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Working with uncordinated horses...

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  • Working with uncordinated horses...

    I am riding a 6 year old (un-raced) out of shape TB, he is the most uncoordinated horse I've ever ridden. Absolutely the sweetest, in-your-pocket horse but really is as dumb as a rock.

    I've only been riding him for a few weeks but when he was younger they thought he had a neurological disorder because of his dis-coordination. He has gotten better but when he was younger he used "paddle" with his front legs terribly. His trot has improved significantly but his canter is just awful.

    It feels like he balances off his head, very downhill and rocking. I think if I tried to put him on a canter circle he would fall over .

    One thing I have been working with him at the canter is trot/canter transitions. 6 canter strides then (appx) 6 trot steps, each time he gets a little lighter off his front end and rocks back onto his hind. He gets a walk break once he carries himself through the full 6 strides.

    Any other tips working with a horse like this?
    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    He's got to get balanced at the walk first, then balanced at the trot, then you can start cantering. it's a process that takes months, not minutes. From the description i would not be cantering him right now.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

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    • #3
      if it was me, next time the vet is out have him checked for warblers syndrome just to be safe. its no uncommon in tb race horses. better safe then sorry when dealing with something that had a neuro issue when he was younger.
      If your not being a good example than you'll just have to be a horrible warning. =o)
      http://www.maneandtail.com
      breeders of quality tb's and welsh ponies.

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      • #4
        I ride a Tb gelding who is also very uncoordinated. As Petstorejunkie stated, you should not be cantering him right now. It took me 6 months of walk/trot work with this guy before he was balanced enough to try the canter. You need to spend your time doing walk/trot work that teaches him to hold himself together. Practice trot poles, leg yielding, etc. Activities that keep his body in a stright line and requires all parts to be moving together, and synchronized. Also make sure you are holding him together with your legs, seat, and hands, and that his front end and back end are moving together and equally. Then start bending, circling, etc. Not until he is completely balanced and collected trotting a small circle, should you move on to start canter work.

        It can be fixed, but takes time and patience.
        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

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        • #5
          build muscle

          I had a 17,2 hh TB with shivers. When I got him he was really, really skinny. I felt like I could have tipped him right over if I got off balance - we rode outside in the hills alot. Over time he muscled up, got big and beautiful and was amazing. Just takes lots of slow, consistent conditioning. Good luck.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Tabwrdd_ridge View Post
            if it was me, next time the vet is out have him checked for warblers syndrome just to be safe. its no uncommon in tb race horses. better safe then sorry when dealing with something that had a neuro issue when he was younger.

            He does NOT have a neuro issue, it was just suspected when he was younger but it was decided that he is just uncoordinated.

            I agree that he probably should spend more at just w/t but he is in a school program so he will be asked to canter.
            “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

            !! is the new .

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            • #7
              i used to have a horse just like that a couple years ago, he is now a fancy A circuit hunter winning 3' in LA. i rode him over a lot of ground poles, bounces, one strides... things like that. it helps them plant their feet, overall coordination, and especially with the bounces it will help the "paddling". i would also try him in a very light gag, to pick his head up. you don't need to use it all the time, but i have found it is highly effective for getting them more level and light in the bridle. let me know if i was help or if you have any more questions!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by *JumpIt* View Post
                He does NOT have a neuro issue, it was just suspected when he was younger but it was decided that he is just uncoordinated.

                I agree that he probably should spend more at just w/t but he is in a school program so he will be asked to canter.
                Not trying to argue but i HAVE to ask.
                How do you KNOW its not Neuro?? Was he looked at by a vet or seen by a Vet Hospital? or did someone just decided he was unbalanced. Were you involved when this was decided? Because from your description I would not be taking that persons word for it. I'd be getting him re-checked.

                I also agree that he is not ready for canter work.. But I highly suggest getting him checked out again.. even for EPM

                He CLEARLY is NOT ready for a schol preogram and could get a child hurt.. the school could be liable in that case..this is a horse that needs a good amount of time after a thorough vet check.
                Love and Laughter - 2005 TB Mare - Boss Mare
                Foxfire Lacey - 2007 Half Welsh Superstar
                New Sensation - 1986- 2014 Love you to the moon and back

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pickapace View Post
                  \ i would also try him in a very light gag, to pick his head up. you don't need to use it all the time, but i have found it is highly effective for getting them more level and light in the bridle. let me know if i was help or if you have any more questions!

                  Sorry.. but Absolutely not...
                  Love and Laughter - 2005 TB Mare - Boss Mare
                  Foxfire Lacey - 2007 Half Welsh Superstar
                  New Sensation - 1986- 2014 Love you to the moon and back

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by *JumpIt* View Post
                    I agree that he probably should spend more at just w/t but he is in a school program so he will be asked to canter.
                    This is DANGEROUS!!!! If I were you and have attempted to convince the owner of the horse to remove this horse from the program and have failed at convincing them, you need to walk away before you are sued by a parent.
                    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                    chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                    • #11
                      My still-pretty-green OTTB was super uncoordinated when I started him. He was always tripping over his hind feet and it was beyond obnoxious. In his case it was because he had a pretty thoroughly trashed hind end (all relating to a sheared/crooked pelvis). A couple of years of body work and consistent conditioning have resulted in a horse who is MUCH more coordinated and in control of his body. So I'm going to go with the person that said it just takes a lot of time, and I'll add in the suggestion to find a really good chiro.

                      As far as conditioning goes, you're on the right track. Lots of transitions are a great tool. I'd add in as much lateral work as he can handle (which would presumably not be a lot at this point), trot poles, and cavaletti. One of my body workers had me start walking my boy over a lot of little fences (up to about 18") on a regular basis and that did wonders for the strength in his hind end. And then she also had me start jumping him in hand (which involved leading him up to a jump on a lunge line and "sending" him over it--from the walk--ahead of me).

                      With my guy it took a solid year of work to get him about 75% better. And another year to go the next 20%. He's SO much better to ride now, though every time we have a major breakthrough on the bodywork side of things it takes him a while to relearn how to balance himself. He's showing in the 3'9"-4' stuff, and I think that the jumping and cantering helped his balance and strength.

                      But I can't say if it would be the same with your guy. I guess it would depend on whether his uncoordinated body was due to growth, or body "issues," or something else entirely.

                      Good luck!
                      __________________________________
                      Flying F Sport Horses
                      Horses in the NW

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        The school program he is used in is for ADULTS, a college equestrian team. He is not used unless he is suitable for the rider. Again he is plenty safe to ride just uncomfortable and sloppy. Though I completely understand your concerns.

                        I do not know the full extent of his testing but he was throughly looked over by a wonderful vet. EPM is one of the first things he was tested for and ruled not to have.

                        He goes in a french-link loose ring, I do not think a gag would help him.

                        Thanks for those ideas PMWJumper, they sound a lot like what we have been working on and some good ideas for the future.
                        “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                        !! is the new .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have a coming 4y/o Holsteiner (gangly and tall and NARROW) with shivers....it makes him unbalanced to canter and turning is always interesting but it's getting better...lots of trot work in the field to strengthen up that hind end as much as possible!

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