rwtag

Meet the Moderators

Meet the Moderators of these forums

Meet the Experts

Meet the Experts in these forums

Presently, there are no Experts to meet.

Your Horse Forum and Community

Got something to say?

Got something to say?

You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Go to most recent reply

tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1081

tatti says:

Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Hi, we are doing quite well with the whole barefoot problem, barefoot in field and ridden in cavallo horse hoof boots, have just stuck to the schooling ring. He hasnt been out for a hack for a good 3 months, due to him pulling his shoes off etc and then going barefoot and was foot sore. Anyway, remembered what a twat he is at hacking out when we went for a walk down the road (I wanted to see how the hoof boots faired, especially with my weight and tack on, on a hard surface and if he would be struggling), he has always had a problem with standing while out on a hack, no problem in the schooling ring but, when out of the yard the head goes up, the eyes start popping and he strides off like a mad thing, he doesnt jig jog and I can easily turn him back for home without that behavior, which is great but, its when you ask him to stand that he cant cope, he throws his head up and I have to circle him, as otherwise he tries to go up, so last night when going out, narrow piece of grass on my side of the road and then a ditch, two vans coming the other way, typical! he refused to wait and stand and there was no where to circle him and he started to panic, so had to turn him back the way we had come, went into a drive way and circled until the vans passed and then set off again, he had been like this since we have had him, although I admit I havent hacked out much with him, anyone else had problems like this and how did they solve them. He still wont go on the 'bit' and we are working on that, so its hard to keep his attention and stop him throwing his head up. He can go from being very chilled out to panicing and then thats when  I have a problem, as he wont listen, he does this on the ground as well.

thanks

Reply to this Topic 

 
kevinhiatt

Joined:

Aug 10

Posts: 5600

kevinhiatt says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

What bit do you use for a start as I told to use a French Link Snaffle also several other problems besides hooves, the saddle for a start as high withers, another with my ex-racehorse was such a long neck needed longer reins (17.2h Chestnut Mare), needed a mounting block but she did not want to stand still the reason was I was informed the jockies mount while they are moving which does not work with someone 6ft 2in and in their 60's. When I first rode Lara her head would nod upand down all the time but this stopped. Also watch the feed as I used and still do on my new horse Sabrina is Soft and Soak as the last thing is fizz, also with an ex-racehorse mare I had impaction colic and told to use liquid parrifin a egg cupful a week in the feed. Also greatly recommend the leather strap which runs between the front D rings of the Saddle as Lara used tostand on her hind legs spin 360 deg, drop a shoulder, then a full nap and a bucking turn, unfortunately I lost her last year due to a twisted gut so sudden so devastated.

Gypsy Gold does not chink & glitter.It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.Tonka & Lara my beautiful horses RIP, Nelson,Chloe & Kitty the cats.

Reply to this Topic 

toochi

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 111

toochi says:

wont stand stii out on a hack

hi my cousin went through the same situation with her tb . a natural horsemanship instructer , told her to to change everything . she changed to a bitless bridle , dr cooks . did some inhand work with the bridle on , everytime horse stood sill he was given a treat . she did this for a couple of weeks , progressing to tiny hacks and sill giving a treat everytime she asks for stand . the horse stands beautifully now although its quite funny as every time she has to stand her horse at road junctions etc , he bends his head round for a treat haha . not really ideal but hes that busy preforming his still trick for a treat , he is deffinately not worried about whats round him , infact she complains hes a tad to slow , maybe hes just getting ready to stop for something yummy .

toochi

Reply to this Topic 

tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1081

tatti says:

hacking out

I have had his teeth done, and back checked twice, plus saddle checked. Mounting is getting better, although he still wants to go as soon as you pick up the reins while standing by the mounting block but at least he isnt cantering on the spot now! - I have totally changed his feed, since going barefoot so, no sugar at all, even took away his lickit block in the stable, he is now feed simple systems feed, so all natural and has extra linseed oil, seeweed, biotin, all good things for his feet, which I have to say, have improved a lot since we have removed his shoes (4 weeks ago) - I also spoke to the ROR organisation and Rowena Cook said to change his french link to a Neuve Schule Team Up Bit, which I did (more money!) and I think he likes this much better. As I said, he is fine in the schooling ring, its when you go 'out' that his fear and flight take over and he just wants to keep moving and cant stand his feet standing still, i.e. the circling to stop him going up etc, I usually do keep him moving (when I hacked out previously) but, this isnt always possible (like last night when there was no where to circle) - I know its a typical ex race horse trait, and he finds hacking out both exciting and scary at the same time, but its quite frankly dangerous. I wonder if we need to do more in the schooling ring, as he doesnt go onto the bit and with a TB when you lose their concentration, they become quite dangerous, so a horse poking his head and looking about for tigers in the hedge isnt ideal. He has come along a lot since we have had him, we have really worked hard, but sometimes I feel its one step forward and two steps back. I dont want to go down the bitless route, I have a DR Cook gathering dust in the tack room, as my daughter enjoys dressage and to be honest, I dont think a DR Cook would make any difference to make him stand still while at a junction or to wait patiently at the side of the road, I am lost for ideas.

