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OTTB - Canter problems

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  • OTTB - Canter problems

    I have a 4 yr old OTTB mare that I am retraining right now. Her last race was in June and I got her in July. She gets turned out during the day and in a stall at night. I rode her a few times in August and September but have mostly just given her time to chill until the beginning of november. First few times I rode her all she wanted to do was run and buck, now she will walk and trot quietly on a loose rein or on very light contact. She does gradual w-t-h-w-t transitions, backs up and has been walking and trotting quietly over poles and very small cross rails. I can trail ride her around the farm at a walk and she went to her first show this past weekend to chill and hang out and was pretty good.

    My problem is the canter. I have cantered her a few times and she was pretty good. Not too fast and coming back to a walk fairly easily. The last few times I have tried to canter have been very very fast and she has been trying to buck again. She tries to cut in and there are jumps in the ring so I have to steer however she seems to take the contact as me telling her to run. If I give her head and try to get her to relax she tries to buck and I have no desire to get bucked off at that speed. Most things I have read about people with similar problems says to only let them canter for a few strides and then bring them back however I cant get her to stop at all, she just gets faster. I hate to try to canter her on such a small circle (because of where the jumps are) so I go around the outside of the ring but I cant let her do that anymore either because she gets going so fast I feel like she is going to fall around the turn. I have lunged her at a walk and trot a little bit but not the canter because I dont feel like I can hold on to her. I dont try to canter that often because there are usually other people riding in the ring at the same time as me and I don't want to make them stop what they are doing so I can gallop around for 10 minutes before I can stop her. At the walk and trot she is fine with the other horses and is fine with them cantering around and jumping.

    I have riden a lot of OTTBs however I have never started one straight from the track so I am still trying to figure out the best way to re-teach her. I have made a ton of progress with her in a fairly short amount of time (she has probably only had about 30 rides on her if that) considering I used to get on her and she would bolt and then I would get her stopped and she would walk about 10 steps and rinse and repeat. So I am definitely super happy with her progress but I am not sure the best way to go about fixing the canter. She has been trotting jumps pretty well now and definitely understands leg and rein at the walk and trot. I feel like I'm kinda at a standstill until I can at least somewhat control the canter. I dont want to jump anymore until I have the canter under control because I dont want her to jump it and canter away (right now they are small enough she just pops over them and keeps trotting) and learn she can gallop away from the jumps.

    Another side note is that I have mostly just been cantering to the right. She picks up her right lead and not her left (odd, I know) and when we try to canter left she gets very upset around the turns because she is so off balance. She is pretty supple to both directions but I have been mostly working on just staying straight and keeping it simple until she fully understands the leg and hand completely.

    another side note I thought I should mention.

    Something that just started about a week and half ago is that she has been rooting against the bit a little bit and cocking her head to the right. I had her in a single jointed rubber snaffle when she started this so I switched thinking that maybe the single joint had started to bother her for some reason. I put her in a fat french link loose ring snaffle but she has continued to do it. I could understand her rooting if I had contact on her mouth but she does this when the reins are loose. She puts her head down until she hits my hands and cocks her head to the side and opens her mouth. If I keep giving her more rein so she doesnt hit the bit she ends up trotting with her nose dragging in the dirt with me holding the buckle. She mostly just does this at the trot not too much at the walk. My saddle fits her, she had her teeth done in July and the dentist said they werent that sharp in the back anyway. I have not had a chiropractor or massage therapist out to see her but she does not seem sore anywhere although she is tense in her back sometimes. I will probably end up having the dentist back out to double check her teeth but I wanted to see if anyone else has had similiar issues.

  • #2
    A couple of things:

    1. I think you are right to be looking at the head cocking/rooting with suspicion. It sounds like there might be some kind of physical issue there that you have not found yet.

