How to deal with TBs
This is partially me ranting but if you have advice please share! I would appreciate it.
I hate thoroughbreds. I hate them. They are crazy and in my opinion, most are dangerous. I understand that this is a very generalized statement and I have tried to like them. I've tried to keep an open mind but every thoroughbred I've met is just psychotic and pushy and if they get scared they stop thinking and become dangerous.
But I board my horse (he's a quarter horse....much different..) at a hunter/jumper barn and I do turn in and turn out at my barn so I have to handle a lot of TBs. I've noticed that they require a different kind of handling than horses that use their brains....
Does anybody have any tips on handling a TB? I have several horses that are especially bad and I've told the barn owner about them. But I don't want to just not handle them, I would like to learn how to deal with them safely. I don't think I will ever like them but I do want to be able to handle them since my goal is to be a horse trainer. I can't just refuse to work with a certain breed because I dislike them or think they are dangerous....
The other problem is that they terrify me. I'm not usually scared of horses and I've dealt with very aggressive horses but when they are intentionally trying to hurt you it's less scary to me than a horse who is so scared/nervous that they stop thinking and just run. That's what scares me the most about TBs....
Wow!!! I've taken about 10 mins to think about how to respond to this. Never in my life am I left speechless, you just left me that way.
Firstly you are creating your own issue by being nervous around the horse because of the breed. I've repeated this a few times, and I wish I knew where I read it, but I don't recall. There was a study where horse handlers were told to walk a horse around an arena a few times. They were told on the third time passing an area that someone would jump out and open and close an umbrella violently. Every single horse spooked, not one person jumped out and opened or closed an umbrella.
We cause our horses to freak out more often than not.
I understand that you are working at a barn, and so can't dictate, but these horses would be better off being out except for severe weather.
Do you know who the alpha is in each herd? Are you letting them out first?
Are you doing things like having the gates open ready for the first horse, so you are not holding a crazy horse while trying to open the gate?
What are these horses fed?
How long are they in for?
do you use a chain under the chin?
And then if you are not comfortable, you shouldn't be doing this job. If you are experienced, then you just need to toughen up.
My horse is a TB, if he's not been out a while, he will prance on the line, and usually he is a complete dead head. All horses want out. And the reason why your QH would not do that, is the reason why I would never own a QH.
If it were up to me they would all stay out all the time but the owner says it ruins the paddocks. A lot of the horses only get worked a few times a week too so they have a lot of excess energy.
I guess I just need to get over it.
I prefer horses that aren't super full of energy though. I'll take a lazy horse over a high strung one any day. They can probably tell that I don't like them...
I think they can tell that you are stressed. What do you do when one starts prancing or getting lively before they freak out?
Just WOW, if you were talking about humans you would be slated as a racist, you know all those negative things associated with a race color or creed, shame on you.
With horses as with people, just take them as they come, LOL the most laid back, quietest horse on my farm, is my Arab mare, I'll lead her anywhere with a bit of baler twine around her neck. Her daughter, also full arab, not so much, same breed, same bloodline, totally different horses and characters.
They are all individuals, get to know each horse, and stop being breedist!
I try to walk them in little circles because I've been told that they like to move their feet when they're scared but it doesn't seem to help much..
Golden Horse--I realize that my original post is a little extreme but it's my personal opinion. I'm sorry if you disagree but I don't think it's necessary for you to tell me to be ashamed of my opinion. If you have helpful advice I would appreciate it. If not, I would appreciate it if you would let me have my opinion.
AlexS--thank you for your advice
I just don't think you are giving TB's a fair shake. Don't judge the whole breed because of a few crazies. There are plenty of crazy QH's, too....heck in any breed for that matter. If you want to be a trainer, then you really need to be able to look past the breed and take horses as the individuals they are. I also think if you are going to be a trainer, then you really should get out and meet more horses. You will find that it is not a one size fits all kind of business.
I guess compared to some people it's just a few but I've met a good number of TBs and I've noticed that crazy attitude is pretty common in most of them (more noticeable in some than others). My friend's TB is pretty good but he gets a little crazy sometimes. It's what she loves about him. I personally hate that. I prefer a good honest QH. It's not just the high strung personality, it's the lack of using their brain. I love a lot of Arabians but the difference is they think before they do something rather than reacting and then thinking later. I know there are always exceptions but since in my experience it's common among TBs and I have to deal with them on a regular basis I wanted some advice on how to handle them. There are TB people and like AlexS pointed out she loves her TB because of the same traits I dislike and I love my QH because he's quiet and calm.
If these are ex-racers, walking them in circles is THE WORST thing you can do to try to calm them down. At the track, they are walked in circles before they race. So, circles to them equals about to run their a$$es off, which gets them hyped up.
If they're crowding you, carry a dressage whip with you in your left hand pointing behind them and give them a flick on the flank with it when they get out of line to regain their attention. If they're charging, stop and then make them lunge at the end of the lead rope around you in both directions until they're attention is back on you.
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