Reply to this Topic 

lauralou15

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 457

lauralou15 says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Sorry silly question but did you say you have walked him out in hand? As if not you could try that and see if he will stand with you hanging on to him from the ground rather than on board? sorry if youve already tried that :)

Reply to this Topic 

toochi

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 111

toochi says:

ex racehorse wont stand still

hi from what i can remember , my cousin was advised to go bitless to give a softer feel like a halter but with the control of a bridle and do a lot of inhand work walk to stand with a reward , she did this inside the field first then outside the field . her horse was impossible to mount , literally had to throw a jocky on then he was off , thats ok if jocky is really lite , but impossible and dangerous for a full sized adult . her first trainer tried all sorts of methods to get him to stand still , lifting a hoof , blocking him etc , poor horse got worse . you couldnt even slightly lift his reins or raise a hand as he would be off . it was a very upsetting time and she was advised to sell him , which broke her heart as she felt he would never find a longterm home because of his issues . when she worked with the natural horsemanship instructer(last resort) . she changed everything . even a different mounting block . and work was done in his field first where he was most comfortable , then progressed to leading him out . he went form a head in the air white eyed time bomb to a very ploddy low head relaxed horse . he doesnt move a muscle now to be mounted untill asked and stands perfectly still by voice command . it may not work with every horse but results were amazing with my cousins

toochi

Reply to this Topic 

brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5214

brook says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Hi Tatti, I just wanted to say a BIG well done to you ! You have come so far with your horse and it sounds as though he's making good progress. I'm sure that you will get there with his hacking issues. We have a TB mare who has just turned 5 and have taught her to stand by using voice command and working in hand within a safe area ( a small paddock ) Try walking large around the arena with your horse wearing either his bridle or a pressure halter then stop and at the same time say Stand. When he stops give him a stroke and plenty of praise, do this several times on each rein. When he gets used to this put some poles out so that he can walk between them, make a road with the poles and ask him to stand when you reach the end. If he starts to walk on or pulls just calmly repeat the exercise until the penny drops ! Once he is doing this in hand you can progress to riding him, just do the same thing using the voice command as you halt. When you feel confident take him for a short hack with someone with you on foot and practise asking him to stand when you feel that it's safe to do so. Another tip is to use his name before the voice command as it will just grab his attention. Keep us in touch with his progress, good luck XX 

Reply to this Topic 

tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1081

tatti says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Thank you Brook, we are doing lots of in hand and ground work and he is doing well, He is absolutely fine when asking him to stand while in hand, goes backwards when asked, is fine in the field when ridden when you ask him to stand. The problem is when out hacking, and I guess that stems from being an ex racer. He gets himself very excited about hacking and nervous too and wont just amble along, he charges out at 100 miles per hour, with his head in the air. He simply cant 'stop', his brain is telling him to keep moving, so therefore its a problem with on coming traffit etc. I havent hacked him out since the last time, as I feel its too dangerous, also - if you try and 'hold' him to let the car go by etc, he will panic and try to rear. I dont know what to do really.

Reply to this Topic 

brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5214

brook says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Hi Tatti, yes I can see where you are coming from now ! At least you know why he is behaving this way and you are being understanding about it. Although Tilly is'nt an ex racer she was backed and ridden by someone who used to work with race horses so in the early days she was allowed to go far too quickly and was'nt asked to stand still whilst being mounted etc so we had to spend alot of time trying to slow her down ! It is'nt easy to change previous habits so i can understand your predicament.

 

I would try short hacks on quiet routes to start with, what is he like off road ? Can you safely hack him on fields or farm tracks ? If so maybe just get him used to going out and slowly introduce him to traffic on quiet lanes, practice halting when there is no traffic around at first just to get him used to stopping whilst he is out, hopefully you will both be a little more relaxed. I know this might sound silly but when we hack Tilly out we often stop for a few seconds just to say hello to people and let them pat her, you never know he might get distracted and stand for a while lol.

 

Trying to change his mind set is going to take quite some time and alot of patience as you already know, but if you can get him out a few times per week ( safely of course ! ) he will start to relax a bit more and become confident with his surroundings. If Tllly still tries charging off I make her walk behind Tenor lol, but honestly it took quite some time to slow her down and she will always have her moments !

 

Good luck with him, you have come so far already and worked hard to gain his trust, just keep doing what you are doing, keep us updated, i would love to know how you are gettting on XX

Reply to this Topic 

tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1081

tatti says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

Brook.

I wanted to update you with regard to the problems we had with not standing still while out on a hack. In the end we didn't bother. It was just too dangerous. He didn't listen and I was getting myself so worked up about it all, he was always fine in the field or schooling ring and would stand still when asked, it wsa just as soon as we went out for a hack, it was as if a light went on in his head, he refused to stand still. I would ask him to halt with my leg aids, half halt to come down etc, but still no difference.

