In Need of Explosion Space!

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In Need of Explosion Space!

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    12-13-2011, 02:38 AM
In Need of Explosion Space!

I have a 3 year old OTT TB gelding who is a total sweetheart. Very gentle, forgiving, has his quirks (I've never met a horse that enjoys deworming, he was mad when I made him give the dispenser thingy back!), but none the less, a very laid back horse. Or so it seemed.

I have been gently trying to teach him to lunge nicely - just at a slow, calm walk. And we accomplish this ... for all of three seconds until he notices that OHMYGAWWWWWD, SHE'S ATTACHED TO MEEEEE. And then all hell breaks loose.

He bucks, rears, kicks, snorts, and farts his way all over the place, dragging my sorry arse all over the field. And half an hour later, we come back, and I'm covered head to boot - if I even still have boots on (have had an occasion where one was yanked off in a particularly deep sink hole of muck.)

I feel that I need to let him blow before I work him. Just let him have his little flip out, and that he'll chill right out. But the place where I currently board has nothing to ride in.

Correction, nothing actually usable. They have a pathetic "fenced in ring" that is about as long, and wide as I could spit. And there's no door. I let my older gelding out, and had to fence him in with a lunge line strategically zig zagged across the opening. And quite frankly, I'm afraid that if I let my youngster out there (being the hefty boy he is, standing 17.1h), he may end up hurting himself, or taking out one of the fences.

Suggestions on how and where to let him blow? Or how to correct the dragging mom across hell's half acre, without pulling my arms out of their sockects?

Thanks in advance! :)
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    12-13-2011, 02:40 AM
Have you thought about loose schooling him?
    12-13-2011, 02:43 AM
Being so young I don't know if he'd do well - especially being off the track.

And most of all because if he ever ran away, I wouldn't want to have to go chasing him all over :p
    12-13-2011, 02:44 AM
Well it helps to lean back to keep your ground and don't be afraid to pull that horse (and release when he doesn't pull as hard) to get his butt over to where he needs to be.

Do you use a whip? Or anything else? That might also be stirring your OTTB up.

Work on keeping those arms locked by your hips ;)
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    12-13-2011, 02:45 AM
The half acre bit that you're lunging in, is that not fenced in enough that you could loose school him in there?

What happens after he has his explosion? What do you normally do? What's he fed on? How often are you exercising him? Is he stabled or turned out?
    12-13-2011, 02:51 AM
It's near impossible, he's sooo much stronger than me, I've broken three lines now, in tug of wars, lol. He's just so big. I don't use a whip, only a line.

There's positively no fencing where I'm trying to lunge him. It's just a open crop field that's not used anymore. There's no holes or anything - it's just farrr to big.

Generally I'll clip him up to a lunging halter (the ones with the three clips along the nose band), and try to get him to understand the whole circle concept - keeping him at an arm's length than gradually going farther and farther out. And then, the farthest we've gotten is transitioning from a walk to a stop, and from a stop to a walk. But normally then he'll have a flip out, drag me all over the place. And then just relax.

I'd work him after he freaks, but he's normally steaming hot, and I always feel like I've been hit by a truck. So I cool walk him, and try to end it on a good note, by going back to the basic circle concept - which he understands, and exicutes well.
    12-13-2011, 02:59 AM
It's hard to say what's happening without being there and seeing your body language and his. Whats standing out to me though is that he's taking the piss out of you (sorry, don't know how to translate this British phrase, hope you understand what I mean!).

I would get a bridle on him and stop using the halter for lunging for now. He needs to learn to respect the line. I would also go back to basics and do some groundwork with him. Get his respecting your commands, your voice, your space. Make sure that he's in a regular routine with his work and you're working with him consistently. As a young OTTTB make sure he has plenty of downtime in the field too and look at playing games with him as well so that sometimes, for him, work is fun.
    12-13-2011, 03:04 AM
I started off with a bridle (the previous owner had mentioned she was using one to lunge him), and he broke all 4 of the ones I dared to put on him. Each time I used a very light, rubber snaffle. So I figured that the halter would be better.

I have been trying to go back to the very basics (so far back as halter training, which we went over this morning lol), and he's being handled and "worked" if that's what you want to call it, 5 out of 7 days a week.

So I guess it's back to yearling training for us! :p
    12-13-2011, 04:28 AM
Explosion of this kind is a lack in his training.

I wouldn't know what to do, whether to take him back, or to leave him to mature.

You need to forget he's so 'big' too. A 12hh pony could drag you all over the place if they really wanted to.

Firstly, I like the idea of putting him in a school, booted up, and leave him to it. Stand in the middle, with a lunge whip, and see what happens. Don't chase him. Just try and free school him- not making him run his bum off, just keep him moving.

Secondly, ground work. If he has no respect for you on the ground, you won't stand a chance in the saddle.
Buy a rope headcollar, and a long leadrope, or lunge. Teach him to back off, left, right, halt.
This is also a good thing to have to begin the lunge process. Someone else on the forum mentioned it, I will try and dig it out. Once you have him comfortably on the headcollar, step back and make him circle around you. When he relaxes, do it again till you're at the end of the line. Being in an enclosed space is best.

Also, I think gloves and hat are required.
    12-13-2011, 04:36 AM
I've only had him for about a month, so I'm still trying to figure out how much he's done with his previous owner.

The whole idea of the post was, I have no place to let him loose, or I would. The small fenced area that the barn calls "a ring" is 1. Outside (thus snowy, muddy, and not safe terrain - it's just grass) 2. It's probably just three trot strides for him down the longest side - so he wouldn't have any room.

gelding, riding ring, thoroughbred, training, young horse

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