Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Retraining a Spoiled OTTB.
My BO gets a few OTTB's off the track every year. Typically they either have injuries that prevent racing and need time off to heal that the owners are not willing to give them, or they just don't want to race. She keeps them as long as necessary to heal mentally and physically, then puts some miles on them and rehomes them(6 months- 1 year, on average). I help with the retraining, first on the ground, then putting trail miles on them.
That brings us to todays story. BO picked up three nice mares, all needed some down time. They have had a few months off to just be horses, with minimal handling. We brought them in and started some basic retraining. The two did incredible. Sweet, quiet, willing. The one mare is very pushy on the ground, extremely distracted and disrespectful. This is being addressed first. Then the BO tried her under saddle, and she was AWEFUL. Bouncing all over, refusing to turn, trying to run to the barn, bucking(just one here and there, not rodeo style), refusing to go forward, etc. This mare is 6. She ended up getting off, and doing a major groundwork session. All her behavior SCREAMS disrespect to me. I don't know if she has ever been properly handled in her life. I want to take her on myself for the next while as a project. I'm starting Pickles under saddle, so why not one more? I have restarted spoiled saddle horses before, and its a pain, but I would like to give this mare a chance. This is the plan so far.
-She is incredibly smart. I'm going to start with tying, for hours. She doesn't know how to stand, so she will come in and be tied to a post for a couple hours a day until she learns patience.
-Then I intend to work on her leading and basic ground work skills until she is lovely to handle on the ground.
-I want to go back to basics, so ground driving, lunging, yielding, etc. Then I will move on to under saddle work.
How does this sound to you? Any one ever retrained this type of horse?