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View Full Version : Calming the hot green tb jumper..tips please.



HobbyHorse101
Jul. 5, 2009, 09:00 PM
I have a nine year old thoroughbred gelding that I got and have been re-training for about a year. He's great on the ground I've worked alot on in hand stuff with him. He is fun to ride but he is hot, very very hot. I can ride him no problem, but I'm looking to sell him and well the buyers that have come to look at him, he's just to hot for. They love him, because he is great looking and loveable, but I'll ride him and you can see he's a little hot, but then the buyer will get on and they are nervous and he just gets nervous. I've had plenty of other people on him and he has even given a walk/trot lesson (After I had ridden him) and he was fantastic but it is hard to sell a horse that few can ride.

I've noticed that he'll act like he's spooky, shake his head when they ask him to do something, popping up acting like he wants to rear when they ask him to canter, and he'll throw a fit when they ask for his left to right lead changes. He likes to run down the lines with them and most have had alot of problems slowing him down.

I ride him in a french link loose ring with a running martingale and I am able to ride him on a loose rein and have him go off my leg and seat more than anything, and I tell them this before they get on. But most are just hanging on his mouth and that is something he won't put up with.

So anytips on helping him stay calmer when buyers come to look at him would be greatly appreciated (Oh and I always ride him for the buyer before they even get on..and I stick with a warm up he would have if it was just me riding.) :yes:

indygirl2560
Jul. 5, 2009, 10:23 PM
I was tuning up a 12yr old TB jumper that sounds just like your horse. The only cure I've found for a horse like that is a calm rider, that isn't bothered by a hot, nervy horse. You could trying calming supplements, but it all comes down to simply finding the right rider.

HobbyHorse101
Jul. 5, 2009, 11:15 PM
Darn, I was afraid of that. My dad is making me thin down the string of horses, and well he is a talented guy, but what is the poor guy to do when he's a hottie. :D I like him he's so fun to ride but I had a pony that has pulled every trick known to ponies..so when he trys it all I just ride him right on through. I'm not a fan of the calming with meds. I tried out a horse that was drugged (By my very own ex. trainer) and when I rode him not drugged he took off and slammed into three other horses after a baby 2' fence.

I'll just nose around till I find some kid with guts and a calm attitude :winkgrin:

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Jul. 5, 2009, 11:24 PM
It seems like whenever you try to sell a horse, everyone who comes out thinks they are a much better rider than they really are. I've had really awesome packer horses for sale that people just could not ride! If some people think that its hard to find a good horse... really its much harder for a horse to find a good rider! I feel so sorry for horses!

There are (at least) two categories of hot horses: some hot horses are the type where if you trot around for an hour in a long and low frame they quiet down and get into a meditative mood.

For some hot horses, this makes them more hot! These guys respond better to lots of walking because they get more excited when the heart starts pumping and the veins start sticking out- so more work especially cantering and stuff makes them hotter! So you have to figure out what kind of hot horse you have. And cater your work out to that.

Also, hot horses often need to be worked twice a day! And they need to get out EVERY day. Miss a day and your back to square one!

These horses are very smart, overachievers so you have to be equal to that. Teach them tricks! And reward with sugar. Teach them to lay down, spanish walk, whatever and reward them after. Also do lots of "halts" and give sugar after they halt and are immobile, and gradually make the halt cue softer and softer. Once you do that they will be looking for ways to please you and will be paying more attention to you and thinking of ways to get the sugar from you. They will not be paying attention to all the scary things around them, the horses galloping around, the dogs running, the loud wind... Their ever so cleaver mind will be keyed into you and the present. It really works! Give lots of pats inbetween, be very loving, be sure to say "good boy!" when you give a treat, so eventually you don't have to give a treat EVERY time and the horse will know "good boy" is the same thing as treat. And like Pavlov's dogs their body will go into the "eating" state, endorphins, they feel good, and are calmer.

You are lucky to have a hot horse, you just have to shape their mind and make all that energy go into pleasing you!

Coppers mom
Jul. 5, 2009, 11:44 PM
What's he eating? Did you get a full vetting done when you bought him?

