LOVES to canter so much he doesn't care to trot...
 
 

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LOVES to canter so much he doesn't care to trot...

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  • Horse loves to canter
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  • 3 Post By bluecharm7
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    08-05-2013, 07:18 PM
  #1
Foal
LOVES to canter so much he doesn't care to trot...

I am a very experienced trainer and rider- I ride, train, coach and show hunters & jumpers. I'm new to this forum- I'm looking for advice and opinions and would also like to share the knowledge I have gained over the last nearly 25 years.

In all the years I've done this I have never taken on a OTTB until this spring. He is a 3 y/o gelding and so far has been lovely and easy to work with and around. Ground manners are impeccable and he is respectful. The only thing he could do better on is fidgeting in the cross ties. He stands quietly for mounting and walks around long and low on a loose rein. His canter is beautiful, balanced- people have called it 'to die for!'.

His trot... well... that's a different matter- I took him on because his trot is STUNNING, active, suspension and off the forehand. Early in his training we had no issue- in the last few weeks this has changed. He will not hold a consistent pace. When I ride him I can keep him at a trot, initially when he started this he would speed up with me and break into a canter. He doesn't take off with you, just lopes around and you can bring him back down within 15-25 strides. I can now keep him from breaking into the canter. He speeds up on me but doesn't break to a canter. I can slow the pace down by putting him on a circle but he will pick up steam again as soon as he comes off the circle regardless of how many times you circle.

I need to sell him right now to make room for another horse who is at risk- when people are coming to try him they are not able to stop him from breaking into the canter. They brace and bridge against him (regardless of how many times you tell them that this is NOT what you do with an OTTB) which does not help the situation and undoes all the work I've done. Most of the prospective buyers are not upset by this- they say he does not feel unsafe and that the canter is beautiful, one has even found it enduring. I don't find it enduring, useful, or indicative of the time and energy I've put into him!

I have never had this issue with a horse in the past. Looking for some sound advice and activities aside from the obvious patterns, circle and transition work which are not solving the situation although they are helping.

I want to stress- he is NOT unsafe, lame, sore, any of the above. He's been checked by a vet and I would not put anyone on a horse I felt was unsafe. My business has been built on selling sound, sane & safe horses.
     
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    08-05-2013, 08:12 PM
  #2
Green Broke
It sounds like its not going to work out. It could very well become a dangerous habit of continued. I'd explain why it isn't cute and how it can become dangerous. Offer to help or keep an eye out for a more suitable match. Personally, I know I couldn't sell a horse to someone I thought could get hurt. It's just not right. Making sure a horse has a proper home is more important than money.

Could she lease said horse and take lessons with you?
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    08-05-2013, 08:42 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by secondchancehorses    
I am a very experienced trainer and rider- I ride, train, coach and show hunters & jumpers. I'm new to this forum- I'm looking for advice and opinions and would also like to share the knowledge I have gained over the last nearly 25 years.

In all the years I've done this I have never taken on a OTTB until this spring. He is a 3 y/o gelding and so far has been lovely and easy to work with and around. Ground manners are impeccable and he is respectful. The only thing he could do better on is fidgeting in the cross ties. He stands quietly for mounting and walks around long and low on a loose rein. His canter is beautiful, balanced- people have called it 'to die for!'.

His trot... well... that's a different matter- I took him on because his trot is STUNNING, active, suspension and off the forehand. Early in his training we had no issue- in the last few weeks this has changed. He will not hold a consistent pace. When I ride him I can keep him at a trot, initially when he started this he would speed up with me and break into a canter. He doesn't take off with you, just lopes around and you can bring him back down within 15-25 strides. I can now keep him from breaking into the canter. He speeds up on me but doesn't break to a canter. I can slow the pace down by putting him on a circle but he will pick up steam again as soon as he comes off the circle regardless of how many times you circle.

I need to sell him right now to make room for another horse who is at risk- when people are coming to try him they are not able to stop him from breaking into the canter. They brace and bridge against him (regardless of how many times you tell them that this is NOT what you do with an OTTB) which does not help the situation and undoes all the work I've done. Most of the prospective buyers are not upset by this- they say he does not feel unsafe and that the canter is beautiful, one has even found it enduring. I don't find it enduring, useful, or indicative of the time and energy I've put into him!

I have never had this issue with a horse in the past. Looking for some sound advice and activities aside from the obvious patterns, circle and transition work which are not solving the situation although they are helping.

I want to stress- he is NOT unsafe, lame, sore, any of the above. He's been checked by a vet and I would not put anyone on a horse I felt was unsafe. My business has been built on selling sound, sane & safe horses.
OTTB's are different animals then other horses. They are started and trained completely different then other horses. How long has he been off the track? How is he when you lunge him? Does he stay in the trot or transition into the canter? Usually a horse that breaks into a canter is because the trot is too much work for him. I suspect that he is weak and still unbalanced and you probably moved him up before he was ready. OTTB's can require up to a year to completely transition from track life to a new career.
Try asking for the trot again and when he starts to get forward and fast drop the feel on his mouth, have a limp rein and sit down in the tack. I know that this will sound unsafe for any other horse but the OTTB. Horses on the track are taught to move faster when you take a feel of their mouth. When asking for them to slow down after the race the jockeys release the feel and sit in the saddle. Please feel free to PM me with any more questions. I could write pages on transitioning OTTBs. A great book to buy is written by New Vocations about transitioning a OTTB into a new career.
     
