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If you cannot afford a trainer, why not look one up and get some videos and such? I like Clinton Anderson's bending practices they are very helpful in many many ways. Im huge on bending, i think its a godsend. And i feel bending is something you really need right now. It will relax your horse, get him mind focused on your, teach him to give to the bit and be softer in the mouth, and many other helpful things. Its amazing how much simple bending exercises helps you and your horse.
 

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Maura, what a wonderful response. OP, I hope you can take a step back and absorb the information being offered rather than continue to dismiss every response.
 

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Yet another owner who thinks DVDs and books are going to magically fix their horse. :roll:

OP, you're looking for a magic bullet and there isn't such a thing. If it existed, do you think those of us advising you to get yourself and your horse to a trainer wouldn't have already used it?

The next thread you post about your 'horrible' horse I'm going to ignore, since it's obvious you're unwilling to listen to any real suggestions that might actually cost you time, effort and money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Themacpac and Speed Racer, I am only dismissing responses because they involve $$ that I DONT HAVE!
 

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I'm going to focus on this part of your original post, as I think other posters have addressed the other issues. My overall impression is that your horse was never truly "reclaimed" from the track. Saddle fit may also be part of the problem, but I think the biggest issue is that your horse really doesn't know how to be a riding horse and is stuck in driving horse mode.

Have you ever truly watched a driving horse in shafts and how they turn? They don't bend their bodies, because they can't - the shafts prevent them. They turn by holding their bodies still and pivoting on their hind ends, crossing over with their front legs. So when you ask your horse to turn as a riding horse should, bending his body and making a gradual, turn, he can't do it. The fact the he comes back to a walk in order to turn tells me he's a smart, nice guy who wants to live to see dinner. His reaction to being unbalanced is to slow down - that's a good thing.

Teaching a horse to bend and balance around a turn is 1.) a job for an experienced rider or one supervised by an instructor and 2.) more complicated than I can explain in a internet post.

Of the problems you mention in your original post, most are attributable to the horse's history on the track and not being reschooled as a riding horse. If you can find someone to help you, even for a short time, that has some experience reschooling OTTSBs, that would be best.
Thank you for writing this Maura. Very good point, one I skimmed over in my previous responses.
 

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The thing is that something needs to change; you need to learn how to work and retrain this horse, and please get the saddle fit checked. I would suggest going to a simple snaffle (preferably a double jointed bit with cheeks, I suggest a dee ring french link for this horse) and ditching the flash, as it is being used incorrectly. People on the internet can only help so much; you want someone right there with you to teach you how to retrain this horse, you need that constant, immediate feedback. DVDs are good... to a point. There is no feedback, so you could be doing something wrong and never know it.
 

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I would just like to quote this from the article you just posted.

This advice should not replace that of a good riding instructor or other equestrian professional, and should be used as part of a complete riding program.

Following those instructions will probably greatly improve your horse but it still won't fix him. That is like step 1 of a 100 step process. You will need a QUALIFIED professional to work with you and your horse to turn him into a fully trained and functioning member of equine society. If your only goals are to pleasure ride then you might be able to muddle through his retraining and hack him. If you have competition or other higher level goals then I seriously suggest that you do not try to retrain him yourself. If you don't have the money to put into getting him retrained then you should not have him, IMO. Sell him and buy a horse that you can ride and enjoy at your level or that is trained to the level you want to ride at. People with limited training experience trying to retrain OTT horses is not a good idea. It usually ends badly for both horse and rider.
 

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Speed Racer, :D My horse and I are living proof that you can fix problems from watching DVDs, and reading! If you're willing to take the time to read, watch educational videos, eta.. then you can fix a problem. What is a trainer going to teach her that a training professional who makes how-to DVD's can't?

She's young and probably doesn't have a job, I can, as well as others can sympathize. Getting a horse trained is expensive, and not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford one. I didn't get lucky until two years ago when I got a job, my parents didn't help me pay for anything! So I worked my [email protected] off to scrape up enough money to pay for the trainer. I did ALL of my ground work and basic saddle training before I went to the trainers, because I watched many DVD's and read many books.

