New Owner of OTTB
   

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New Owner of OTTB

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  • How to train my scared ottb to cross tie
  • Ottb lead line problems

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    02-09-2012, 09:44 AM
  #1
Foal
New Owner of OTTB

I am the new owner of an OTTB. I purchased Yeager about 3 weeks ago.He is so sweet and quiet. I have previously owned AQHA horses my whole life and throrougbreds are new to me. I am working with a great trainer. So far we have had 2 lessons. I am riding dressage as I think my work will excel in this discipline. Did I mention I have not had a horse in about 12 years! I am also learning dressage. I have have ridden hunt seat and western most of my life.

When I lunge my horse he seems so up. Trotting is good and the canter is very fast. He cross fires going to left frequently. He seems nervous but wants to please at the same time.

When I ride yeager out in the big arena he is constantly looking at everything and having a difficult time staying on task. To date I have ridden him in the big arena 3 times. I will continue to ride out there so he will relax over time.

I am told that it takes a long time to trian an OTTB. I am willing to dedicate myself to this wonderful horse. However, I am feeling a little under confident at times. I want to ensure I am doing the right things with this horse.Any tps or advice is truly welcomed! Thanks!
     
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    02-09-2012, 10:05 AM
  #2
Weanling
Just keep in mind that while he may be a well traveled race horse, he was not exposed to the majority of the items that we think of as normal for out horses that we ride daily. If he is showing particular interest in an object, if your in a situation where you can let him go sniff it over, do so. When he is looking all around, it's simple curiosity, and he has to learn about the items sooner or later. You letting him express his curiosity will help to calm him down.

For instance, I have a 7 y/o that is only green broke, she looks at everything when we are riding, regardless of where it is. I have found with her, if I just simply look in whatever directions she is staring off at, she will relax and go on. Now, keep in mind that her spooking is horrible (lol), she will stop, turn around, and walk off. It's quiet hilarious out on the trail, because you can feel her tense up like should I run for my life, and then if I decide to let her spook, that is all I get. I don't even have to make contact with her mouth to stop her, just simply look in whatever direction she is looking at the moment.

Now, I'm not saying that this will work with your boy, but it couldn't hurt to try. Some horses, just the comfort of knowing that their rider is also aware of the object and remaining relaxed, it sets them at ease.

Hope this was somewhat helpful.
     
    02-09-2012, 10:11 AM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by girllovesdressage    
I am the new owner of an OTTB. I purchased Yeager about 3 weeks ago.He is so sweet and quiet. I have previously owned AQHA horses my whole life and throrougbreds are new to me. I am working with a great trainer. So far we have had 2 lessons. I am riding dressage as I think my work will excel in this discipline. Did I mention I have not had a horse in about 12 years! I am also learning dressage. I have have ridden hunt seat and western most of my life.

When I lunge my horse he seems so up. Trotting is good and the canter is very fast. He cross fires going to left frequently. He seems nervous but wants to please at the same time.

When I ride yeager out in the big arena he is constantly looking at everything and having a difficult time staying on task. To date I have ridden him in the big arena 3 times. I will continue to ride out there so he will relax over time.

I am told that it takes a long time to trian an OTTB. I am willing to dedicate myself to this wonderful horse. However, I am feeling a little under confident at times. I want to ensure I am doing the right things with this horse.Any tps or advice is truly welcomed! Thanks!
As someone who has rehabbed, retrained and turned around many OTTB's and ex polo TB's let me tell you, they are wonderful animals. The first thing I used to do with OTTB's was to start over. Just start allll over. They are trained to think much different from your average say, quarter horse. With training any horse, it starts with a mind transformation. A lot of this you can do on the ground.

It sounds like he doesn't have a lot of respect for you, or recognize you as his person. I would start from the beginning. Re-halter break him. Perhaps he does not need it, but it will instill good manners, respect and get him thinking - differently. Then work on his ground manners, to the T! Seriously! Tie, cross tie, ground tie, personal space, stands like a statue to be groomed, fantastic about feet (for you to pick them and the farrier), baths, stretching, everything. You should never be bored with this horse on the ground - there is too much to teach.