    08-05-2013, 08:58 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
It sounds like its not going to work out. It could very well become a dangerous habit of continued. I'd explain why it isn't cute and how it can become dangerous. Offer to help or keep an eye out for a more suitable match. Personally, I know I couldn't sell a horse to someone I thought could get hurt. It's just not right. Making sure a horse has a proper home is more important than money.

Could she lease said horse and take lessons with you?
Posted via Mobile Device
I'm not trying to make money- I'm trying to make room for another at risk animal and for that to happen he is the one most ready to move on and create that space to help another horse. He's ready to go to a suitable home. I'm not going to sell him to someone who is inexperienced, green, or without the support to help finish him. I'm seeking advice to eliminate the problem with training, I believe the issue is tied to track training & balance. This particular person lives too far to lease and take lessons.
     
    08-05-2013, 09:17 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecharm7    
OTTB's are different animals then other horses. They are started and trained completely different then other horses. How long has he been off the track? How is he when you lunge him? Does he stay in the trot or transition into the canter? Usually a horse that breaks into a canter is because the trot is too much work for him. I suspect that he is weak and still unbalanced and you probably moved him up before he was ready. OTTB's can require up to a year to completely transition from track life to a new career.
Try asking for the trot again and when he starts to get forward and fast drop the feel on his mouth, have a limp rein and sit down in the tack. I know that this will sound unsafe for any other horse but the OTTB. Horses on the track are taught to move faster when you take a feel of their mouth. When asking for them to slow down after the race the jockeys release the feel and sit in the saddle. Please feel free to PM me with any more questions. I could write pages on transitioning OTTBs. A great book to buy is written by New Vocations about transitioning a OTTB into a new career.
Thank you! He came out of track training at the beginning of this year and had not raced recently. He did not do well with a transition period- we put him out in a 10 acre field with 5 other juvenile geldings, while he was social with them and interacted and played initially, he became dull and would constantly be at the gate calling at everyone walking by. Vet checked- no physical/illness issues. After 2 months we started him on groundwork and lunge line work- depressed pony disappeared. Lunge work is lovely- he is voice commanded and works in a surcingle with & without side reins. He stays in a trot on the lunge line and does not transition into a canter. We started under saddle work in Mid-May- w/t/c was lovely- takes very little leg and works off your voice cues. Decent flexion and bending, moves away from your leg. It was about two weeks ago that the trot to canter started and unfortunately I already had the horse listed. I've gone through a number of pdfs available including NTRA's guide- right now I'm using 'sitting chilly', lose reins (which is as you said the opposite of what you instinctively want to do) and half halts as long as patterns to limit skipping the trot.

I will look into New Vocations, I love a good useful book.
     
    08-05-2013, 09:27 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by secondchancehorses    
I'm not trying to make money- I'm trying to make room for another at risk animal and for that to happen he is the one most ready to move on and create that space to help another horse. He's ready to go to a suitable home. I'm not going to sell him to someone who is inexperienced, green, or without the support to help finish him. I'm seeking advice to eliminate the problem with training, I believe the issue is tied to track training & balance. This particular person lives too far to lease and take lessons.
I'm not saying you are, I'm saying I wouldn't. I appologise if I offended you.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    08-05-2013, 09:37 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
I'm not saying you are, I'm saying I wouldn't. I appologise if I offended you.
Posted via Mobile Device
I'm not offended, just clarifying that Im not. I'm trying to find a suitable partner for him so I can take on another 'unwanted' horse.

The girl who thought it was 'cute' loves him... she spent over an hour on him trying him. Going to be an awkward conversation when she calls....
     
    08-06-2013, 06:15 PM
  #8
Trained
If his canter is truly to die for, I'm sure you would find an eventer who would snatch him up in a second. We all know you can make a trot, but have to boy a canter, so the ones with good canters sell quickly. Most eventers are very familiar with retraining OTTBs and would know how to work with him. Maybe post an add on a website geared toward eventers.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    08-06-2013, 06:34 PM
  #9
Trained
I agree with BlueCharm. If you think about it we all kinda train our horses to perk up when we pick up the reins, so it makes a lot of sense--certainly worth trying.
Sounds like this one would make good eventer.
     
    08-06-2013, 06:36 PM
  #10
Trained
Don't know what state you're in, but I know of a few people in New England looking for a good eventing prospect. Got video?
Corporal likes this.
     

Tags
consistent pace, flatwork, ottb, training advice, transitions

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