Originally Posted by girllovesdressage View Post
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!