Racehorse into hack, how to?
I'm Victoria and very new to this horsing world and forum! I have a fair few questions to ask as I'm sure you are all very knowledgeable horse men and women!
I have a Thoroughbred names Flynn (gelding 3 yrs), we bred him to race but his nature proved to be very calm and not the racing type so I was lucky enough to be given him to turn into a hack.
I used to ride at a riding school 3 years ago and prior for 8 years I assumed I was well schooled but riding hacks just don't seem to compare to the spirt, nature and potential ability of flynn.
When i first got him he was 1 week of the track I was encouraged to bareback ride him and did so very calmly around a paddock it took some time but about a month later i got a saddle on him. Surprisingly he loves being groomed and does not mind one bit being tacked up I was too nervous to ride him saddled in the paddock as the first time i did he bolted and I had a bad fall this has happened 3 times now and my nerves are cracking.
Because I live in the city and he is out on a property I get to work him about 3 times a week, and have just started lunging him also to try tire him a little before i ride.
If any one has any advice on how i can train a race horse to be a hack I'm all ears his temperament is beautiful, every-time i have fallen he stands beside me and waits till i get back on, he deserves the best training Im just not educated enough on horses to know what that training might be!
What sort of hack are you talking about? Just a pleasure trail ride sort or Showing?
He probably still has that racing instinct, like when ever he was ridden before he would run, so now thats what he does...
maybe, I think you may have to leave him a bit longer then 1 week and just work on ground work and lunge him, both sides evenly.
you have to be prepared to take your time with him, since he is only 3 as well, he just needs to learn, it will take time though :)
Anyway welcome to the forum and another west aussie :)
My suggestion would be to take him back to basics. Treat him like he hasn't been broken in, and re-break him without any of the race horse stuff.
Go back to ground work - manners and giving to pressure etc. Then start gently backing and lunging him. Once he is balanced on the lunge, start riding him gently. Slowly. Walking and halting. Once he is calm and responsive in the walk, then start trotting. Any time you think he is getting over-excited in the trot, go back to the walk. I know most people will tell you lots of transitions from walk to trot and back, but I wouldn't do that yet. If he is going alright, and you are still feeling secure, keep trotting without a break. You want him to be bored of it. Transitions have their time and place to keep him interested and to improve his balance, but first you have to improve his mindset. Make him bored of the trot, and he will do it calmly IYKWIM?
Don't canter until he is perfect at the trot. Once you get to the canter stage, then do the same. If he starts to get excitable, then bring him back to a trot or a walk. Once he is giving you a few calm strides, ask for more. Let him go for a few minutes at a time in the canter as long as it is calm. Again, seek boredom. You want him to think that canter means 'just a boring old canter', not 'oh goodie we are going faster let's RACE YEEHA!!!!'.
Learn to one rein stop. This is your emergency brake. If you need to do it, you drop one rein, and haul in the other. It should turn his head to the side by at least 90 degrees. Practice it at the halt first, to show him what you mean when you do it. Then practice it at the walk. If he keeps going in circles, shorten that one rein. When he stops, praise him hugely. Practice on both sides. Get your confidence in your ability to do it up, and get him to respond to it quickly. You can also practice it at the trot once you are confident using it at the walk.
Hope this mini novel helps :)
Thank you SO MUCH! haha i have so much to learn and try
today i went back down to the farm just to lunge sadly he was first going great and then kicked out and ran off in a gallop ... needless to say another blow to the confidence
but i think your mini novel will prove very handy so thankyou!
Haha no worries.
Do you have a round yard where you keep him? If he can run off like that, try a smaller yard :)
unfortunately no only a very large paddock and a big night yard, does not do much for training sadly any advice!? haha
Skip lunging for a while. Walk for hours. Walk till you are bored, then walk some more. Do circles, serpentines, squares, all sorts of shapes and patterns. Then once he is cool and calm all the time at a walk, move on up to trot and do the same thing :)
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