Problems With An OTTB Going Back to the Track...
Okay, so ... Cowboy.
My otherwise perfect baby. 4 year old, 17hh OTTB, with just enough personality to make you love him. Amazing Jumping potential, Beautiful Flying lead changes ... he is just amazing.
But for some reason, those big spaces ... just get him.
In a small setting, he is fine. Small arenas, round pen, our small backyard, he is just like an old schooler. But for some reason, if you stick him in a big field... he just goes bezerk! I don't really know about big arenas yet. Well, I sort of do :p He is harder to transition down in a big arena, and he canters a little faster than I'd like. But it's been a while since I've been in a big arena, and I don't know if those problems have gotten better or worse. He has always generally done a little better in an arena than a grass lot/field, so idk.
But a big field. Wow. No. He tries to pull me to the left when tracking left, going along the right side. He takes off at a canter if we are trotting in the 3rd turn ... all things that was pressed into him at the track. I just don't know how to break him from it. We have done many serpintines, circles, etc., and that has helped... but only after he is a little tired. When he is peaking (warmed up, but not tired) he still acts like a racehorse. When warming up, he isn't really all that good at all, but that goes with just about any kind of arena. He just gets a little fresh, and after I warm him up, he's fine. So I don't mind that.
It's this counting the 3rd turn I can't *stand.* It drives me nuts, and makes me so mad at him. Could someone please help me out? Tell me some excersizes that would help... Anything is appreciated.
Oh, and his bit -
He is in a Myler Hunter Dee Comfort Snaffle. He has had this problem in a Full Cheek French Link, except it was a little worse in that. The Myler has helped a little. He doesn't do it at all in a Slow Twist Dee Ring, but I don't want him to be in that permanatly. We just used that for a few days because he was completely ignoring his bit. Since then, he's still been better. Should we switch back to that?
ONE more thing - I've been thinking about practicing in my Myler, and then showing Cowboy in his Slow Twist. Is a Slow Twist legal in the Hunter ring? Over Fences and Under Saddle? It's just a Dee ring. That way he is really at a lighter command during the shows. I don't use my twist like my snaffles. I am much lighter with it, as he responds much easier. Could I do this, or is that a bad idea?
Thank You Again!!!
You haven't re-schooled him well enough yet. Until you can canter with a group of horses and ride out in the open he is still too green to show and he will bolt and run off with you. You have just been trying to avoid the situations where that could happen, but that will not work forever.
I taped and watched Clinton Andersen's series on re-schooling just to see if he did it right. [I started out watching with my doubts.] It is pretty impressive. I used to buy a lot of prospects off of the track and re-sell them after schooling the 'run' out of them. If I were still able to do it, I would sure incorporate some of what he did. I had taken several OTTBs and turned them into very controllable field hunters. It is all a matter of how you re-train them.
I think you can buy the whole series. Within 2 months, he was slow loping with a group of horses out in the wide open spaces and doing it on a loose rein.
It is all a matter of how you school them. They have to learn to 'like' slow and controlled.
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