The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So maybe he's not a maniac... or even close to. But he IS ott... well... so I'm told :p

Thought I'd pop a journal together in here for my new 'toy', Hugo.
He's an 8 year old ottb gelding, approx 16.1hh. Finished racing Oct 09 and has lived in a paddock since.

Sale photos :





I brought him home on Monday morning and have made huge progress in a very short space of time!
He is painfully quiet and willing! I was expecting to bring home a ratbag ottb that jumps all over you and spooks at the 'monsters' in the bushes.
Well Hugo has blown my mind with his temperament. I lunged him on Tuesday night in the roundyard, and within 5 minutes he was going halt-walk-trot-walk-halt and halt-trot-halt just from voice aids. Not a hint of your typical ottb flat out gallop and buck episode on the lunge, he just trotted calmly and if he got a bit quick I'd say 'woah' and he's steady.

Got on him on Wednesday night after a brief lunge, put my leg on and he didn't move, so said 'walk on' with a light kick and off her went, a nice serene walk around the round yard. Even got one or two steps of turn on the forehand on both reins.

So decided to take him to my coaches yesterday to have a play. Got him off the float about 3 hours before my lesson to let him settle in. Well he walked calmly off, walked around next to me, into the roundyard, had a drink and a roll then laid in the shade and went to sleep with about 10 other horses walking past him.

Lunged him and again, nothing at all to suggest he was going to do anything. Put him under a bit of pressure by 'choofing' him up a bit in trot, put a side rein on the outside etc. and nothing bothered him he just kept his rhythm and that was that. Asked for canter and understandably he was quite unbalanced, but didn't race off or buck at all, just tried his best to work out where to put his legs.

I hopped on him in the roundyard with my coach in the middle, she's thinking he won't go forward off my leg. Well I had him trotting in a quiet rhythm along the rail, starting to play with getting a little flexion and in the end managed to get a few strides at a time where he was starting to come onto the bit. And those moments felt SPECTACULAR! It was like a lightbulb moment, his hind legs came under, back started to swing and his jaw softened. LOVELY!

Here's a few photo's of the ride, just remembering this is this horses first official ride since he finished racing, and I have had maybe 10 rides in the last 12 months. I've got him in a cruddy wintec GP at the moment in short stirrups as that's all that fits him, and I find it near impossible to ride long in a GP!












My maniac ottb in the arena for the first time


As you can see, my boy is slightly comatose!


Took him out again this morning to use my coach's arena. Was up there with my farrier and again, Hugo behaved impeccably. Lunged for only about 5 minutes each rein (changed rein every minute or so!) then hopped on in the dressage arena. Walked around the outside with no hesitation at all. Halted and walked on from voice and leg without a care in the world. He can even do straight lines across the diagonal :O
Trotted him around, again stayed on a straight line, so tested him a bit and rode him on the 2nd track, and again, straight line, stayed between my hand and leg and didn't give two hoots about what was going out outside the arena.
I had him doing 3 loop serpentines, changes of rein across the arena and a few steps of leg yield each direction and he took it all in his stride, all the while really starting to swing and come onto the bit.

This horse amazes me, His temperament is second to none and just so trainable!! Certainly the first horse I've had that I've actually been truly excited about :)
Will keep you posted :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Beautiful boy! he's got like $83,000 prize money under his belt too niceee. Sorry I may have looked his brands up on the stud book, I'm a sticky beak! Haha

Spun me out, coz I have an OTTB named Hugo too, but he is a 17 year old Bay gelding, and believe me when I say he really is a maniac OTTB haha. Love him to bits though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
You two look so great together!! The first pic of you on him, he looks so gorgeous!! I'm getting an OTTB pretty shortly, so I hope my luck is as great as yours turned out to be!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
868 Posts
Love this boy, great looks and a great mind to go with it. Like the above poster I to am looking at getting an OTTB later this year. Hope I don't come home with a maniac either ;) I'll be following and cannot wait to watch your progress.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
629 Posts
His feet look better. Would like to see that right front one balanced a bit better still.

Just don't get too comfortable with him. I call this the 'honeymoon period' and most horses go through it AND THEN you start to begin to know what you have.

I think you got yourself a heck of a deal. This is an above average individual, and as I said in the earlier thread, there just isn't much to not like about him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Wow he is beautiful.

For once I agree with Mercedes, this could just be the honeymoon period, I went through it with my TB, he was an angel during the 30 day trial I had on him, it was after that that he became a disaster. I really hope that your guy stays the same!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
He's lovely! And huge (orrrr you're tiny haha!), and look at that movement! I'm in love :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
629 Posts
Forgot to say...you lift your right shoulder and drop your left ear when you ride...you probably do it when you walk as well. You'll want to address that as you get back to regular riding. The other stuff I believe will be resolved when you're in a saddle that fits you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,176 Posts
Don't worry too much about that honeymoon period. Mine is going on it's 3rd year with my OTTB. Some are just plain sweet. Beautiful horse. I love that trot in the second pic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
He's such a beautiful horse! and it looks like he has a nice gate too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Oh~
I am so excited for you. I remember when you first posted about him and I took a look and thought to myself....what a nice looking horse! :)
So wonderful to see you riding him!
I think you both look great together and I cannot wait to see more pictures and here all about what your doing with him.

Happy Days....

Halfpass
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mercedes, thanks for pointing out my shoulder and ear! I never noticed it but now that you mention it, yes I do walk with my right shoulder higher, I can feel it even sitting here typing so will need to concentrate on getting it down.