    2. It sounds like your primary issue at the canter is that she is really unbalanced. This can make them get fast and can also scare/frustrate them into some bucking. When I first got my horse a few weeks off the track, he would buck occasionally in the canter, especially right after or during the transition into the canter. He was also very heavy on the forehand, a bit fast, and his preferred method of picking up the canter was to launch into it like he was breaking from a starting gate, lol. I think this is kind of typical of a horse off the track. We just kept working through it slowly day by day until he built up the balance and muscles to canter more correctly. I did not canter for long periods of time, made a lot of large (half ring) circles, and generally tried to stay off his back and in a place that kept me out of his way so that he could find his own balance. I avoided small circles. That said, I think some very limited lunging at the canter can be beneficial if she seems mentally okay with it. They can kind of learn to balance themselves on a circle without a rider getting in the way.

    But I really would look into that head tilt/rooting and what might be causing it. That in itself could be causing a lot of your issues.

    Good luck! It is fun figuring out a new horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      On the track, they do not have much use for canter. They walk. They trot, they gallop and they run. They don't know nuthin 'bout no canter or the collection that helps produce it. Fact when you pull, they go faster-racers run into the bit, they don't collect and stay off of it on light contact.

      She does not know how to do what you are asking. Really has no idea. And the bucking? Probably feeling alot better then she was and letting you know she does not care for your program-you can't allow it or she will learn it's an option.

      I really think that lunging in side reins goes a long way towards helping them find their balance and learn to properly accept the bit. 10 minutes each way then get on.

      Don't do alot of halts and down transitions-she is not ready yet and gets confused. You say go then you want to slow or stop? Pisses them off. Try to just let her go forward for awhile without messing with it. Then you keep going forward and pick up a little contact with alot of leg. Avoid halting or slowing every time you touch the reins.

      She just does not know how to accept the bit any more then she does canter. It will come in time but it's going to take more then 30 rides.

      Wouldn't hurt to get her teeth checked again and make sure the bits don't pinch her or scare her with too many moving parts. But mostly she probably just doesn't know what she is supposed to do...and may be a little lost and that makes them nervous.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly this sounds pretty normal. It's the rare OTTB that feels balanced and good at the canter right away, not that I'm the most experienced person in the world, but the ones I have ridden are more often than not like what you describe.

        So first things first - do not consider this bad or a failure or even a "problem." You just have an unbalanced young horse who has to learn to use herself differently and figure out her legs.

        I'm not sure I should offer direct advice here because this is not one of my strong points.

        I will say that cantering for a few strides and then stopping is probably not what I would do. I think pushing forward and letting the horse find a rhythm is probably a better approach, and less annoying to a TB. I've found using a circle and holding my hands wide and concentrating first and foremost on ME (sitting straight, hands level, contact consistent), and ignoring whatever paddlewheeling is happening beneath me, while always thinking forward, is the way to go.

        Maybe that's the wrong approach, dunno. The best person I can think of to answer this is jleegriffith, maybe she'll chime in

        I just wanted to point out that what you're experiencing is totally normal, at least in my experience.

        Lunging with side reins or something like a pessoa rig may also help a ton as it takes you out of the equation a bit.
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.

        Comment


        • #5
          I read this asking myself, "Where is the lunging?". An OTTB is a specialist in racing; they know only what they need to run. You want a riding horse. One that knows the advanced skills of balance under saddle while moving in a circle. One who can accept the bit. So with the list of what your want your finished horse to do, the only things your baby knows is how to carry a rider primarily in a straight line and really wide turns.

          I'd go way back to basics lunging in sliding side reins so she learns to balance herself, not standard sidereins she can brace against.

          I would have the chiropractor look at her because the reason she is stiff to the left could be soreness due to lack of development on her left side. Some horses are onesided and you have to recognize it and really work to develop the weaker side.
          ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
          Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

          "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm really a little flummoxed at how the OP is supposed to teach this horse not to lean into and run into the bit without doing downward transitions to teach the horse what she wants. Getting run away with at the trot because going slow "pisses the horse off" just teaches the horse she can pick the speed. No, the RIDER picks the speed, and the horse learns to accept it. That is training as opposed to being a passenger.

