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twohottblueshoes

SAMPLE PIC: ANY THOUGHTS? OTT ARAB

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Opinions/experiences appreciated!

Thank you in advance! [smile] Am looking to do first level dressage... Any opinions from exper. dressage riders? OR people who own an ott Arab?

Background: He is a six year old 15.0H half polish/french gelding with Wiking/Keserboy in his line. He has alot of winnings in his carreer. The people who own him just raced him last about 2 months ago and now they are looking to sell him so he can have a different career. Im looking to do some 1st level dressage/hunter and lots of trail ridding. I havent been up to see him yet, hopefully this weekend...But he is apparently very intelligent.

Im not to familiar with racing, but what kind of cues do they teach them besides GO? Does it depend on the trainer or is there a standard?

*Would love to see pictures if you guys have them of your "off the trackers"

-

[ 11-18-2005, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: twohottblueshoes ]

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quote:

Originally posted by twohottblueshoes:

Im not to familiar with racing, but what kind of cues do they teach them besides GO? Does it depend on the trainer or is there a standard?


That's pretty much it...and their "go" is a different than our "go." They snug up the reins to cue for a faster pace.

I don't know your posts real well, so forgive me for asking - what kind of experience do you have? If you aren't familiar with race training it sounds like you may be in WAY over your head with an OTTB that's only been off the track for 2 months.

OTTB's need a TREMENDOUS amount of retraining and you've got a long long way to go before you can even consider showing him in dressage.

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quote:

Originally posted by twohottblueshoes:

Hello,

He is actually an arab off the track. I have about 10 years experience with ridding, but never with any "off the trackers"....

I would suspect the training is still about the same. So I gather you have no experience with off trackers?

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See, there are a few little problems with putting ex-track/arab and dressage together...they don't work out too well! To put into riding terms, dressage horses, especially if you want them to go anywhere with that career, need to have focus. That's key. They also need to be extremely responsive and obidient. But the problem here is that, when it comes to ex-tracks...They dont give a flipping monkey's booty about that kind of stuff. They just want to GO. As you said earlier. That's why when I get ex-tracks, I take them straight over fences. Although this guy has gorgeous movement, he looks like he's got that Arab spirit in him! Look at that head just screaming "I love myself!" I'd still say if you are going to start him into dressage, start tweeking him when you ride. You know, collect his trot TONS...do lots of flying lead changes (if he knows them) without letting him run off with you, all that good stuff. GOOD LUCK! [Jump] I wanna see how this comes out! He's ADORABLE!

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Hello,

It depends on the horse's temperment and your patience. These horses are trained to GO. Some come around, some don't, but either way it is not an overnight process. You are essentially starting all over again. Re-training may take longer since there are the old lessons that need to be un-learned to do what you want. If you have the expericence or have someone (friend, trainer, etc) you may find him to be a lovely horse If you want to be in a show arena in a year, your probably best to keep looking.

I have an off the track Standardbred. I would not trade him for a big fancy horse for any amount. He is a wonderful horse who is quite willing to try things. That said it has taken almost two years to bring his trot down to a "normal" speed. Nothing against him and he did learn and progress, its just a much longer road.

If you can go out and ride or work with the horse a bit before buying; a lot of your questions may answer themselves.

Good luck whatever you choice.

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If you are willing to take the time, effort and frustration with a race horse then you can make very nice dressage horses out of them. It will take a good couple of years though. Dressage horses tend to be older horses who have quieted down and down are very willing to just work on the flat. A horse off the ractrack will be young and will take a lot of work to bring them to a dressage orientated mind.

The reins will be the biggest issue. Race horses are qued to go fater not by the legs,but by the reins. You will literally have to take this horse back to step one and REtrain it. If you were to just hop on this horse and tightne your reins man would thee be fireworks. hed be really confused.

I hvae worked on a racetrack as an exercise rider, and have retrained many racehorses. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.

