Retraining OTTB - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Retraining OTTB

What would it take to make an OTTB a good western trail horse? How much is involved? I would imagine some professional training would be in order.

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 09:04 AM
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Rosebud, you can retrain a TB to Western cues, wear Western tack and teach him to neck rein. There's no reason why you can't have him retrained for pleasure trail riding.

As long as he has the right attitude for a trail horse, it doesn't matter what tack you put on him. And yes, some professional training is in order for him to learn how not to be a race horse.

My TB is being retrained as my foxhunter. He definitely has the build for it and I think he's going to enjoy it immensely.

My biggest issue with him is getting him to go faster than a trot. His philosophy on life is, "Why run when I can trot, and why trot if I can walk? We'll get there eventually......"

There's no wonder he didn't make it as a race horse!

Last edited by Speed Racer; 04-20-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 01:23 PM
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Haha speed racer your OTTB sounds like mine. When I got her I couldn't MAKE her go any faster than a lope and she continually wanted to stop and look at everything. Rosebud any horse can be a trail horse and the type of tack you use on the trail isn't really important. The most important thing when looking for a trail horse is personality. You want a laid back, easygoing but curious horse. They make the best trail mounts because they are calm and relaxed but enjoy trail riding and are not spooky by nature so they are accepting of many different new things. If the horse is OTTB and takes two grooms to lead it in and out of it's stall then chances are good that it will not make a good trail horse. I would find a professional in your area that is known for producing good, steady trail horses and ask them to go along with you to look at potential horses and help you find the right one for the job you want it to do. Also I commend you on wanting an OTTB. They have a bad rep but are really some of the nicest horses I've ever worked with =) Good luck!
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 01:30 PM
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haha speed racer, my OTTB's favorite gait is the trot. It's nice too, so I don't complain. I think it honestly depends on the horse. Western saddles are obviously heavier than anything they've ever carried, I've found that my guy really just doesn't like them and would much rather be an English pony. While I'm going to go out on a limb and say that professional training is not required to re-train an OTTB, experience not only with OTTB's, but also with training and riding a "green" horses is a must.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Rosebud, you can retrain a TB to Western cues, wear Western tack and teach him to neck rein. There's no reason why you can't have him retrained for pleasure trail riding.

As long as he has the right attitude for a trail horse, it doesn't matter what tack you put on him. And yes, some professional training is in order for him to learn how not to be a race horse.

My TB is being retrained as my foxhunter. He definitely has the build for it and I think he's going to enjoy it immensely.

My biggest issue with him is getting him to go faster than a trot. His philosophy on life is, "Why run when I can trot, and why trot if I can walk? We'll get there eventually......"

There's no wonder he didn't make it as a race horse!
Well, good to know our Aero is in good company. I, too, have commented more than once that it is no wonder she did not have a long career on the track
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 01:56 PM
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I have had my mare for about 3 years now and she's getting more into galloping again. I think they get so burnt on running they just plain don't want to do it. When I first got my mare the whole group could take off running and she would merely want to trot or lope after them and had no desire to keep up or get there first. Now after three years of retraining, ring work and trail riding she enjoys galloping again. When we're on a trail ride she willingly flattens out and extends and usually eyeballs the horse next to her and wants to go just a little bit faster than him. When she does win a "race" she trots around with her tail flagged all full of herself. She also enjoys racing herself out on trails alone now whereas when I first started riding her you couldn't force her to even hand gallop along an open field if her life depended on it. However, as much fun as I think her gallop is she is still very slow in an overall comparison and there is no wonder that she was a total flop on the track too.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 02:11 PM
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JJ doesn't expend any energy that he doesn't absolutely have to.

Even when I let them out in the big pasture, he'll only run with the Arabians a little bit. There's grass to be eaten! He doesn't have time to be running around like a fool.

Seriously, he's so laid back I've often wondered where he's stashing the weed.....
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-20-2010, 10:36 PM
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I agree that there are tooooons of OTTBs out there who have absolutely the perfect temperament to be western trail horses! The thing I love most about OTTBs is that, generally speaking, they are so unbelievably honest - the best kind of partner for any discipline, and awesome for hitting the trails!
The most important thing, if you've never worked with an OTTB before, is to have someone come out with you to look at the horse before you buy, and then to either work with the horse or help you work with the horse. OTTBs are no harder to work with than other young horses, but they are very different - and if you don't know the differences, it'll lead to lots of confusion for you and the horse! So find a friend, trainer, whatever who's done the OTTB thing before. Good luck!

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