            OK, so the horse doesn't understand half halts. That does not mean to never do a half halt, it means it is time to install one so the horse DOES understand half halts. Under the theory that you find which dishes are dirty and wash THOSE, not wipe down the counter that is already clean.

            OK, so how do you INSTALL one?
            Trot ->walk -> trot. (ie, "full" halt)
            Then, trot -> hesitation -> trot.
            Then trot -> rebalanced trot.

            OP:
            1. Get a lateral response first. You can knock a horse over side to side, not front to back.
            *So, leg yield right, leg yield left. Doesn't have to be text book, just press the spine over from one of you legs to the other. Get a little answer, and then get the other little answer. Back and forth up the longsides.
            *Do counter bent circles both direction so the horse is moving off your LEG to steer.
            *Ride serpentines and get the "switch" from one bend to the other precise, prompt, and light light light.

            2. Now get a front to back response.
            Walk -> halt.
            Walk -> halt.
            Walk -> halt.
            Until it is light light light.

            Then install half halts as previously described.

            Put it together and ride a serpentine with downward transitions on center line.

            Add 10m circles into the end loops of each serpentine.

            3. Trot up to a little cross rail, canter away, and transition down on a straight line. Stand on her head and MEAN IT if you need to. Also, it helps to jump the crossrail into the short side as opposed to away from it so that if she does try to run off all you have to do is keep her straight and the wall will help stop her.
            If she is pulling through your downward transition, back up (nicely) a few steps and then go back to a circle with more trot/walk/trot.
            Then try to trot the cross rail again.
            Repeat until you get a nice series of down ward transitions (trot->walk->halt) before the turn after the jump.

            4. Then allow the canter to continue around the turn and do a downward transition series in the short side.

            5. Gradually extend canter stretches. When your downwards are really nice and light you can start asking for the canter without the jump to help.


            This works.
            In less than 30 rides.
            It is systematic and progressive and it builds the skills the horse will need from one building block to the next. It is easy for the rider to understand and to implement.
            You dot each i and cross each t along the way and then when you get to your canter voila, it is right there waiting for you.

            Somebody asked me recently about a horse, "What did you DO to fix this horse??!"
            I said, "We just installed brakes."
            "Yes but HOW?"
            This is how.
            Last edited by meupatdoes; Dec. 7, 2011, 02:26 PM.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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            Comment


            • #7
              I too would say lunge in side reins to help her balance in the canter and accept contact without putting you in a bad spot. I think I would get rid of the thick bit....TB's have small mouths and the thick bits fill the mouth too much and may add to the rooting tilting issue. I also agree with not so many transitions yet as her balance is not great and the start go is going boggle her mind and annoy her. This may be what has produced the rooting tilting ...her way to express her displeasure. Perhaps ride shapes in the ring and teach stepping over off your leg so you can then step her into standing up in the cornors. You are making head way but with these horses you need to make haste slowly.....its a backwards forward progression. It is time to step back to lunging.....it will be a go to place on and off over your re training adventure. You might want to explore a lower energy food....some of them really go off their noodle with feed and more disciplined work so low energy food may be your friend. Don't try cantering on her back for awhile....get it taught on the lunge for now and if need be use a small circle to keep her slower....every time she gets faster decrease the circle a little bit keeping in mind too small leads to scrambling and moving the feet fast. When she slows let her go on a larger circle until she speeds up again....might be a good time to teach her a voice command like "sloooowww" as this will help you not do too much face grabbing when you are on. Circles and serpintines are also your friend at all times. Good luck with her and I love the fact that you are using your head with her and working thru the issues. It will take sometime as she has been taught to be very different than what you want her to be.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                i agree thats its a pretty normal issue but i wasnt sure the best way to go about fixing it. If i let her go forward she ends up going so fast that she is taking about 3 strides on the short side of a 200' x100' indoor and feels like she is going to fall down. i know she is unbalanced and i do think that is part of why she keeps speeding up so i wasnt sure if a circle would her or not. I haven't lunged her at the canter because the only place i have to lunge her is in the ring with the jumps and i would have to keep her contained in a fairly small area. My worry on lungeing her at the canter is if i cant keep her on that small circle i am going to have to let go because she will end up going around a jump and letting go is the last thing that i want to do.