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quote:

Originally posted by FullMoonTonight:

See, there are a few little problems with putting ex-track/arab and dressage together...they don't work out too well! To put into riding terms, dressage horses, especially if you want them to go anywhere with that career, need to have focus. That's key. They also need to be extremely responsive and obidient. But the problem here is that, when it comes to ex-tracks...They dont give a flipping monkey's booty about that kind of stuff. They just want to GO. As you said earlier. That's why when I get ex-tracks, I take them straight over fences. Although this guy has gorgeous movement, he looks like he's got that Arab spirit in him! Look at that head just screaming "I love myself!" I'd still say if you are going to start him into dressage, start tweeking him when you ride. You know, collect his trot TONS...do lots of flying lead changes (if he knows them) without letting him run off with you, all that good stuff. GOOD LUCK!
[Jump]
I wanna see how this comes out! He's ADORABLE!

I dont mean to offend anyone but I find this all bogus. There are TONS of OTTBs and other horses that are ex racers that have gone off and had wonderful careers in dressage. They only want to "GO" b/c thats what they have been trained. Do you think that upper level dressage horses just want to piaffe all day long? No thats what they are trained to do.

I own an OTTB and have ridden my fair share of them straight off the track and later in life. They arent for everyone but they certainly can and do excell at other careers.

And I would not recommend getting a horse straight off the track and take them straight to jumping. Thats what my mares old owner did and it took me 3 years to undo everything she did to the poor horse. A horse off the track doesnt have the balance, strength, or training to be safely and regularly jumped without proper flat work.

The horse in the pic looks cute. Its hard to judge from a free lungeing shot though. Id ask for a confo shot and also its more about the mind than anything. Good luck.

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Ditto to KrazyTB!!!

I to own off the track horses. I used to get QH's to run barrels on, because they were race bred, athletic and had tons of speed. Now I have switched to dressage with my current gelding.

The first thing to remember when starting an ex-race horse of any breed, over for a new career, is that you need to take it really slow. I always take mine straight to the round pen and work on basics. One of those main basics is stop. They also need to learn to flex and bend and give to a different type of bit pressure. It takes time and patience. They are very rigged and move off just the reins tugging on the bit. They need to learn to move off your leg pressure and not try and take off when you snug up the rein contact. The round pen is a great place to work with them, teach them confidence and teach them to listen to you and not think everything is a horse race. Often times they are very girthy and need to be saddled slow and easy and not to tight at first. I used to saddle mine up and longe him and he would soon settle down.

Best of luck if you get this horse.

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Thanks everyone for your opinions/experiences.. Keep em comin please!!

Been thinking about it today... I think that most of these race horses have to have the will to compete/athletic ability in order to race/win in the first place. I dont mind working with a horse, and I usually tend to think that energy is not bad, it just needs to be redirected in to something constructive or a new job.

Am really interested in buying this guy.. so we'll see how it turns out!!

Would love to see pictures if you guys have them of your "off the trackers" [big Grin]

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hey!

umm... if you want critiques...here goes!

it will take lots of work to get his head down and his stride looks kinda short. he is really pretty and i like him but he does not look much like dressage horse material. thats just my personal crtique though. (i have a greenie and so thats why i kno about the head down thingy)

good luck

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Just to clarify, I think OTTB's (or most other off track breeds for that matter) make excellent dressage horses (you'll note I'm an avid longtime TB rider & owner and have mentioned in other posts that TB's still rule the dressage arena).

My concern with this particular pairing is that that horse sounds and looks pretty spunky and like it needs a ton of work, and this poster has indicated they do not have much experience with ex-racehorses. IMHO it is not a matter of "if" this horse can do dressage. Any horse can do dressage to an extent. It is a matter of WHEN and a matter of if the OWNER can train the horse.

To to OP, since you have been riding regularly for 10 years like you said and are confident of your abilities and more important, patience, I think you could do it. But be prepared to be in this for the long haul. [Wink]

I would take the horse, turn him out for a little while and spend some time just bonding and getting to know him - build a relationship. Then start him all over like you would an unbroke horse with lounging, ground driving to teach rein aids and "woah," start saddling/bridling, then do all the lounging/ground driving all over again only with tack this time around.

Then start backing him (by this I mean getting on), work on standing quietly (he's probably been taught or simply allowed to walk when mounted). Work on calm quiet walking on a rein with contact but not snug. Lots more to learn, but that'll give you a good solid start and you can come back for more.

