I have a good OTTB who raced until he was almost 6. I took him off the track. He is about to turn 16.
He is sensitive but responsive and responds to voice aids nicely.
A friend had two pre-teens who wanted to meet him. I tacked him up and got on and trotted him around. He was fine.
I put a longing cavesson on him and the reins tied up. I put the first kid up (with a helmet of course), adjusted her stirrups and told her to hold onto the pommel strap while I started to lead him away from the mounting block.
He came unglued. The girl did a great job of following my instructions (look up-hold on-sit back) and I was able to calm him down.
We then went on to longe on a small circle at the walk doing arm exercises and he was fine.
The only thing I can think was that he thought I had tossed a jockey onto his back.
Anyone have any similar experience?
A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton
Hard to tell wat happened. Did the rider maybe goose him unintentionally? Did she hist has back hard?
My old lease horse was used in lessons and usually he started VERY sluggish, like he'd go backward when you asked him to trot the first time. One day he was in a lesson with a girl who'd never ridden him and she was barely in the tack when he lost it and bucked her off. I still have no iea what she did to set him off but he didn't settle down when she got back on and after 5 minutes the instructor swapped him out for a quieter mount. Instructor called me and asked if I could come out and hop on him after work and try to figure it out. he was fine for me, so I still don't know.
One OTTB's story though. Titus' owner once let my son (who was about 7) hop on Ti after a jump school. Ti was tired and ready for some handwalking so we let the boy sit on him (with a helmet!) and I took the near rein (with a hand on boy's leg) and his owner took the other side. Ti was generally very quiet after work and easy to lead. We got about halfway around the ring and he started to get very animated, doing a sort of pre-race strut. I asked the owner to let go of the rein on the off side and just walk with Ti and he settled down. I wonder if being led from both sides brought back track memories and he got all "jiggy-joggy?" It was the only time I ever saw him do such a thing.
Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique
I got a report that my old OTTB mare would get very animated when she heard "Call to the Post". Her new home was near an old Calvery Post in Texas and they would do reinactments. The mare only raced about 4 times, but she remembered!
Obviously there is no way to know for sure what is going on in their brains but I would doubt it was because he thought a jockey was on his back. It could have been any number of things that set him off. I am glad the kid was ok and he settled back down again.
I am glad things ended well as well. I thought perhaps it was because she probably weighed what a jockey weighed. I am not jockey sized!
I would think it is not her size but having someone leading him off, if it's a 'track flashback.'
And Lucky apparently went moderately nuts when a house across the street was having an estate sale that involved a PA system. He apparent went running full tilt around the pasture, tail up, which he never does.
The family who has our "old man", stakeswinner and retired at 10 campaigner of over 80 races, told us this past rememberance day the bugle on the radio had his complete attention and turned him as solid as a statue in his stall listening to it play. With some, you can take the horse off the track but not the track out of the horse.