                I do agree that more basics done on the lunge are the best way to start them off but i don't really feel as though i have that option right now and waiting until spring is not an option either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok, I have been having very similar problems with my OTTB gelding.
                  I was trying every trick in my book to get the left lead... no avail. He was constantly picking up the right lead! I subscribed to 'MyVirtualEventingCoach.com', sent in my detailed question.. and among other things, Lesley (the coach) mentioned that the way I was aiding for canter was off. I was keeping my weight to the outside, which was totally wrong. Instead, esp. for a green OTTB, I should STEP into my inside stirrup and seatbone, almost to the point of pulling my outside shoulder back while pushing my weight to the inside.

                  Well, I tried this last night, and had two perfect left canter transitions in a row.
                  Talk about a DOH!! moment!! But hopefully mine can help you

                  About the speed- he definitely is the same where he would just run around like a reckless fool (head down, bucking, etc) if I just gave him his head. Soo, we just start with a 1/2 circle, then build up to 3/4, then full circle, then arena, etc. He is cantering well to the right now without being a nutso I would also only ask for canter going into a corner, so that you aren't facing her towards the wide open.

                  Anyway let me know if the aid thing applies or works!
                  Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                  Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                  Take us to print!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also just a note about the lunging. I would not suggest this if you already have reservations about it. It might be right for some horses, but not others. Esp. if she really is that unbalanced, lunging in a small arena with obstacles could cause a sharp turn and/or a fall.

                    I don't lunge P at the canter for the same reasons.
                    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                    Take us to print!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't lunge at the canter for an OTTB. They are typically NOT strong enough to hold a canter and especially not hold a canter on small circle.

                      Get off her back, up into a two point. Go around the outside of the ring. Rate her from the two point asking for a stride or two of canter. Yes it will be faster...but work slowly on getting a more balanced canter from within what she has. Staying off her back makes sure you are not sending with your seat and sending mixed signals. It is "safe" for them. Use the end of the ring to help you balance...and if she gets too quick, transition back to the trot, re-balance, then ask for the canter.

                      Transitions are you friend...although they will be a bit rough for a while.

                      Slowly work with that to get her up off her forehand (through transitions) and slowly understanding a half halt. Remember---PULLIng means go faster to them. So make sure you are not contributing to the issue. You have to teach the half halt first at the W/T...and then while she is "cantering". Remember with a half halt...you have to let go

                      Use the transitions in and out of the canter to help get her stronger...and get a few steps of slower more balanced canter at a time. Reward her each time she does a step or two. A lot of this is timing...and LOTS of half halts.

                      If she is cutting in...you need to also work on teaching her how to move off your leg. Baby leg yields. Do this at the walk at first but it will carry over.

                      It takes time.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What meupatdoes said

                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                        I'm really a little flummoxed at how the OP is supposed to teach this horse not to lean into and run into the bit without doing downward transitions to teach the horse what she wants. Getting run away with at the trot because going slow "pisses the horse off" just teaches the horse she can pick the speed. No, the RIDER picks the speed, and the horse learns to accept it. That is training as opposed to being a passenger.

                        OK, so the horse doesn't understand half halts. That does not mean to never do a half halt, it means it is time to install one so the horse DOES understand half halts. Under the theory that you find which dishes are dirty and wash THOSE, not wipe down the counter that is already clean.

                        OK, so how do you INSTALL one?
                        Trot ->walk -> trot. (ie, "full" halt)
                        Then, trot -> hesitation -> trot.
                        Then trot -> rebalanced trot.

