Leading yearlings with bits? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 01:37 PM
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I wouldn't dream of saying what's done here is A/ right and B/ a standard for the rest of the world. I'm not familiar with racing outside of the US but I grew up around America's version and I saw a lot more bad handling than good. It's one reason why I no longer own or ride TB's, I couldn't stand the way things were done. I admit, I'm a bit of a softie when it comes to the babies, and to me 2 and under is still a baby.

If they handle them from day 1 in other parts of the world, YAY! but that is not my experience here in the US.

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post #32 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I wouldn't dream of saying what's done here is A/ right and B/ a standard for the rest of the world. I'm not familiar with racing outside of the US but I grew up around America's version and I saw a lot more bad handling than good. It's one reason why I no longer own or ride TB's, I couldn't stand the way things were done. I admit, I'm a bit of a softie when it comes to the babies, and to me 2 and under is still a baby.

If they handle them from day 1 in other parts of the world, YAY! but that is not my experience here in the US.
I used to exercise ride at the TB track in Ontario. I found it to be hit and miss. However one thing I noticed that was consistent was that the trainers and grooms truly cared for their animals. There were a few here and there that didn't. But my goodness I worked with some great horses. Yes there were big gaps in their training that you wouldn't find in Europe. But they were given some great care.

We could sit here and go back and forth about everything. There are people in the QH world, Arab world, Warmblood world and the list goes on that have horrible training methods. Its not the industry, its the trainer. You can not go anywhere and not run into at least a few bad apples.
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post #33 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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That was interesting to read. Thanks for the replies.

All I can say is that at my my place of work as I obviously can't speak for anywhere else there isn't always a lack quantity but a lack of quality work done with the horses. I'm not the most experienced person around but I often am doing the feed and cleaning stables etc and other people are handling the horses, often people who know nothing about horses. I just do what I'm told but I feel bad for the horse with the inconsistency of their handling.

Not all the tb's I work with are difficult so some places are obviously doing a very good job.

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post #34 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 04:06 PM
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That's the difference between a horse being a pet and a business. People who use horses as business SOMETIMES don't care about consistency. As long as horse does AB&C at least once before they are sold or start their job then that's good enough. Business owners don't usually form wicked strong bonds with these horses this they don't get the best or right kind of training because they are bred and used to make money. Some owners have the attitude of 'it won't be here long, what do I care' or 'if they don't like what I've done than they can fix it themselves.' This doesn't always happen but when just starting out or trying to grow fast that's often how it happens. In short of bringing your own gear and working with the horses, which I doubt you'd even be allowed to do, there's nothing you can really do except quit or do what is asked.

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post #35 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 04:52 PM
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It is not just that race horses and a lot of other 'working horses' are all business and are not pets. It often does not help the buyers and their trainers to interact with these horse a lot before they change hands.

When I trained and fitted race yearlings, I was very strict about good manners and good ground schooling. Unlike a lot of other breeders and fitters, I trained them all to tie, to stand good for trimming, clipping, bathing and grooming. They all stood still when told to, led anywhere, backed up or mover over when asked, but that was where their training ended unless we were hired to start them under saddle later. They all led quietly in a halter with and without a chain over their nose and they all were trained to lead in a Chifney bit. They had to handle well for their next handler.

I had to present some of them at the sales and others were picked up by the owner or a Van and shipped to the sales. They were always led through the ring by a total stranger wearing a white coat. Others were fitted and sold 'private treaty' to people came to the farm to look at them. We were always complemented on how they looked and how they were handled. The idea is to please the person writing the checks.

My help could go in and get any of them and turn them out for exercise, get them in and groom them or bathe them, brush out their manes and tails, and in general, handle them like any show horse.

I did not let them do a lot of petting and they were absolutely not to give treats or hand feed any of them. They were strictly to be treated in a kind but business-like way. No one was allowed to pet or feed horses that stuck their heads out over the stall doors. I had a sing in the barn the read:

"Please to not pet the horses"

When someone buys a long yearling at the summer or fall sales, their trainer is the one they want to do any training other than what I listed above. They don't want to buy 'pets' and horses that have been 'over-handled'.

I know many trainers that say they would rather get in a horse that was not even halter-broke or was half-wild than one that is spoiled or a pet.
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post #36 of 36 Old 12-27-2012, 05:21 PM
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The folks I know who work standardbreds start those babies minutes after birth. They are handled from day one, touched everywhere. They are taught to lead first using a butt rope, then a halter and lead. I think it makes a difference in how stressful future training is and how much they get at the sales.

The difference is in the standardbred industry bad behavior (rearing etc,) is not tolerated well. Most people don't want to sit eye level behind a horse that bucks with both back feet or sit in a cart when a horse rears up and goes over. My impression of thoroughbred racing (this is mostly from the occasional OTTB and what I have seen at various thoroughbred races) is that that bad behavior is not necessarily frowned on. If the horse goes out on the track and rears, or bucks but wins his race its all good. Look at how long it takes to load some thoroughbreds into the starting gate. The behavior seen in the paddock area was often seen as "spirit" not bad behavior. I saw people see horses rearing in the paddock prior to the belmont and saw the average joe going and putting money on that horse because "he is ready to win this race". Its much more likely that the horse will not perform well in the race because he has spent himself before the race started.

Some of that comes from the fact that the person who owns the horse, trains the horse, drives the horse and then cools the horse out in the standardbred races is the same person or a family member. The person who owns the horse, trains the horse, rides the horse and cools the horse out are rarely the same person in thoroughbreds. Which means there is more area for different ideas of what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. My advice to the OP would be do the best you can but go with caution. There is a system and you don't want to be the one who gets against that.

I think part of it comes down to the idea that with race horses a few folks feel that "a broke horse does not run that fast".
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