*jumper*
Jul. 5, 2009, 11:56 PM
I work with a pony who is absolutely nutso. She'll get to the point where I have to shut down our ride and let her stand (she only walks in the beginning, after that she prances or does some weird walk/trot). She will literally stand there shaking for awhile, simply because she's so riled up to go. I've known her for years and she's always been this way, is ridden by a talented jr who wins pretty much every jumper class up to 3'6" on this thing, so there's no need to change her. I just ride her with the mindset of patience, patience, and patience. She is who she is, and this has really helped me with the hot TB's, who can really frustrate me. Riding the pony has allowed me to adopt an attitude of "I know you'd really like to explode/sprint/hop up and down/etc right now, but I'm going to keep riding softly and ignore that." Eventually, she'll pick up on the fact that I'm totally unfazed by her excitement and will take some deep breaths and chill a little. It's really tough with the TBs because you do have that issue of nervous riders, and I think they're always going to affect that horse. Ideally, you just have to find the rider who can give the horse the same patient ride you are.

Give the horse confidence (which you seem to be doing), and hopefully consistent, even boring rides (over and over a jump or down a line again and again until he's bored out of his mind) will cool him down a bit. Reinforce any ensuing calmness. If he goes down a line ho-hum and canters nicely away, be sure to let him know how happy you are. Like cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony said, these horses are extremely intelligent (most of them anyway!) and thrive on that feedback. Consistency is key! Good luck with him!

Dixon
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:17 PM
So anytips on helping him stay calmer when buyers come to look at him would be greatly appreciated (Oh and I always ride him for the buyer before they even get on..and I stick with a warm up he would have if it was just me riding.) :yes:

Be honest with your prospective buyers about how hot he is, and what kind of a ride he requires. You can't magically cover it up. If they don't know how hot he is when they try him out, they're in for a very rude awakening when they get him home. Next the buyer will be posting here on the BB about how they felt deceived and maybe the horse was drugged when they tried it, blah blah blah.

sp56
Jul. 6, 2009, 01:38 PM
I agree with the notion that a lot of people think they're a much better rider than they actually are. It's frustrating when trying to sell a hotter horse...

If he lives in a stall, try turning him out at night if you can. Worked wonders for my hotter mare. You can try Magnesium/B supplements but those have a varying degree of effectiveness. Cut out the alfalfa (if he gets any - that's like crack for some TBs) and keep the grain low. High fat, low protein.

Can't help you with the people who are coming to look at him. When the right person shows up, he'll let you know and they'll be able to ride him well. :)

oliversgirl
Jul. 6, 2009, 02:05 PM
There are (at least) two categories of hot horses: some hot horses are the type where if you trot around for an hour in a long and low frame they quiet down and get into a meditative mood.

For some hot horses, this makes them more hot! These guys respond better to lots of walking because they get more excited when the heart starts pumping and the veins start sticking out- so more work especially cantering and stuff makes them hotter! So you have to figure out what kind of hot horse you have. And cater your work out to that.





This is extremely true! I have one of the second kinds, and the only thing that helps him relax and come back to Earth is to do A TON of walk-halt transitions and let his heart rate slow down. Our warm up is usually a WALK- lots of circles and halting. Also, when you stop a hot horse- DO NOT let him walk again or move forward UNTIL he lets out a deep breath. It took 5-10 minutes on my guy at first, now he lets it out within a minute and it has changed him so much for the better.

Bogie
Jul. 6, 2009, 02:11 PM
More turnout is good. A calm rider is probably essential.

I do not agree with the low protein. It's starch that makes a horse hot, not protein.

As for Alfalfa, I'm not sure I agree with that, either.

I have a hot TB. He lives out 24/7, gets some alfalfa daily (pellets and cubes as it helps prevent ulcers), gets free choice grass hay and a ration balancer. It took me some time to come up with the right feeding program and I did find that he was hotter on some commercial complete products but that was because of the amount of starch.

My horse definitely keys off the rider so someone who is anxious or who has an "electric butt" is not going to do well with him.





