critique 11 year old OTTB
alright guys! Old Man Noah (Noah) is an 11 year old ottb gelding who we recently aquired and are in the process of retraining to become a lesson and minor show horse. He will be required to walk, trot, and canter on cue, back up, sidestep, trot poles and do flying lead changes, by the end of his training. We currently have him under western saddle, although he will be reintroduced to english within two months or so. I have done most of his retraining, and he is one month into his work so far and he has been off of the circuit for three months. I won't be doing his english work because I am not extremely familiar with the disipline, but what do you think so far? What I want to know is how you guys think he's coming along! We are currently working on sensativity to leg pressure and softening to the bit. So basically my questions are:
How is his muscle looking, how is his over all form, and do you think he's where he should be in training so far?
We won't be using him for lessons until we feel that he is ready, but he seems to be learning very quickly and the goal is to have him in business by September!
Pardon his grumpy face, he's not too keen yet on rounding himself, and this was near the end of his session so he was getting a bit tired o.- he'd rather be grazing or making googoo eyes at our lesson mare than paying attention! xD
I dont have any pictures of cantering yet, as we haven't done too much in that department. We're still working on 'slow and steady' at the trot before moving on to anything more!
note that I am not the one riding him in these pictures, as I wanted to get a look at him from the ground/ get pictures- and the rider is still in training also, so there may be flaws. You may point them out, but be kind since this is not me ^^
loose reining (see? Totally content when he doesn't have to care about his neck xD)
I think she is a lovely little rider and doing a good job. His topline will build as you work him more, at the moment he looks like a normal TB being brought back into work.
I think he could benefit from plenty long and low work to get him to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out that neck and build all his muscles before he comes up into the bridle much. Currently he is lacking the condition that will enable him to work 'on the bit' and it may be too much to ask too soon IMO. But I think you have the right idea in taking it slow and steady. Get the muscles working and conditioned and he will work much more willingly for you.
Nice boy all the best with him!
ETA: In that third photo where he is most relaxed is not far off a long and low type of frame, just encourage the use of his back muscles a little more, allow him to search for the contact himself and you will have it!
I agree! For having only been riding for about a year and half, the rider is really doing a fantastic job. Thats why I picked her. She's confident, gets along well with Noah, and has nice posture. She's actually asked about leasing him as her personal lesson horse once he begins work ^^
We've been doing a combination of stretched out and collected work, although more at a walk when stretched than a trot- as he still tends to rush the bit a little. He's a very nice horse though, and I'm excited to see how he turns out. Thanks for taking time to comment! ^^
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