Then when he is meticulous on the ground your going to have to start re-training him to lunge. Do you have access to a round pen? Do you use a whip? It sounds like you may not need one. My filly goes crazy if you bring one in with her, but she works really well off of body language, words and a lead rope in my hand. If you have access to a round pen, I would consider using it. Free lunge him, and let him get all his energy out. Then work on voice commands and transitions and pacing. When you have this down pat, start saddling him and do it.

Your trainer may also enlist the help of side reins or the pessoa system when you are lunging, but both of those should only be used by very experienced hands.

Then you need to start riding again. By this time, his mindset will be different. His attention should be on YOU. All the time. He should trust and respect you always. I am currently training my coming 3 year old abused arabian to accept a saddle. She is terrified, but tries SO hard because of how much respect she has for me, and she WANTS to please. That's because we did all that ground work before.

But when you are riding, work on WORK. W/T transitions, serpentines, figure eights, circles, circles, circles, change of direction, lateral work. Keep him guessing ;)

You need to establish your dominance over this animal. Your the boss. Best of luck!
     
    02-09-2012, 01:13 PM
  #4
Foal
I just got my first ottb and I love him. Does anybody have any advice on training and easing them into "being a horse" instead of just a racer. I rode him in just a halter and lead rope as reins and he did really good. I want to get him into hunter jumper and showing him english/dressage. Thank you! And good luck with your OTTB!
     
    02-09-2012, 04:12 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelconley    
i just got my first ottb and I love him. Does anybody have any advice on training and easing them into "being a horse" instead of just a racer. I rode him in just a halter and lead rope as reins and he did really good. I want to get him into hunter jumper and showing him english/dressage. Thank you! And good luck with your OTTB!
Read what I just posted above. That should help.
     
    02-09-2012, 09:40 PM
  #6
Foal
Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nherridge    
As someone who has rehabbed, retrained and turned around many OTTB's and ex polo TB's let me tell you, they are wonderful animals. The first thing I used to do with OTTB's was to start over. Just start allll over. They are trained to think much different from your average say, quarter horse. With training any horse, it starts with a mind transformation. A lot of this you can do on the ground.

It sounds like he doesn't have a lot of respect for you, or recognize you as his person. I would start from the beginning. Re-halter break him. Perhaps he does not need it, but it will instill good manners, respect and get him thinking - differently. Then work on his ground manners, to the T! Seriously! Tie, cross tie, ground tie, personal space, stands like a statue to be groomed, fantastic about feet (for you to pick them and the farrier), baths, stretching, everything. You should never be bored with this horse on the ground - there is too much to teach.

Then when he is meticulous on the ground your going to have to start re-training him to lunge. Do you have access to a round pen? Do you use a whip? It sounds like you may not need one. My filly goes crazy if you bring one in with her, but she works really well off of body language, words and a lead rope in my hand. If you have access to a round pen, I would consider using it. Free lunge him, and let him get all his energy out. Then work on voice commands and transitions and pacing. When you have this down pat, start saddling him and do it.

Your trainer may also enlist the help of side reins or the pessoa system when you are lunging, but both of those should only be used by very experienced hands.

Then you need to start riding again. By this time, his mindset will be different. His attention should be on YOU. All the time. He should trust and respect you always. I am currently training my coming 3 year old abused arabian to accept a saddle. She is terrified, but tries SO hard because of how much respect she has for me, and she WANTS to please. That's because we did all that ground work before.

But when you are riding, work on WORK. W/T transitions, serpentines, figure eights, circles, circles, circles, change of direction, lateral work. Keep him guessing ;)

You need to establish your dominance over this animal. Your the boss. Best of luck!
Thanks so much. Yeager's ground manners are impeccable thank goodness. I have been training him to lunge with the help of my trainer. He is getting better everyday. He tries so hard to please. When I ask for a canter on the lunge line he is very up and fast (especially to the left). He does this under saddle as well. I think I get a little tense and he feels it. He does calm down a bit after awhile.
I have also been taking him on short walks off the barn property with no problems. The barn is on a dead end road with very little traffic. He looked a lot the first time. Now he is an old pro after two times. I will keep this up taking him a little farther each time.