                        You can also do a similar exercise (same idea) at the trot on a 20m circle, with 4 equally-spaced cones.
                        1. Halt at every second cone.
                        2. Then hesitate or pause at every second cone instead of fully halting - 'pause' your body (I think of it as subtly pulling my belly button in with a breath, subtly pulling my shoulders back a slight degree, and holding that breath - just for an instant), close your hands, then when you feel that hesitation from her, release by opening your hands.
                        Your arms should not be pulling back, your hands should simply open and close. This should be very brief, as you pass that one cone.
                        You can later increase the challenge by doing this at every cone, then on a 10m circle (way down the road).


                        OP:
                        1. Get a lateral response first. You can knock a horse over side to side, not front to back.
                        *So, leg yield right, leg yield left. Doesn't have to be text book, just press the spine over from one of you legs to the other. Get a little answer, and then get the other little answer. Back and forth up the longsides.
                        *Do counter bent circles both direction so the horse is moving off your LEG to steer.
                        *Ride serpentines and get the "switch" from one bend to the other precise, prompt, and light light light.

                        I would also add turns on the haunches and turns on the forehand for shoulder and haunch control and responsiveness to your leg. If you get her moving off your leg proficiently, you can ride her inside leg to outside rein. This will allow you to start balancing the trot and eventually the canter.


                        2. Now get a front to back response.
                        Walk -> halt.
                        Walk -> halt.
                        Walk -> halt.
                        Until it is light light light.

                        Then install half halts as previously described.

                        Put it together and ride a serpentine with downward transitions on center line.

                        Add 10m circles into the end loops of each serpentine. <---- one of my personal favourite progressive exercises.

                        3. Trot up to a little cross rail, canter away, and transition down on a straight line. Stand on her head and MEAN IT if you need to. Also, it helps to jump the crossrail into the short side as opposed to away from it so that if she does try to run off all you have to do is keep her straight and the wall will help stop her.
                        If she is pulling through your downward transition, back up (nicely) a few steps and then go back to a circle with more trot/walk/trot.
                        Then try to trot the cross rail again.
                        Repeat until you get a nice series of down ward transitions (trot->walk->halt) before the turn after the jump.

                        4. Then allow the canter to continue around the turn and do a downward transition series in the short side.

                        5.
                        Gradually extend canter stretches. When your downwards are really nice and light you can start asking for the canter without the jump to help.

                        As you develop your trot you can start to ask for more canter and start to also influence and develop your canter.

                        This works.
                        In less than 30 rides.
                        It is systematic and progressive and it builds the skills the horse will need from one building block to the next. It is easy for the rider to understand and to implement.
                        You dot each i and cross each t along the way and then when you get to your canter voila, it is right there waiting for you.
                        All of it. I added my own $0.02 in bolded paragraphs. OP, she might be rooting around because of a physical issue (check that) or should could be tired at that point in her session (especially with a tense back) and thus lowering her nose to the ground to passively carry your weight and thus rest sore muscles. Be sure to ask for only what she is capable and while you should allow periods of stretching and relaxation (very important), other times you can also close your hands as she goes to go down and allow her to hit the end of the rein - even give her a little bump as she hits the end, and apply a little leg.

                        Remember the training scale in all this and seek out a quality classical dressage instructor. It starts with relaxation, rhythm, suppleness. Your goal should be to use exercises that encourage such (and the rest of the training scale as you progress) and then to simply guide, shape, and refine what the horse gives as it progresses.
                        ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                          I'm really a little flummoxed at how the OP is supposed to teach this horse not to lean into and run into the bit without doing downward transitions to teach the horse what she wants. Getting run away with at the trot because going slow "pisses the horse off" just teaches the horse she can pick the speed. No, the RIDER picks the speed, and the horse learns to accept it. That is training as opposed to being a passenger.

                          Agreed

                          OK, so the horse doesn't understand half halts. That does not mean to never do a half halt, it means it is time to install one so the horse DOES understand half halts. Under the theory that you find which dishes are dirty and wash THOSE, not wipe down the counter that is already clean.

                          OK, so how do you INSTALL one?
                          Trot ->walk -> trot. (ie, "full" halt)
                          Then, trot -> hesitation -> trot.
                          Then trot -> rebalanced trot.

