Taming a 23 yr old TB - Page 4

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Taming a 23 yr old TB

This is a discussion on Taming a 23 yr old TB within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    12-31-2012, 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by gottatrot    
This doesn't really sound like a "go" horse to me. The horse walks on a loose rein and doesn't try to trot? And canters without trying to gallop? Plus is quiet on trails. So it sounds like you have two gaits you can ride on a loose rein without the horse trying to go faster.

When a truly hot horse gets ramped up, even when under perfect control they are "asking" and looking for a signal to trot from the walk, to canter from the trot, and to gallop from the canter. And to gallop faster from the gallop.

Are you sure the horse doesn't just have a big trot? A lot of Thoroughbreds have big, energetic trots. It can be physically difficult for them to balance at a slower gait. Especially when getting older and maybe having arthritis or other issues.

What you consider a fast, out of control trot might be this horse's working trot and actually the pace where she can relax. Asking her to go slower may require some balancing and strengthening exercises before she can accomplish a slower speed. She may not be fighting you, but rather trying to find balance from the reins when you ask her to slow down.
Racehorses are often trained to use the snaffle for balance.

Is there a pace where she likes to stay consistently at the trot and finds a good rhythm? You may need to learn to balance at that speed either by posting or two-pointing, especially if she has a choppy trot. Where she is comfortable may be faster than other horses you are used to, especially if you ride stock horses.

It may be helpful to lunge her at the trot and notice where she is the most comfortable. Then imagine yourself riding this speed and think about how fast it would feel. If she can jog easily on the lunge, then consider that you may not be comfortable at the trot and giving her cues to speed up by gripping without realizing it.

I wouldn't worry about if she can handle a fast trot at her age. Many horses can easily trot for hours when in shape, up into their thirties. Many retired thoroughbreds go out for gallops well into their late twenties.
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    12-31-2012, 05:36 PM
I agree that this could simply be how she prefers to move. If that turns out to be the case I'm fine with that. I guess I just feel like slow means relaxed but in her case maybe she's happier hauling ass and I should just let her do what she likes. I sure won't be needing a gym membership!
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    12-31-2012, 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Mstar    
Just because a horse has been successful or raced a lot does NOT mean they will never be relaxed, calm riding horses. Far from the truth! In fact, many older runners are well loved on the track because of their laid back nature.

Sadie I totally get what you are saying. Mine is very similar-totally laid back 99% of the time and incredibly responsive, but he does tend to lean into the bit and once he gets rolling there is little chance of stopping him, it's literally like pulling against a wall.

I've found bit wise, less is more. He goes great in a hackamore and best in a neck collar with no rein pressure. If he doesn't have that pressure, there is nothing for him to lean against. How does your mare turn? I would work on bending ALOT, get her really flexible and loose, help break up that "pull against you" because she will have a much harder time bracing when you are only pulling on one side.

Do tons of serpentines, circles, figure 8's. Don't let her get to the point of going faster or being able to run. Lots of transitions. Even if you only trot a couple strides, then back to the walk. The trick is to change things and stop her from getting a chance at going faster or leaning against you, before she even thinks about doing it. Eventually she will become much more responsive and attentive to what you are asking for. Don't forget to praise her when she's doing good!

With her history and lack of proper training, you will have a long road ahead of you retraining all those bad habits out of her. Best of luck, it IS possible, just going to take lots of patience. Don't let anybody discourage you about her being an crazy, untrainable OTTB either People who think those kinds of things have no idea what they are talking about.
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    12-31-2012, 05:44 PM
She does bend well actually. Also, she smacks herself in the side of her face with her tongue a lot. Assuming she does this from having her tongue tied while racing but woukd this make her respect the bit less? She always seems so proud of herself when she does this too. Like she's being goofy.
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    12-31-2012, 07:25 PM
Poor girl.

Well I used to have a hot-tempered horse who couldn't travel on a loose-rein. I got him to though.

Simply by riding him in a snaffle and riding on a loose rein. If he went out of gait I would simply stop him. I would make him stand there until he was calm and then I would ask him to go off.

That's all I did and it worked very well.

But DO NOT work your horse. A LOT of people say 'work your horse if he's hyper and make him run!' it doesn't help and in fact it makes things WORSE. I wouldn't even recommend that to a lazy horse, who one day is suddenly hyper.

What kind of feed does she get?
    01-01-2013, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by Sadie00994    
She does bend well actually. Also, she smacks herself in the side of her face with her tongue a lot. Assuming she does this from having her tongue tied while racing but woukd this make her respect the bit less? She always seems so proud of herself when she does this too. Like she's being goofy.
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She COULD be getting her tongue over the bit, or she could have nerve damage to her tongue from it being tied to tight (I see too many purple tongued horses).

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