I feel like he and I are on the right track 9no pun intended!). This is such a new journey for me and my horse. I just want to make sure I am doing right by him and helping put his racing life behind him. Thanks for your advice:0)
     
    02-09-2012, 11:35 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by girllovesdressage    
Thanks so much. Yeager's ground manners are impeccable thank goodness. I have been training him to lunge with the help of my trainer. He is getting better everyday. He tries so hard to please. When I ask for a canter on the lunge line he is very up and fast (especially to the left). He does this under saddle as well. I think I get a little tense and he feels it. He does calm down a bit after awhile.
I have also been taking him on short walks off the barn property with no problems. The barn is on a dead end road with very little traffic. He looked a lot the first time. Now he is an old pro after two times. I will keep this up taking him a little farther each time.

I feel like he and I are on the right track 9no pun intended!). This is such a new journey for me and my horse. I just want to make sure I am doing right by him and helping put his racing life behind him. Thanks for your advice:0)
Your welcome, it sounds like you are doing a great job! You should update with pics/videos. Also with videos I can better help you solve your problems.
     
    02-10-2012, 03:52 AM
  #8
Weanling
I have just got my first OTTB about 3 weeks ago as well. I think the MOST important thing to remember is that no 2 OTTBs are going to be the same. Some have endless hangups, some have none. Mine for example is brave and outgoing and doesnt spook at anything. But he can be stubborn so that is one aspect I have to work on with him. If he wants to look at something new he looks while still working. But he has had different experiences to yours and others.

TBs in general are intelligent and quick learners, but I think it's still wise to take them back to the very basics and pretend he knows nothing. I ride at least 5 days a week, short periods at a time and as soon as he makes even small progress I get off and finish on a good note.

Spend time training in hand. Basics like "woah" while leading him, getting him to walk past obstacles that frighten him etc are very important. Even if he seems good at it, reinforce it.

You are spot on that TBs WANT to please. They do however need to learn how to be a horse again. Mine took some time to figure out that carrots were meant to be eaten! They arent used to socialising. Whenever they are with other hroses they are training, it takes time for them to get used to seeing horses doing other things. The first time mine saw horses jumping I stood outside the arena and let him stare for a good 15 minutes. He just stood fixated on them as if to say "what the HELL are they doing?!".

You have however made a crucial first step...getting someone to help you! Well done!

My most important advice is just take baby steps. Reward good work, mine thrives on praise...they are regal and proud and I find mine puffs himself up all proud when he knows he has done a good job!
     
    02-11-2012, 12:34 AM
  #9
Foal
Most TBs have impeccable ground manners, they are well used to being handled! How long has he been off the track and how much training did he have before you got him? Most OTTBs are never properly longed, they don't get it. For an OTTB, going any gait means doing it fast He might be nervous of the whip when longing. If he's cross firing and going excessively fast, it sounds like he's unbalanced. OTTBs also aren't used to small circles and using their bodies and muscles as so. They're used to long gallops on big sweeping racetracks. When he has a rider, he has somebody controlling his speed and direction. Racehorses never get to run around and move freely on their own, so strange as it seems, they sometimes don't know how to carry themselves properly. So when longing, he is forced to carry himself on a small circle at a faster speed, and he has difficulty, hence the cross firing. He gets scared/upset and goes faster. Also Thoroughbreds are trained to go slower when going to the right, and faster when traveling to the left (hence why he speeds up going that way. Have any soundness/chiro issues checked because crossfiring can also be a sign of problems. But if he seems ok, try working him slower with lots of transitions, and he will get it He just needs to learn to carry himself and build those muscles.
PaintedFury likes this.
     
    02-11-2012, 11:06 AM
  #10
Foal
Thank you guys so much! I love hearing other people's experience! I'm only about 5'2 and a half and when I scratch his neck and withers he's like "WOAH WHATEVER THIS IS I LOVE IT" I feel like he can sense in confidant on and around him reguardless of my size and his. I feel like one of the most important things in having a horse is a strong bond. And we deffineatly clicked at first sight
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