We then moved yards, as the previous livery didn't have a manage and we had to borrow one opposite, and that was not very frequent. The schooling was shit, we had taken 6 months off due to his injury, then another good 6 months with going barefoot etc. One problem after another. So, a year after we bought him home from Newmarket we moved yards to have use of our own schooling ring. We moved in the October of last year and then the winter hit with a vengeance and we done nothing with him, other than lunge work and in hand work over the winter periods, dependent upon whether the sand school was frozen solid or, under water. Lunge work was rather scary at times, he would tear around and nearly fall over. When we tried to ride, he was easily distracted, another horse cantering in the field would send him into a head tossing, spooking twat, jumping about, neighing. Didn't dare take him out on the roads. Then I took the plunge and rung up an instructor that dealt with all types but, particularly ex racers, explained my problem etc. She is called Nikki Johnson. Fantastic lady. She said, 'ah - typical TB, very clever, too clever, need to be kept thinking' I told her that he was  fine in walk when schooling but, a nightmare with trotting, only got 2 strides and then the head would chuck up etc. Hated contact on the bit, nightmare to hack out. She came over and rode him, it was pissing it with rain (March) and I thought that he would chuck her off, he hadn't been ridden from November the previous year, walk was fine but as soon as she asked for trot, he played her up, but she took no notice, kept her leg on and asked him to work into her hand, after 5 minutes of him jogging on the spot and threatening to go up, he simply gave in and then worked beautifully, after that we had regular weekly lessons with my daughter riding him, working on his transitons and more importantly getting him to listen and working in an outline. His schooling came on leaps and bounds. Then we started to hack out, both myself and daughter. When out hacking, I realised that he needed to be 'working', 'schooling' so, that he couldn't look over the hedge and start freaking out, he was made to do lots of transitions and was kept on the 'bit'. For each hack, he was made to continuously halt, it was bloody boring but, it really helped, 20 strides of walk and then asked for a halt, only halted for literally 2 seconds and then walked on with lots of praise but, this way, he was so used to being asked to stand, that when a car did come along, he didn't freak. He is now being hacked out every day, we started going to the end of the road and back and then further each time. We have had napping, neighing, spinning and all sorts but, have realised that you need to keep your leg on and keep pushing him forward at all times. When a car is approaching, I can now pull him over and ask him to stand. It works. However, he still has a short attention time and I can probably only get approx. 20 seconds and then he will start to throw his head up and start to move about, so I then ask him to walk forward a pace and then re stand. I try to make sure that we are not in a positon that freaks and upsets him too much, i.e. if there is a tractor behind and a car approaching, I shall trot on ahead and try and get into a field entrance but, things are a lot, lot better.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

Reply to this Topic 

tatti

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 1081

tatti says:

Re: Ex racehorse wont stand still while out on a hack, any suggestions?

pictures before and after

We are now at half passes as well, so pleased with him. video links on next page to show how much more relaxed he is. But, I do believe that the keys is also repeitition i.e. shove the tack on and ride out every day (weather permitting), even if its just to the end of the road and back. BUT, you have to have good schooling in place before hand, you MUST be able to get your horse down on the bit to stop him from panicing, treat the hack like a schooling session so, do exactly as you would do in the manage. Otherwise, it can be too much for a horse and they explode or try to nap for home. He wanted to keep on moving, whether it was nerves, aniexty, stress, I don't know, but his problem was that he wouldn't stand still which was very dangerous, so we are getting there, not 100% and some days he is a dobbin to take out and others a total twat if the wind and rain are in the wrong direction. The other day, the weather took a turn for the worse and it started to pour and he doesn't like rain, and he was starting to jog, so I immediately put him in an outline, in a head carriage and trotted him, he needed something to focus on. Yesterday he didn't like something in the head up ahead, he was at that point on a long rein, plodding along. He tried to go to the right and away from the up and coming issue but, I immediately put him on the bit, put my leg on and asked for shoulder in, he was so busy concentrating on me, that he forgot about the scary fruit boxes in the hedge. Previously, before the schooling with Nikki, he would have thrown his head up and started to jig jog and even threatened to go bolt or go up. Also, and this is important to, his attitude as changed as well towards us and vice versa, I have to admit, that I was scared to ride him at times but, now, he is a pleasure. I feel I have 'control' of him, whereas before, he decided how fast or slow we went, for instance, we don't have a giraffe neck mad trot like before on a hack, if he is full of it, then I will ask for a bouncy slow trot and then ask for an extended trot on the roads, and then when he is settled again, will come back down to walk and then give him his head and a pat on the neck.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

Attached images:

  1. DSC03792  
  2. DSC03834  
  3. naughty horse  

Reply to this Topic 

Page

Post a message in The Yard

To post a reply to this topic, please Log In.

Terms of use

Use of our community areas and forums is subject to important terms of use. By joining our community and using the features you agree to be bound by these terms. Read full terms of use