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Hey! :D

Would Natural Horsemanship work well on an OTTB? Have any of you ever used it on an OTTB? My grandpa has decided to gift me with one from the track he trains at for my birthday (was supposed to be a surprise! Lol!) I am going to give him a two month lay up time, which is when I was planning to use the Natural Horsemanship I have learned, along with the help of my own trainer (who is experienced with OTTBs) to begin building a bond with him. I have been working/riding horses for nearly 9 years now, though this is my first time with a TB fresh off the track. Any tips on how to start him up the correct way? Unfortunately, I have no other information on this horse besides the fact he is a TB and a gelding, so I'm going to assume he has ground manner issues.

Thank you!
 

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GOOD horsemanship works well with any horse regardless of what other labels are placed on it.
 

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Actually, lots of OTTBs have impeccable ground manners. Depends on who broke them and how they were handled at the track. Remember, an OTTB has been physically handled more and done more for their age than almost any other type of horse. As long as that handling was kind and non-abusive, the ground manners shouldn't be an issue. If you get an horse that went through a yearling sale, their ground manners are even better.

Since your grandfather trains, and will be picking the horse for you, I'm sure he'll pick something suitable to reclaim. I'm glad to hear it will be a gelding. I've had some issues with OTTBs that were gelded late, so I'm hoping this horse will have been gelded fairly young.

The lay up/let down time is important. Lots of turn out time if you can manage it.

Two excellent books: After the Track, by Susan Ford and Reschooling the Throroughbred Racehorse, by Peggy Jett Pittenger. Second one is somewhat dated, but still a useful reference.

Be kind, go slow, have fun.
 

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My friend has a TB cross Irish Draught. He has been broken for ages before she did some natural horsemanship with him, but when she did he was extremely well behaved and she had him doing tricks (small ones like putting his feet on a stand, but still tricks all the same) after the second day. He was so well behaved, I can't understand why she never stuck with it, but she's into really strict eventing Etc. rather than NH. Shame really, he was so intune from the word go.
 

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This post is exactly what I have been wondering, I am bringing my OTTB home Friday and her riding manners aren't the best in the world but I hope to try natural horsemanship with her on the ground to create a strong bond with her :)
 

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I just wanted to add that I got my tb after two months off the track and he had fantastic ground maners.
 

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Just as an add on, no matter what kind of training approach you choose, consistency is key. Especially coming right off the track, he'll be used to a set in stone schedule. While you dont have to keep to that (I don't think anyone wants to feed at 4 am and ride at 5 am, lol), do make sure that you give him something to lean on emotionally while he's adjusting to a new life.
 

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Starting in late March, I will be working to train a fresh off the track Arabian. I know that you are getting a TB, but our cases are similar in that both horses will be OTT. I've never trained an OTT before so I'm really excited and a little nervous. I plan to use the methods of Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship for his training. Like others have said, I think consistency is the most important thing. Also, you mentioned that you will be giving the horse some time off before starting to work with him. I would encourage you to go ahead and start working with him as soon as you get him. Think about it. Here he will be coming off the track where he has worked very hard every day. To suddenly have nothing to do for a couple weeks, he may not know what to do with himself. Go ahead and start doing the ground work with him right from the start. That's what I plan to do. Let him know that his job might have changed, but he still has to work.

Good luck.

Jubilee
 

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I have an OTTB and remember that they where trained to run not walk happily along the trail. I sudgest that you let him have 6 months to just be a horse in the pasture, spend time with him, let him loose all his track muscles and gain some weight. Oh, and remember that track horses are usually trained to run faster the harder you pull on the bit. And trust in EVERYTHING!
 
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