Monday, June 11, 2012
This is Nell; raced as "Money Back". She is one of the stockiest OTTBs I have ever seen! She looks more like an appendix Quarter Horse.
I've had her one year but in that time she's had some issues; some soreness in her hips noted by my blacksmith. All that was required was some long term rest; so this spring I finally was able to get serious about starting her under saddle.
Though she was raced and obviously "broke in", she displayed some "un broke" behavior when I started trying to ride her. Like, bolting sideways as I draw up on the saddle; and when sitting in the saddle, jetting jumpy and bucky when I move my legs along her barrel.
Someone suggested that I simply start her like an un broke three or four year old. So I have been doing that, and she is responding wonderfully.
I've really been enjoying my Christmas Gift - a 60 ft. round pen for practicing some natural horsemanship techniques I am trying to get better at.
I have been using my favorite western saddle for working this horse; I am just more comfortable breaking in horses in western saddles. This one is very lightweight; so it's not like she is lugging around 45 lbs. of heavy western saddle.
Also, I work her in a four knot rope halter and 14 ft. lead. Also you'll see in this pic. a headstall with a snaffle bit, a towel and a bottle of flyspray (she is having issues with running off when I try to flyspray her). The stick coming out the back of my saddle here is a training stick like ones used by some resistance free trainers today. The stick is never used to hit the horses, just a lot of pointing and tapping.
Glad to report that Nell is responding very well to the natural horsemanship methods; I hope to be riding her in a few short weeks. Or days, depending on how much I get to work her this week with rain moving in and all......