                          OP:
                          1. Get a lateral response first. You can knock a horse over side to side, not front to back.
                          *So, leg yield right, leg yield left. Doesn't have to be text book, just press the spine over from one of you legs to the other. Get a little answer, and then get the other little answer. Back and forth up the longsides.
                          *Do counter bent circles both direction so the horse is moving off your LEG to steer.
                          *Ride serpentines and get the "switch" from one bend to the other precise, prompt, and light light light.

                          2. Now get a front to back response.
                          Walk -> halt.
                          Walk -> halt.
                          Walk -> halt.
                          Until it is light light light.

                          Then install half halts as previously described.

                          Put it together and ride a serpentine with downward transitions on center line.

                          Add 10m circles into the end loops of each serpentine.

                          3. Trot up to a little cross rail, canter away, and transition down on a straight line. Stand on her head and MEAN IT if you need to. Also, it helps to jump the crossrail into the short side as opposed to away from it so that if she does try to run off all you have to do is keep her straight and the wall will help stop her.
                          If she is pulling through your downward transition, back up (nicely) a few steps and then go back to a circle with more trot/walk/trot.
                          Then try to trot the cross rail again.
                          Repeat until you get a nice series of down ward transitions (trot->walk->halt) before the turn after the jump.

                          I really like this method and this is where i was hoping to go by getting her to do little jumps. The only issue im having is that she doesnt actually jump them, she just trots over them or pops over them and keeps trotting. I prefer this to her rushing at the jumps but it doesnt make it easy to teach the canter lol. I dont want to keep making them bigger until she does actually jump them but maybe thats what i need to do to get her to jump and canter away?

                          4. Then allow the canter to continue around the turn and do a downward transition series in the short side.

                          5. Gradually extend canter stretches. When your downwards are really nice and light you can start asking for the canter without the jump to help.


                          This works.
                          In less than 30 rides.
                          It is systematic and progressive and it builds the skills the horse will need from one building block to the next. It is easy for the rider to understand and to implement.
                          You dot each i and cross each t along the way and then when you get to your canter voila, it is right there waiting for you.

                          Somebody asked me recently about a horse, "What did you DO to fix this horse??!"
                          I said, "We just installed brakes."
                          "Yes but HOW?"
                          This is how.
                          .

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                          • #14
                            Love the advice quoted above. For my mare, for a long time we ONLY picked up a canter off a jump. Good Luck!

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                            • #15
                              Ponies- for the jump transition method where you say she still trots, try putting a single pole 9 feet in front of realllllllly reallllllly little single rail (maybe 10-12 inches high) then put another rail 9 feet behind. It essentially sets her up for a trot in take off at the correct point that then allows her to canter off as if there was another jump 18 feet away (the 9 foot rail is the middle of the stride) Doing this exercise back and forth with a definite but gentle halt after (use a wall) teaches her the transition and also keeps her more together.

                              Most OTTB's also have to actually change the ligament structure to canter correctly which is why they often throw in the buck transition or bucks every so often. They honestly don't even have the muscle/ligament and tendon combination to allow them to work correctly for any length of time.

                              I hope everything works out. There's nothing better than the TB once you get through all the OT crap.

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                              • #16
                                If she isn't jumping a little x, I would make it bigger rather than goosing her with the leg. Let the canter happen naturally.

                                Add a flower box or a little wall or lay a baby pad over it or something like that. 2', 2'3" is ok, even, if you need it.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by flashwhitelock View Post
                                  Ponies- for the jump transition method where you say she still trots, try putting a single pole 9 feet in front of realllllllly reallllllly little single rail (maybe 10-12 inches high) then put another rail 9 feet behind. It essentially sets her up for a trot in take off at the correct point that then allows her to canter off as if there was another jump 18 feet away (the 9 foot rail is the middle of the stride) Doing this exercise back and forth with a definite but gentle halt after (use a wall) teaches her the transition and also keeps her more together.