If he lives in a stall, try turning him out at night if you can. Worked wonders for my hotter mare. You can try Magnesium/B supplements but those have a varying degree of effectiveness. Cut out the alfalfa (if he gets any - that's like crack for some TBs) and keep the grain low. High fat, low protein.

sp56
Jul. 6, 2009, 02:42 PM
More turnout is good. A calm rider is probably essential.

I do not agree with the low protein. It's starch that makes a horse hot, not protein.

As for Alfalfa, I'm not sure I agree with that, either.

I have a hot TB. He lives out 24/7, gets some alfalfa daily (pellets and cubes as it helps prevent ulcers), gets free choice grass hay and a ration balancer. It took me some time to come up with the right feeding program and I did find that he was hotter on some commercial complete products but that was because of the amount of starch.

My horse definitely keys off the rider so someone who is anxious or who has an "electric butt" is not going to do well with him.

I've never heard that alfalfa helps with ulcers, but I do know that for some horses it makes them nutso. I work with a horse right now that brightens significantly with one flake of alfalfa a day. Right diet is key though for any horse in training so it may be something the OP should consider playing with.

And oops, meant to say keep the sugar intake low. :D

Bogie
Jul. 6, 2009, 03:41 PM
Here you go -- Research from Texas A&M on feeding Alfalfa

Feeding Alfalfa Beneficial for Ulcer-Prone Horses (http://equineink.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/feeding-alfalfa-beneficial-for-ulcer-prone-horses/)

Alfalfa both helps prevent ulcers and can help horses that already have them. It has not made my TB hot and I feed 1.25 lb of alfalfa pellets in the morning and about 2 lbs of alfalfa/timothy cubes (soaked) at night.



I've never heard that alfalfa helps with ulcers, but I do know that for some horses it makes them nutso. I work with a horse right now that brightens significantly with one flake of alfalfa a day. Right diet is key though for any horse in training so it may be something the OP should consider playing with.

And oops, meant to say keep the sugar intake low. :D

sp56
Jul. 6, 2009, 03:55 PM
Hmm interesting study. 3lbs of alfalfa a day doesn't seem like much though - not enough to make a horse out in a field nutty. When I think of feeding horses alfalfa, I'm thinking pounds of flakes.

Will look into that more, however.

magnolia73
Jul. 6, 2009, 04:06 PM
I ride him in a french link loose ring with a running martingale and I am able to ride him on a loose rein and have him go off my leg and seat more than anything, and I tell them this before they get on. But most are just hanging on his mouth and that is something he won't put up with.

I have a quiet TB, very calm and a very good girl. She is not nutso, electric or crazy. If you hang on her face she gets mad and strong. If people won't ride on a long rein, there might not be much you can do but wait for a rider to come along who doesn't hang on his mouth. Perhaps noting in the ad "requires an experienced rider with soft hands".

All I can think of is get other people (who are not buyers) to ride him for you. I let all sorts of people ride Niki. I give pony rides on her, and let other riders hack her for me. It might help to desensitize him somewhat to different people on his back.

irishmusic
Jul. 6, 2009, 04:30 PM
Calming down a hot TB -

1. First check the food, and yes, protein rich food will make a TB hot. Protein not immediately used will be converted to calories. I have had 2 OTTB's for which thhis was an issue.

2. LUNGE! Lunge, lunge, lunge! Lots of trot work is good for setting the stage for other work and builds muscles. Also wears them out some and allows them to focus more.

3. Walk and trot work under saddle. Work on leg yields and bending. Lots of circles. You need to focus a TB's mind, and by doing so put them to work.

RugBug
Jul. 6, 2009, 04:59 PM
I agree with the notion that a lot of people think they're a much better rider than they actually are. It's frustrating when trying to sell a hotter horse...


To be fair, they may be decent riders that just haven't ridden enough different types of horses to really know if they are a 'can ride any horse' or 'needs a specific type of horse' good rider. Sure, we'd all like to be in the first category, but many of us aren't.

To the OP: Just be straight in the ad or the phone calls. Tell them the horse needs a calm, confident rider who isn't going to be afraid of a hot horse.

