Ottb: Herdbound question - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-08-2010, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ottb: Herdbound question

My OTTB has been on the farm (off the track) for 4 months now. He is doing great. My trainer (she owns and stays at the farm) felt that in the beginning, he should have his own paddock, without company. She explained that as we are beginning to train him to be a regular riding horse, if he is overly "bonded" with another horse, it could be distracting for him. So, he sees horses around him in other paddocks, and in the barn, but he is alone in his paddock. I completely agree with the approach, and it really has allowed me to bond nicely with him.

One of the ladies at my barn is going to rescue a pony this weekend. Its an old welsh pony mare that desperately needs a good home. She is quiet and sweet, and was at the bottom of the pecking order of her herd. Now that my gelding is well settled in and doing well in his training, we are thinking of paddocking him with the new pony.

Does anyone have any particular advice about this? Any risk here that he gets attached and doesnt want to focus on his training, or that she will call out to him while I am trying to work with him?

Just curious....
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-08-2010, 09:49 PM
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I actually haven't seen an OTTB who gets overly attached. When they're racing, they're stalled alone and get moved from track to track as each season goes along. Once they're retired and put into herd situations, most are just fine to hang out with their new buds, but I have yet to see one that cares about leaving them behind when it's time to go to work. It what they're used to doing.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-08-2010, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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That is great feedback, thanks! I think it might relax him more. He cribs lightly, and I am thinking maybe a buddy will lessen that, too.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-08-2010, 10:13 PM
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We have 2 OTTB's on our farm...they arrived last July. They were fine when they got here, so riding them wasn't much of an issue. But they were pastured together for the winter and spring and now they will go crazy if you take one out of the pasture. I'm talking calling, running, screaming crazy.

If you have a good bond with your horse, another horse will interfere in that bond in some way shape or other. Its just natural for horse to bond with another horse. I had a great bond with my Lillie before I got Lyric. I was lucky that while pastured together, I still maintained a very good bond with her. She would still nicker and walk up to me if she saw me, but that doesn't mean she didn't at times prefer Lyric. Thank goodness she was never actually herd bound and could ride off very well. But don't think for one second that another horse won't change your bond cause there WILL be change of some form.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-09-2010, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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I should add that paddock time is about 8 hours per day. They have their own box stalls at night or during inclement weather.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains Drifter View Post
We have 2 OTTB's on our farm...they arrived last July. They were fine when they got here, so riding them wasn't much of an issue. But they were pastured together for the winter and spring and now they will go crazy if you take one out of the pasture. I'm talking calling, running, screaming crazy.

If you have a good bond with your horse, another horse will interfere in that bond in some way shape or other. Its just natural for horse to bond with another horse. I had a great bond with my Lillie before I got Lyric. I was lucky that while pastured together, I still maintained a very good bond with her. She would still nicker and walk up to me if she saw me, but that doesn't mean she didn't at times prefer Lyric. Thank goodness she was never actually herd bound and could ride off very well. But don't think for one second that another horse won't change your bond cause there WILL be change of some form.
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