                                  good idea, i didnt think of that. I have been doing a little x at the end of some cavaletti since that is how she figured out how to keep trotting over the jump. She couldn't even figure out how to lift her feet over a pole at first lol.

                                  Most OTTB's also have to actually change the ligament structure to canter correctly which is why they often throw in the buck transition or bucks every so often. They honestly don't even have the muscle/ligament and tendon combination to allow them to work correctly for any length of time.

                                  interesting, wouldn't have thought about that possibility but it makes sense

                                  I hope everything works out. There's nothing better than the TB once you get through all the OT crap.
                                  so true, i know most people slam the thoroughbreds and all they want is warmbloods for the hunters but i disagree. TBs are amazing athletics but i think the reason why most people only want the warmbloods is you can throw an intermediate beginner on one and it will pack them around. Most TBs you actually have to ride and they are too sensitive for you to just flail about.

                                  I am really excited about my mare. I have been in a decent size hunter/jumper barn that did a lot of sale horses and i rode most all of them on a daily basis and can say that even though you get a lot of nice ones and ones that will win at the big shows i feel like you don't get many that are truly special. This girl is one of the special ones, i bought her as an investment to flip and resell but have decided that would be a mistake and to not let her go.

                                  Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                                  If she isn't jumping a little x, I would make it bigger rather than goosing her with the leg. Let the canter happen naturally.

                                  Add a flower box or a little wall or lay a baby pad over it or something like that. 2', 2'3" is ok, even, if you need it.
                                  Thats what i was thinking. She isnt too impressed with the flower boxes lol, all of the jumps in the ring have them and she would rather stop and try to eat the fake flowers than be scared of them. Maybe a little gate or plank would impress her a little more.

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                                  • #18
                                    IME, rooting and head tilting can often have its source in the HIND end. People think teeth or back first, but I've found it can be SI or even hocks.

                                    And sounds cliche, but do the obvious horse-off-the-track things.... If you haven't treated this horse for ulcers, I would do so. And then get her some good massage and chiro. Feet are another thing to keep an eye on.

                                    Frankly I think it is just fine for TBs to have a job coming right off the track, it is what they are used to. But it's ok to go easy and address the physical issues first.

                                    JMO. I'm not saying you have to spend a zillion in diagnostics or treatment or meds. Just look at the obvious things first, and take care of those, before setting down to real work. Things will go downhill a lot faster if you employ some of these methods (many of which are very good, don't get me wrong) and are actually fighting a physical issue.
                                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                                    • #19
                                      Well, all mine off the track or just real green did get annoyed and confused about too much halting. I used to just let them go on and find their own way while I just guided them a little. Fast never scared me and they can't get into much trouble, like bucking, that way. Mine all slowed down on their own once they relaxed a little and started understanding what I wanted. Less work for them and they quickly wanted to slow all by themselves.

                                      And that is the way I was taught to start them-round pen or long line, side reins on the lunge then get on and go. Get the forward before anything else.

                                      YMMD. There are many theories and nothing is really "wrong" or "right", but some work better then others.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                        Well, all mine off the track or just real green did get annoyed and confused about too much halting. I used to just let them go on and find their own way while I just guided them a little. Fast never scared me and they can't get into much trouble, like bucking, that way. Mine all slowed down on their own once they relaxed a little and started understanding what I wanted. Less work for them and they quickly wanted to slow all by themselves.

                                        And that is the way I was taught to start them-round pen or long line, side reins on the lunge then get on and go. Get the forward before anything else.

                                        YMMD. There are many theories and nothing is really "wrong" or "right", but some work better then others.
                                        I have seen meup's method work on a much older OTTB but I am curious about the bucking. Because in this case, I'd agree with Findeight.... forward first. I'd be worried about shutting down the forward motion on a horse that is inclined to buck or get naughty.

                                        Same with the rooting... if it is *not* physical (which I'd be shocked to find out that in this case it isn't) riding a horse forward will almost always fix it in time.

                                        I'm still gonna bet though that this horse is body sore, has ulcers, or something going on. Too many red flags IMO.
                                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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