Re Alfalfa: Alfalfa is high in calcium. Calcium is often used in antacids thus its use in ulcer treatment.

And yes, it CAN make a horse hot. I can tell with my WB in about a week. He gets spooky, hot, super reactive, etc. It usually means he's been sharing his finicky eating neighbor's hay.

shawneeAcres
Jul. 6, 2009, 08:23 PM
I have a young (5 yr old) somewhat green TB gelding for sale, and he is ANYTHING but hot! However, he needs a soft ride, someone who is both light on his back and some light contact. I have had several people ride him, some better than others, but have found that he will NOT tolerate the deep seated person who uses a LOT of contact. Had soemone try him this past weekend. THe girl who regularly rides him rode him first and he was WONDERFUL, looked as good as I ahve ever seen him. The woman trying him got on and immediately you could see the change in him. To his credit he did not get nasty, pin his ears kick out or anything like that but he was obviously perterbed. She rode him a bit walk/trot and he was alright, cantered one way and could tell he wasn't totally happy. Then she changed direction and cantered, he took the wrong lead and she did not correct him. In effect he ran off with her. Not in a mean way but more like he was really worried. He never did kick out or anything just ran around the ring about 5 times, not TOTALLY out of control, but he just seemed to be worried enough that she wasn't getting thru to him, and I could tell she was close to panicing. When I would step towards him as coming down the rail he would slow a good bit, but I know better than to grab for the reins! After doing that twice he stopped and was TOTALLY Ok, not upset, its' like he figured out that, well, he didn't like her riding BUT that it wasn't going to kill him. She rode him a few more minutes just walk trot and someone who came with her rode him a bit walk/trot and he was totally relaxed and fine. So I am glad he didn't "lose it" when a LOT of horses I know would have! But even so it goes to show how important the RIGHT ride is, particularly on a greenie!!

Coppers mom
Jul. 6, 2009, 11:36 PM
Here you go -- Research from Texas A&M on feeding Alfalfa

Feeding Alfalfa Beneficial for Ulcer-Prone Horses (http://equineink.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/feeding-alfalfa-beneficial-for-ulcer-prone-horses/)

Alfalfa both helps prevent ulcers and can help horses that already have them. It has not made my TB hot and I feed 1.25 lb of alfalfa pellets in the morning and about 2 lbs of alfalfa/timothy cubes (soaked) at night.

Not negating your experience with your horse, but my barn deals with 15-20 different horses a year, and yes, some get very hot while on Alfalfa. For some, there's a certain poundage they can handle, for others, even just a pound a day will make them ultra sensitive. We've had some that get just a little more eager, and others who go into full blown "Don't touch me" mode where even just a pat on the shoulder invokes flinching and bouncing around. Just because your horse doesn't get hot on less than 3 pounds a day doesn't mean that no other horse will.

HobbyHorse101
Jul. 7, 2009, 01:29 PM
He lives outside in a brome pasture, with a very large lean to as a shelter, so he's getting plenty turnout. No grain just grass, and they fertilize and re-seed the brome twice a year. I didn't get him vetted until after I bought him for a mere $500 but we had the vet come out and he say nothing wrong. He has great conformation and sound as sound can be legs. He was retired from the turf track after ten races as he was a bleeder, but with good conditioning I have never noticed it, and I've taken him out cross country.

He is in between the two hott horses, he can trot for hours and if its just trotting he's perfect even if you're having him trot ground poles. But once he canters and starts to jump thats when he really showsush how hot he can be.
He leg yeilds at the walk and trot, has a constant bend, stays round, has a collected and extended walk and trot, and I'm currently working on finishing teaching him changes and shoulder/haunches in. He does work best when you give him something to work on and loves to learn something new. He's great on the ground I taught him how to pivot, back walk/trot halts and move with just body language, and he can do in hand with no lead..

I try to be as honest as I can with buyers that come to look at him and tell them everything that he does and when and how I am able to ride him through.
I'll work with getting him worked more, and different people on him. Thanks for the great tips everyone!