that it is just sent out racing is rediculous. It takes us about a month to break the horses before they are galloping with the string, and even then it is several weeks more before they do a proper piece of work. Trying to say that they are not conditioned is rediculous.. you have to have a horse mentally and physically right before you can safely bring it out onto the racecourse. It isn't like you pull it out of the field and stick in the starting stalls.. heck to get them INTO the starting stalls happily takes time, patience and proper training.

OP - Your boss wants the horse in a chifney. This is standard practice in racing/bloodstock. It's a case of like it or lump it. At the end of the day this isnt a pet or a pony, it's a blood horse who has learned a bad habit that could hurt himself or somebody else and it needs to be fixed now before something happens.
Maple, my parents bred and sent TB's to the track when I was a kid. The practices here have not changed appreciably. Six weeks training time is NOTHING in a yearling's life. And to say a 2 y.o. Is schooled extensively, at least here in the US, is absolutely a farce. Unless you consider 6 wks training sufficient. They are run too hard and breakdown too often.

I handle my horses from the day their born. I get jokes all the time that I've been slacking if my horses aren't "broke to lead" by the time they're 3 weeks old. They aren't but they're working on it.

I have no problem with a youngster wearing a bit, provided he's been TAUGHT how to carry it and when to give to it. There are problems in every facet of the horse industry, so please don't try to paint the track pink.
     
    12-27-2012, 01:26 PM
  #28
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
Maple, my parents bred and sent TB's to the track when I was a kid. The practices here have not changed appreciably. Six weeks training time is NOTHING in a yearling's life. And to say a 2 y.o. Is schooled extensively, at least here in the US, is absolutely a farce. Unless you consider 6 wks training sufficient. They are run too hard and breakdown too often.

I handle my horses from the day their born. I get jokes all the time that I've been slacking if my horses aren't "broke to lead" by the time they're 3 weeks old. They aren't but they're working on it.

I have no problem with a youngster wearing a bit, provided he's been TAUGHT how to carry it and when to give to it. There are problems in every facet of the horse industry, so please don't try to paint the track pink.
From what i've learned, the racing stock in Europe is handled a lot differently then the US. The US trainers take a lot of shortcuts. I have worked with off the track horses from Ireland and from Canada as well as the US. The horses I worked with that came from Ireland had amazing manners and were a joy to work with. Where as the TBs from Canada and the US were scared of their own shadow. The Irish TB's I worked with belonged to a trainer I worked for who would buy horses from Ireland and bring them here, put miles on a re-sell. I loved working with them. Plus I found them to have much nicer legs.

However my experience is limited so I can't speak on a large scale. The trainer I worked for though swore that the horses from Europe were handled and trained much more then the horses in North America.
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    12-27-2012, 01:46 PM
  #29
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
Maple, my parents bred and sent TB's to the track when I was a kid. The practices here have not changed appreciably. Six weeks training time is NOTHING in a yearling's life. And to say a 2 y.o. Is schooled extensively, at least here in the US, is absolutely a farce. Unless you consider 6 wks training sufficient. They are run too hard and breakdown too often.

I handle my horses from the day their born. I get jokes all the time that I've been slacking if my horses aren't "broke to lead" by the time they're 3 weeks old. They aren't but they're working on it.

I have no problem with a youngster wearing a bit, provided he's been TAUGHT how to carry it and when to give to it. There are problems in every facet of the horse industry, so please don't try to paint the track pink.
In turn I could ask you not to tarnish all the racing with the same brush. I am not attempting to paint it pink, all I can offer is my own opinion which I have due to my own experiences.... which I'm sure is all any of us can do.

I have worked in racing in both Ireland and North America. I am not saying for a second that everybody is perfect. I have also worked in both warmblood studs and TB.

The warmblood stud's foals were chucked into a field with no handling. They were left there until they were weaned, when they were all thrown into a large pen and one by one were shoved into a large stall, caught, haltered and dragged to a tie stall to learn to be tied. I witnessed several youngsters break legs and be destroyed.

The TB studs I have worked at: foals are handled from the day they are born. They are haltered, led to the field, caught and brought back in daily.. in Ireland with our weather sometimes a few times a day. They are lead up and down several times. Now tell me which you would prefer?

In my opinion, be it right or wrong, 6 weeks is plenty of time for a yearling to be brought in and taught a base. They are required to stand properly, walk and trot in hand and have respect. This is fairly simple stuff and (IMO) if that takes more than 6 weeks for a large number of horses, something needs to be done differently.

We have horses who trained all of last year who have yet to make it to the racecourse. I had the same experience in NA where we had horses "in training" not run for several months. Again, I am NOT saying that all is peachy and some horses are not pushed, but bad handling is a factor in all areas.
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    12-27-2012, 01:58 PM
  #30
Weanling
NBeventer, your bang on.

Bluespark, as someone who has worked with TB from foaling to major international race days, I can tell you that what gets done here in Nth America is BS. I have done yearling prep in Oz and I can tell you, our babies would lead, wash in a hose bay, lunge and load walk and unload on the walker without a problem, shod, walk and trot in hand. Our babies would learn about halter pressure for leading before they were weaned. We had 40 mares. We had babies at Magic Millions and Inglis premier sales.

What is done in Nth America is in no way a reflection to what done in the rest of the world.
     

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