NittanyEquestrian, haha don't worry i know they're not all maniacs, but I've had my fair share of ottb's and ridden a lot of them for dealers also, and about 90% of them have had a mega flight reflex and go into a blind panic before stopping to think. I have never met an ottb with a brain like Hugo's though, even my coach is pretty taken aback by how trainable he is, he processes information and decides what to do with it, rather than going into a panic.

So proud of my big fella :D Last day at my coach's for him today to I thought stuff the horrible weather I'm going to make use of having him at an arena. So in my hungover and ******ed state I toddled up there and the poor man was looking so wet and depressed in the roundyard. I got the kids up there to feed him this morning (went out last night and wasn't going to make it home in time to feed him this morning lol!) and they took his canvas off and left his cotton on. of course it poured with rain and he got soaked through :( He looked so sad!

Lunged him in the round yard again. He's really starting to get the idea of flexing and bending on a circle now :) He's picking up canter so much better now too. Don't have to chase him around the circle now. Only takes a couple of 'hups' and flicks of the whip and he'll pop into it.

Hopped on in the arena, the rain was almost sideways :S Hugo bothered? No never!
Walked around with his head stretched down and out like the total non racehorse he is. Trotted him and worked on getting sharp, off the forehand transitions then brought him onto a 20m circle in the middle. (This horse has not done 20m circles in an arena remember :p)

Really wanted to focus on just getting a circle shape with reasonable bend. Well Hugo of course had to go one better than that. Every time I rode my hip forward he would bend and come onto the bit. A little half halt on the outside rein and he'd stay soft and round, and a little flick on the backside every now and then with a dressage whip kept that hind leg swinging right through. He back was starting to swing and soften and basically was just a beautiful animal to sit on!

He was going so well, on both reins, that I figured why not have a go at picking up canter? So flexed him a little to the outside, sat right onto my inside stirrup and gave him the aids for canter. Little devil goes 'yeah yeah i know' and popped straight into canter!!! He stayed upright and was amazingly balanced for an ottb! Was racing around a bit and working out where to put his legs, but as soon as I half halted my back and tweaked the outside rein a little, he came back and lowered his head, brought his hind legs under himself and started to really travel.
Both reins of course!

Meanwhile a girl brings a school horse into the arena and starts riding in with me, all Hugo did was a pathetic neigh, looked towards the horse and then zoned straight back to his 'job'


To think how far this horse has come in just a week puts a huge grin on my face :D This time last week he knew absolutely nothing other than to run, really fast. And now he's working confidently in an arena, coming onto the bit, cantering, taking baby steps of leg yield, lunging by voice commands and is a total doll to handle on the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
He's stunning, I'm so happy for you both! Dapple grey is an unbeatable color in my book too,such a beauty. I'm so looking forward to watching the two of you progress and learn from each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
LOOOOOOOOOOOVE my Hugo so much!!!!!


Hopped on him in the arena and just walked for 10mins. Fine as usual. Then one of the girl's brought her horse in so we rode together.

I started having a play with transitions within trot. So bring him back almost to walk, then ask him forward to an almost medium trot, then back again. About 5 of those and he sat on his bum, and stayed on the bit in trot for the entire ride!!! Oh wait I lie, one change of rein he came above the bit and it took about 3 strides to get him back :)
Went forward on a 20m circle to a lengthened trot, always keeping the same rhythm and consistency, a few changes of rein, spirals in and out on the circle and a few trot-walk-trot transitions.

Wasn't planning on cantering him but figured he was quiet and soft enough to give it a go without my coach behind with a lunge whip. He was so responsive to my leg today, a light squeeze would move him up a gear no problem. So put him back on the 20m circle, stood over my right stirrups, hip bone forward, took my outside rein for a bit of outside flexion and POP straight into canter. His back was so much softer than the first time, enough so that I could sit on it (stayed off his back 90% though) and control direction with my weight rather than hauling on his head. He didn't fall out of canter, just a little kick would keep him up when he started going flat on me, and he started to come back and go forward and soften.

I think I found myself a good one finally!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Smart little cookie this one! He's cantering confidently under saddle now, picks up the correct lead straight off and only takes him a couple of trot strides to pick it up without even running into it.
He learnt leg yield today. Never had a horse that has picked it up so quickly! Started in walk, took him two goes at it following an open outside rein and he suddenly worked out that he has to put the breaks on, rebalance himself then step forward and sideways. After that there was no stopping him! Got it second time in trot on both reins, and in the end was leg yielding him off the wall, right to X then back again with correct bend. Absolutely thrilled with him!

I was finding that he's not too confident with stretching his neck out and down. And although I'm all for working at it by getting his hind legs going and his back coming, he is 8 and it would take a good 6 months to get him totally confident.
So I went against my beliefs and put him in a market harborough for 2 rides. Well it worked a treat. Rode Monday and today without it, and he went so sweetly for me. Put my leg on, half halted my back and straight away he offers to come onto the bit and stretch his neck. And no, he's not sucking back or breaking at the neck because of it ;)

Here's a quick happy snap of the first ride with the the market harborough. Will have to get updated ones of him going without it, the trot has improved out of sigh and he's so loose and swinging :D





No comments on the market harborough please. I'm not a fan of them hence it was used only twice. He will never see it again now that he's got the idea of where I want him ;)
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top