The North Experience - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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The North Experience

I find myself in a totally new realm. Not only with a new horse, but a new barn, and a totally different perspective than I had just a year or even 6 months ago. I kind of feel like I've been asleep at the wheel for some time, just too engrossed in the "ideas" and blind to the realities of what was around me. I feel like I am in a better place now with better support and I am so excited about North.

Sigh...North... When I think about him, I get butterflies in my stomach. I never did get a video of his movement before he arrived, so I basically made the decision off a few pics and his pedigree and conformation evaluation. Oh, and the word of the barn director regarding his temperament. Several people told me - DON'T get a TB. "They're crazy!" "They hard keepers and you can't keep weight on them!" North defies all the stereotypes.

He is now down to a half scoop of feed twice a day. He arrived getting 1.5 scoops, but it didn't take long for him to start getting chubalicious. The grass at the new barn is amazing. His temperament? Incredible. Each day I've been introducing him to new things. Last Saturday, while I was walking him out to the riding area, we had to pass a bright red big rig with a loaded flatbed while someone in the woods was shooting off a gun and a neighbor thought it was a good time to rev their Harley. He perked his ears and looked around. That's it. I've created such a bond with him through groundwork, and frankly, I never knew it could be so fun. When he does get nervous about something, he looks to me to tell him its okay, and I love that.

My 2 previous horses, and even my lease, were all seniors, so I went into this fully prepared for some tough moments working with an OTTB baby. It just hasn't been so. It took him about 3 days to fully settle in. Last Saturday, he stood quietly as I groomed and tacked him up. We do about 20 minutes of groundwork every day and he literally forgets NOTHING I taught him the day before. It's such a change from Forrest. Lol. Almost every day was like starting over with him. So that day we did a little work in the roundpen - moving off of pressure and such. I introduced the dressage whip - didn't phase him at all. And at that moment, I decided I wanted to get on. He was just so easy and calm on the ground, that I felt like I had to see what he would do in the saddle.

My guy was there with me, so I asked him to hold him while I mounted. North didn't move an inch while I got into the saddle. I patted him and then we proceeded to walk around the round pen. His biggest issue? Wanting to stop and eat grass. lol. And soft! Omg. For the most part I kept him on a long rein, but even if I took up just a little contact to help guide him, he would instantly round his neck and drop down. I had him in a D-ring Happy Mouth with the roller lozenge, and he was really quiet in it. I didn't stay on for more than 10 minutes. I just wanted to feel him and he felt incredible.

I honestly feel SO incredibly lucky to have been given this horse. He is everything I wanted and a completely clean slate. He never raced, only did a handful of training runs, so I don't even have all that to undo. The past 2 weeks with him have just been amazing. This weekend, my trainer friend, Helen, will start putting the saddle basics on him. I think he is going to be incredibly easy to train and I can't wait to see him going good under saddle.
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"Horses are too spency!" - Mom
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post #2 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
Several people told me - DON'T get a TB. "They're crazy!" "They hard keepers and you can't keep weight on them!" North defies all the stereotypes.
You know what my response to that remark would be? "Horses mimic the emotional state of their handlers." Once they are detoxed from their racing career, given a few weeks to decompress with pasture, buddies, and freedom to move, they will still be sensitive horses, but they'll need someone to actually drive them crazy to become that way.
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post #3 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 06:09 PM
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Third time a charm? So glad that North is working out so well, you deserve a good one.

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #4 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
You know what my response to that remark would be? "Horses mimic the emotional state of their handlers." Once they are detoxed from their racing career, given a few weeks to decompress with pasture, buddies, and freedom to move, they will still be sensitive horses, but they'll need someone to actually drive them crazy to become that way.
Oh, the other one I forgot was them being tight over their backs. My old trainer literally shut me down before I could even tell her about him. She pretty much hates TBs, so I knew it would not be a good environment to try and develop him in. I think we are both right where we should be.

"Horses are too spency!" - Mom
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post #5 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 08:19 PM
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Can’t wait to follow along. He is a really nice looking horse!
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post #6 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 09:40 PM
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Im so glad you found each other and are making such progress. I think it's a perfect match and you made the right decision for yourself. Tbs are very sensitive but willing to adapt.

I think your trainer, like a lot of dressage people cant ride a thoroughbred. Theyre sensitive and cant be bullied or manipulated and wont tolerate what a wb will. Wbs have a different brain and mentality. Tbs are often quicker thinking, listen and need a real horseman and someone they can turn to and trust. If someone cant provide that they shut down and get scared.
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post #7 of 498 Old 07-31-2018, 09:55 PM
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Subbing!
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post #8 of 498 Old 08-01-2018, 10:34 AM
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Yay, I've been waiting for you to start a journal about your new guy!! Can't wait to see how things go - third time's the charm! :)
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post #9 of 498 Old 08-01-2018, 11:30 AM
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I just love the look of this horse
From my own experiences of having quite a lot of TB's and OTTB's the problem ones tend to be the way they've been made rather than them being born that way.
If you deal with things like ulcers that a lot of the OTTB's can come with then they aren't hard keepers - they won't all live out in harsh weather without some blanketing/shelter but that isn't really the definition of a hard keeper.
The last two we had came to us on the 'poor side' but soon turned into porkers that needed restricted grazing when they weren't in hard work!!

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post #10 of 498 Old 08-01-2018, 12:48 PM
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North is quite stunning. And I am glad you found your happy place again. Our Hobbies should make us happy!
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