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Hacking out alone

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Sightunseen View Post
    So hear me out before you judge....have you tried getting him to join up? And I'm am not talking about buying a carrot stick to wave around at him. But it seems like he relies on the other horses to let him know that the world is ok. The idea of Join Up a horse is to make you that thing he turns to for reassurance. I have started doing it with my gelding that has mounting issues and it has helped tremendously.
    We also do that with all of our horses that we bring in (most OTT) although the method we use is called "Bondering". It does help IMMENSELY! You have to have a round pen to do it, but here is the info...http://marvwalker.com/
    Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
    Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

    Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


    • #22
      Originally posted by Sightunseen View Post
      So hear me out before you judge....have you tried getting him to join up? And I'm am not talking about buying a carrot stick to wave around at him. But it seems like he relies on the other horses to let him know that the world is ok. The idea of Join Up a horse is to make you that thing he turns to for reassurance. I have started doing it with my gelding that has mounting issues and it has helped tremendously.
      I agree that your horse needs to be bonded to you so that he becomes less concerned about the presence (or lack of) other horses.

      Keep in mind that TBs are never alone at the track, so it's a situation that he has not had to deal with before.

      I have had the problem you've described with several OTTBs in varying degrees.

      Here's what worked for me:
      - more turnout (this is probably hard in your situation, but mine have been out for longer)
      - no grain. Mine gets a ration balancer, free choice hay and some alfalfa. When I had to feed grain to keep weight on them, I fed Ultium. I found that a low starch feed was essential. I even had to stop feeding hay stretcher as it just wound him up.
      - lots of slow hacking. I spent months just walking out. My current horse is very hot. If I walked, he never built up a head of steam. At the beginning, when he was anxious about being alone, I often just hand walked him on the trails. If I was beside him, he didn't get so worried. I think he started to enjoy going out for walks and he started to trust me more.

      With my current OTTB it took him a long time to understand that he didn't have to be first. He did pretty well hacking out alone but was a terror in a group if he had to go behind another horse. Over time, as he started to bond more with me, he also started to trust what I wanted him to do. I started to hunt him this season and I've been thrilled that he can go in the middle of the field and still listen to me.

      Good luck!
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


      • #23
        Another thing that worked when teaching my horse to hack out alone, and still works if he has a rude day ou ton the trail, is working in the ring when you get back.

        If the horse does not behave well when out of the ring, then I work him in the ring when he gets home. If you get off, you have rewarded his bad behavior. This way, as others have said, being out in the fields becomes a respite and more appealing.

        Good luck, stay patient, and he will come around.


        • #24
          You said he was good for the first 15-20 minutes. Why not come back before he gets upset. That way the experience is positive for all. Start with shorter times (5-10 minutes) and gradually increase.