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How Much Is Too Much

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  • How Much Is Too Much

    To make a very long story short, the OTTB I bought off the track a few years ago is finally in a position for progress. Injuries on both of our parts delayed us until now.

    He has been under saddle again for just over a month now. I'm worried that I might be 'babying' him too much in the name of protection. In a month we have worked at least days a week (sometimes 5) for 45 min (dependent on heat and fitness) at the most. We are working on getting a very solid w/t/c. Mixed in with that foundation we have started working on forehand turns, square halts, smoother transitions, being ridden out of the ring, etc.

    All things I would like for the foundation of an event prospect. I'm very proud of him and how far he has come. (Two days ago we trailered and then rode off the property at a big show barn for the first time and he rocked it!)

    Tonight I think ill pop him over a cross rail. I think it is the right timing for it, just something more to open his brain to. He's very willing to work, learn and have fun with what we do.

    I am working with a trainer now, so no worries on that. Plus I have started many colts by myself, so I do know what I'm doing. But this guy is extra special and the very first OTTB I have retrained. While I don't want to push too hard, I also don't want to baby too much.

    For an OTTB who has been off the track for a bit, but just now going undersaddle what is generally expected of them at this point and at what rate should we progress?
    ~Over or Through~

    A Blog of Percy's Journey!

  • #2
    How old is he?

    What had you accomplished with him before the injury(s)?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      He's 12 this year. We had gotten a solid w/t/c and were about to start jumping right before the wreck. So really nothing major. But he retains what he learns like crazy and LOVES to work!
      ~Over or Through~

      A Blog of Percy's Journey!

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly, there is no good answer. They are all different and will progress slower or faster depending on the brain in their heads and who is working with them. The horses from the trainers challenge over the winter progressed at different rates, but all moved along pretty quickly under capable hands.

        Some kids are little prodigies and progress quickly, loving every new challenge. Some take a little longer. If he's happy and willing, give him new challenges in a steady progression. If something seems to make him think or make him struggle a little, hold steady until he solves the problem and is asking for more. Always end on a happy, positive note. These guys are thinkers and workers and like to have a job. They don't know how to be anything but workers!
        Amanda

        Comment


        • #5
          Ideally I like to throw in lots of poles on the ground from pretty the beginning. They might hop over little crossrails or telephone poles or whatever in the field almost every day for a while before they do anything formal. I like it be something they enjoy but aren't intimidated/ excited about.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
            Honestly, there is no good answer. They are all different and will progress slower or faster depending on the brain in their heads and who is working with them. The horses from the trainers challenge over the winter progressed at different rates, but all moved along pretty quickly under capable hands.

            Some kids are little prodigies and progress quickly, loving every new challenge. Some take a little longer. If he's happy and willing, give him new challenges in a steady progression. If something seems to make him think or make him struggle a little, hold steady until he solves the problem and is asking for more. Always end on a happy, positive note. These guys are thinkers and workers and like to have a job. They don't know how to be anything but workers!
            Pretty much this!
            Depends on the individual horse.

            I have one that came off the track August 2011, first HT October 2011, first Prelim June 2012. So he went pretty fast.
            Others not so much.

            As far as the jumping goes, I usually lunge them over little x rails made with barrels and rails in the beginning of the 2nd week. After 2/3 lunge sessions I usually start popping them over the x rails under saddle. If everything goes well, first baby x country school at 4-6 weeks .

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              He was an absolute rock star tonight! Despite the neighbor shooting guns right next to the arena (grrrr) he settled into work and acted like a big horse I popped him over a cross rail and a brush box and he was very willing, quiet, etc. I guess ill just keeping adding in new little bits and make sure to pay close attention to him. He is just SO darn willing to try, I would hate to accidently over face him!
              ~Over or Through~

              A Blog of Percy's Journey!

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm.. I thought there was a firearm ban due to fire hazzard.
                Perhaps it isn't statewide? Might call and ask the cops about that..

                He sounds like a good boy and old enough that he can handle what you're asking him to do. Just change things up so he doesn't get bored and you'll do fine.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Yes I wondered about that as well. The neighbor in question works for Ruger (I believe) so perhaps he feels entitled to try out all his goodies?

                  He is a VERY good boy. Everyday I find myself more and amazed by his willingness to learn. And yes, the moment he gets bored we have problems. I find myself doing lots and lots of change of direction, circles, serpentines, etc, to get his attention back on me!
                  ~Over or Through~

                  A Blog of Percy's Journey!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That neighbor has a seriously unwarranted sense of entitlement....

                    He will tell you if you're pushing too hard. As we both know, he's a reactive horse and is going to react if he's not comfortable with something. Listen to him and trust your judgement. I don't know the trainer well enough to say whether she would allow you to get in an uncomfortable spot, but seeing her other students I would guess no. If anything I think she would err on the side of caution.
                    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                    My equine soulmate
                    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      He's 12 not 2, just go one with it, seriously doubt you will over face him, and if you do he will tell you pretty darn quick.
                      Just solidify step 1 before moving on, don't dawdle and bore him. They are smart quick and far easier than given credit by some.

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