Guess what? When Gunther went to the trainers for the first time they told me, "I'm very impressed that this is your first horse you have ever trained, he has great manners, and is very quiet, eta, eta..." :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I would just like to quote this from the article you just posted.

This advice should not replace that of a good riding instructor or other equestrian professional, and should be used as part of a complete riding program.

Following those instructions will probably greatly improve your horse but it still won't fix him. That is like step 1 of a 100 step process. You will need a QUALIFIED professional to work with you and your horse to turn him into a fully trained and functioning member of equine society. If your only goals are to pleasure ride then you might be able to muddle through his retraining and hack him. If you have competition or other higher level goals then I seriously suggest that you do not try to retrain him yourself. If you don't have the money to put into getting him retrained then you should not have him, IMO. Sell him and buy a horse that you can ride and enjoy at your level or that is trained to the level you want to ride at. People with limited training experience trying to retrain OTT horses is not a good idea. It usually ends badly for both horse and rider.
I am not looking to show him or anything, he is a pleasure/ trail horse. That is why I don't want to hire someone because it would be a waste. He is a pet and I love him. I am NEVER selling him. He is my best friend. Even if he could do NOTHING, I would never sell him. We have a bond. he just needs work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Speed Racer, :D My horse and I are living proof that you can fix problems from watching DVDs, and reading! If you're willing to take the time to read, watch educational videos, eta.. then you can fix a problem. What is a trainer going to teach her that a training professional who makes how-to DVD's can't?

She's young and probably doesn't have a job, I can, as well as others can sympathize. Getting a horse trained is expensive, and not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford one. I didn't get lucky until two years ago when I got a job, my parents didn't help me pay for anything! So I worked my [email protected] off to scrape up enough money to pay for the trainer. I did ALL of my ground work and basic saddle training before I went to the trainers, because I watched many DVD's and read many books.

Guess what? When Gunther went to the trainers for the first time they told me, "I'm very impressed that this is your first horse you have ever trained, he has great manners, and is very quiet, eta, eta..." :lol:
I......LOVE YOU!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! I am only 16 and jobless. I would rather have a horse instead of a trainer and NO $$ to afford the horse lol:lol:
 

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I was always taught that when I want to slow down or stop a horse to pull back on the reins but working with my new trainer I've learned differently. When I want to stop I never pull on his head because it just frustrates them. Instead I take the left rein and I lightly pull, only apply more pressure if he doesn't listen. And to slow down I soften my seat and pull my left rein.

I would NOT work at the trot until you are 100% comfortable and perfect at the walk.
 

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White Foot,

That's terrific that you got good results with your horse. However, I'm going to assume that you were working with a green horse, not a reclaim. A horse off the track is a *reclaim*, and that is much more difficult than a green horse.

And I personally think that reclaiming a OTTSB is harder than reclaiming an OTTTB. Though it's difficult, OTTTBs can pretty quickly be taught to supple and bend. An OTTSB assumes that bending is going to *hurt*. Every horse broken to drive learns the painful lesson early that if they try to bend, they get poked by a shaft. Overcoming that resistance requires trust, tact and IMO, experience.

Horseychick, I think the thing you have going for you here is your horse's overall disposition and temperment. He's clearly a good, kind and willing guy or you wouldn't have gotten as far as you have. HOWEVER, this is not a quick fix. Your horse needs to be reschooled as a riding horse. There just isn't a magic wand for that. I am totally sympathetic to not having tons of money to work with; but I really want to make the point that whatever training method you undertake (books, video, advice on the internet, instructor, trainer, friend) HAS TO deal with, first and foremost 1.) reschooling a racehorse and 2.) reschooling a driving horse as a riding horse.
 

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Yet another owner who thinks DVDs and books are going to magically fix their horse. :roll:
I dont think DVDs are going to magically fix a horse, i wasnt implying that nore did i say it. DVD's and books is better then nothing. If she cannot afford a trainer, then why not watch a DVD or read a book on it? What harm will it do?
 
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