My horse is like Night and Day ....
My young OTTB gelding is a wonderful ride. Super quiet, easy going, super great ride .... INDOORS.
OUTDOORS in the sand ring .... walking is fine. You ask for anything else and he gets sooo anxious/frustrated at NOTHING. He starts bundling himself into a tense little ball that you KNOW is going to explode at any minute but you don't know which way! Then all will be fine for the next couple of minutes and then he will get back to doing little dances/bunny hops .... it's sooo frustrating for me and him. He's such an athletic promising young horse, I just don't know what his problem is ... and with the nice summer weather, I'd like to ride outside.
Is he just young and need time to get used to riding outside?
What would you do?
--> Last ride outdoors, he was pretty much unrideable so I brought him back into the indoor arena and .... COMPLETELY different horse, an angel :)
What a goofball!
Is he tense, or does he want to go? Being a young OTTB, outside probably still means 'run as fast as I can' to him, depending on how much work has been done with him since. I have a mare the same, an angel in a small paddock, a big paddock and she was pure racehorse.
On that same tangent, he might be afraid that you're going to make him run. It all depends on what sort of trainers and rider he was exposed to whilst racing.
Have you spent more time indoors with him?
I'd look at riding him outside. Take it slow but keep him busy if walk is all there is fine, set up poles and comes and keep him thinking!
Next time do the same thing but look at popping a little trot in again keep him busy not just trotting down the fence line bending around cones is a great one!
Next ride See if he'll trot nicely down the fence, if not then back to the obstacles.
This is how I started my youngster, by keeping their minds busy they have to listen that bit more all the bending and stepping over things also keeps them that bit more supple.
Thanks everyone! There is hope for my little goofball! He's such a sweetie and he's not doing it to be mean or stupid ... he's just young and UN-educated. It just makes for a very UN-fun ride at the moment.
Prinella, I will definitely doing those exercises. :)
Oh and yes .... when I first got him, we were just going through the thaw (April - so there was still snow) So I was stuck riding indoors. So he's been getting really used to the indoor arena.
Yup, I'd just ride him outside, get the idea in his head that outside isn't so bad! It will suck now, but pay off later :)
Good luck! I am sure like you say he isn't deliberately being "bad" I would guess like the others that it's something to do with being OT. If I were you I would probably ride him outside for short periods as often as possible so that you are making progress yet always finishing on a good note :) I guess this would only work if it a behaviour thing or expecting you're going to ask him to go, don't know if it would if he is wanting to run. Let us know what works in the end :)
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Yup, he's back at the track in his mind and should be getting ready to go. Initially keep your work to walk/trot, halting, half halts and work him in 30-40' circles to keep him bending and soft. Set out ground poles so make him mind where he puts his feet. You want to keep his mind on what you are asking, not what he thinks he should be doing. Don't ask for canter until this is solid and it may take a few months but your patience will pay off. When a teen, many people bo't OTTBs and found this helped them. They also did a lot of trail riding which kept the horses fit and mentally refreshed.
I read your first post and the first thing I thought was that it sounds like he's been ridden and worked with mostly indoors.......then I read a little further and see that you say you've ridden him mostly in an indoor arena.
This is my opinion........go outside and do groundwork exercises. To him its a new area to be in with you and he's unsure if he can trust you in that situation. So prove to him that even though you are in a new area that you are still his leader and he should be listening to you. Doing this will get his respect for you in this new situation and will help him calm down and understand that just because it's a new situation for him, "with you in the picture", that you can still be trusted to be a good leader. And he'll soon learn that he can relax.
And if he's racing around then do low energy groundwork exercises, don't do something that causes him to continue to build up his energy into a frenzy. Once he's nice and calm and understands that there's nothing to fear then you can get back on him. But don't hesitate to hop back off if you find that he's getting worked into a frenzy again.
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