How to deal with TBs - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 38 Old 08-29-2013, 03:31 PM
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Mango, I'm just coming to this thread today, which I'm happy about because I got to see the progression all at once. I'm really happy to see you want to take advice and learn. I have a pit bull, so breed discrimination really gets to me.

Like others have said, it's so, so important to project the right energy to horses. If you are nervous, a lot of horses who aren't "dead-heads" will give you a reason to stay nervous. It's really amazing how much our body language affects them.

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." — Buck Brannaman

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post #32 of 38 Old 08-29-2013, 07:25 PM
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I had a super hot OTTB. He was extremely well trained on the ground. I taught a ton of little kids to groom, bath, bandage, lunge, etc with him. Under saddle, he was extremely hot and smart as a whip. I had to learn to ride him and work at having a partnership with him. He gave me his all every single day as long as I gave him the respect he deserved, acted as the herd leader, and looked out for his best interests. When I began retraining him from jumpers to dressage, he learned so quickly it was crazy. He learned to halt in one ride. He was voice trained to halt, walk, and trot in two weeks. Learning to accept contact was a whole other battle, but once he figured it out, he was so willing to please me and try his hardest. It all comes down to training, good, bad, or ugly. We only have our selves to blame.

Strength is not defined by physical ability. It is determined by your actions and the compassion of your soul.
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post #33 of 38 Old 08-29-2013, 07:50 PM
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Having worked with a barnful of OTTB's, I learned there is a direct correlation to the type of feed they are given and their energy levels, more so that many other breeds. The TB was bred to be forward, to move, add a rich diet and he needs to find an outlet for his energy. My own OTTB was kept on pasture and seldom in the barn and he proved to be an amazing ride and responsive and respectful and quiet when being led. That was my expectation and that's what happened.

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post #34 of 38 Old 08-29-2013, 08:06 PM
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We own a Ottb. He was the nicest one there. BUT I agree in the sense that when they get excited, they REALLY don't pay attention! Ours gets that way, it's like he forgets EVERYTHING. It's worse when your riding him. I refuse to ride him in an open field anymore, in parades or things like that because it's like he's in the starting gate again and he's ready to run. But you also have to remember that they are and will ALWAYS be bred for speed. NOT for smarts, for trailing riding, ranch work, etc. It's they way they are bred and handled. Especially if they are off the track thoroughbreds. That's ALL they have known is to go go go. It took 4 years for our thoroughbred to have good ground manners, and to this day he is a work in progress. I will lounge him and almost right away he "spooks". He does it every time, and not when I'm asking for anything. He cannot be tied yet, he fell down the last time because he pulled so hard. All in all, he is still a good horse, but a typical ottb. I would not suggest lounging them (unless you do it for awhile) it will only make them more excited. Try bonding instead! Groom them or something like that. It may help. :)
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post #35 of 38 Old 08-29-2013, 09:57 PM
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My TB will let you put beginners on her, pack children around all day, ride bridleless over jumps etc. Breed -bashing is not helpful.

I totally understand how you feel though. I worked at an Arabian barn and those horses were as nutty as can be (on pasture and a low grain diet). I ended up getting hurt and I quit the job. I still don't like Arabians. I know there are good ones out there but I prefer a horse that thinks before reacting. I think it is a bloodline issue- as there was one line in particular that was really crazy. So bad one horse ended up getting put down, and the other was so crazy that the professional trainers gave up.

I would suggest you quit and find another job. If you want to spend a lifetime working with horses it is not worth getting hurt, it is not worth loosing your confidence and it is not worth the stress of dealing with horses like that. Most likely you aren't making enough to cover your medical expenses if you were to get hurt.

I've met some really nice TB's and some really bad ones. After a really bad riding accident, it was my friend's TB that helped me get back into riding. She never spooked at anything. We rode over a downed gate that was a foot off the ground and she calmly walked through the spokes. We got caught in a bad lightning storm and the other horse spooked and took off for home, but she didn't do anything.

If there is a problem it comes down to a few things: bad management, not enough exercise, poor training, and bloodlines/personality. I hate to say it, but some horses just don't "think".
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post #36 of 38 Old 09-01-2013, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 4horses View Post

I totally understand how you feel though. I worked at an Arabian barn and those horses were as nutty as can be (on pasture and a low grain diet). I ended up getting hurt and I quit the job. I still don't like Arabians. I know there are good ones out there but I prefer a horse that thinks before reacting.
This is exactly how I feel about TBs and I guess I just ended up being at a barn full of hyper, poorly trained OTTBs and that's why I don't like them....
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post #37 of 38 Old 09-01-2013, 06:15 PM
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There is still a difference between TB's as a breed and OTTB's as a sub section of the breed who have been trained and conditioned in a certain way.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #38 of 38 Old 09-01-2013, 11:20 PM
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I have a quarter horse and an OTTB and I LOVE them both for different reasons.
Yes Thoroughbreds can and do have a lot of energy. When I first bought my mare we spent a lot of time on ground work, and she is now the sweetest, most gentle horse on the ground. My quarter horse is sooo laid back, and she handles new situations pretty well most of the time, but certain things spook her more than my OTTB. Really one of the things I love about my OTTB is the fact that she DOES handle herself okay in scary situations. Yes she does occasionally stop and get her head up and act worried, but she will come back to me easily.
A lot of this has come from learning to handle her though. I don't usually have to handle her any different than my other horses, but sometimes she needs a little bit more encouragement than my others. You HAVE to be confident when you are around any horse, especially if your horse is 17 hands like mine. If you are nervous they will know you are nervous, and you will NOT have a good time with them. The horses you have to lead out are probably fine, maybe a little excited to get out, but most likely they are just feeding off of you! I think your first step to being able to "control" these thoroughbreds is to get over the nerves you have about them.
If these horses are being used as Hunter Jumpers, which chances are many of them are as that is what many at your barn do... they know how to behave. Yes they may have energy, but they most likely know how to control it when they have too.
So if you gain confidence around thoroughbreds and still have problems with these horses.... ask the barn owner for help. It is so much better to have someone show you how to handle a certain horse than just to be told.
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