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Also keep in mind, regardless of weather a horse had the will or athletic ability at the beginning of their race career, not all of them liked being a race horse and they come off the track with many, many issues. My horse is a prime example of fhat. He hated the track, he hated the saddling, they must have cut him in two and he hated the gate. He hated the hurry, hurry, hurry of it all. High stress and a lot of tension. I took 14 months before I hauled him to his first barrel race and then it was another 3 or 4 months before we started winning any money. That's because I knew I could not push this horse to fast to soon. He needed a lot of time and it was well worth it. Now, 4 years later I have competed on him in dressage at 3 shows and we are just getting started! [big Grin]

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First off lovely horse. I like the lines. A friend of mine has an off the track arab stallion.His ground manners are impecable. Once he learned what stop was and how to steer he was great to ride. He has done western, hunters, and barrel racing.My friend is starting to play around with some of the advanced dressage moves like tempi changes and cantering in place. He learns quickly and enjoys the work. I am trying to convince her to do combined training with him but she is scared to jump.

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If you are familiar mostly with hunt seat and you have not retrained an off the track horse before and your goal is first level, which any average horse should be able to do easily so that shouldn't be a problem if his mind is okay, then the very first thing you should do is find an excellent dressage trainer to work with because no matter how much riding experience you have, you don't have experience in dressage and that is what you are going to need help with. In the long run, it will make things easier because you'll learn how to train him to do things the right way for dressage.

It is not a matter of just getting his head down and putting him in a frame. He will have to be taught to go in a steady tempo, establish soft and steady contact, bend, move from the leg--all of which is very doable but will be a much easier and more fun journey if you have feedback and help.

With a horse like this, the main thing to remember is things take time, but he has a nice look about him, and if his temperment is nice, it would seem like he would be a nice prospect.

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What I want to know is why in the world everyone is so worried about this horses head position at liberty. I have seen western pleasure quarter horses play around with their heads higher than that. [Wink]

Retraining an OT horse is a lot of work and patience, yes, but it is not a death sentance. It is very possible and the horse can go on to be a sucessful dressage horse with the time and dedication.

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quote:

What I want to know is why in the world everyone is so worried about this horses head position at liberty. I have seen western pleasure quarter horses play around with their heads higher than that.

Retraining an OT horse is a lot of work and patience, yes, but it is not a death sentance. It is very possible and the horse can go on to be a sucessful dressage horse with the time and dedication.


Me and my OTSB agree [big Grin]

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Wow! There are a lot of different opinions here. My Prix St. George level arab ran around at liberty with his head and tail straight up in the air. I got him as a weanling. It was not difficult at all to get him round and correct. I'd say much easier than most breeds.

I have no experience with OTT arabs. Probably as some responders have said, just the same as with a thoroughbred, perhaps easier because arabs are extremely smart and bond closely and quickly to their people. They try very hard to please and do what you want.

The most important thing I have found with arabs is to be quiet in your riding and make sure you are extra quiet and steady with your hands. Noisy hands will bring the arab head straight up.

IMO the horse has a ton of potential in the right hands.

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Guest

quote:

Originally posted by KrazyTBMare:

quote:

Originally posted by FullMoonTonight:

See, there are a few little problems with putting ex-track/arab and dressage together...they don't work out too well! To put into riding terms, dressage horses, especially if you want them to go anywhere with that career, need to have focus. That's key. They also need to be extremely responsive and obidient. But the problem here is that, when it comes to ex-tracks...They dont give a flipping monkey's booty about that kind of stuff. They just want to GO. As you said earlier. That's why when I get ex-tracks, I take them straight over fences. Although this guy has gorgeous movement, he looks like he's got that Arab spirit in him! Look at that head just screaming "I love myself!" I'd still say if you are going to start him into dressage, start tweeking him when you ride. You know, collect his trot TONS...do lots of flying lead changes (if he knows them) without letting him run off with you, all that good stuff. GOOD LUCK!
[Jump]
I wanna see how this comes out! He's ADORABLE!

I dont mean to offend anyone but I find this all bogus. There are TONS of OTTBs and other horses that are ex racers that have gone off and had wonderful careers in dressage. They only want to "GO" b/c thats what they have been trained. Do you think that upper level dressage horses just want to piaffe all day long? No thats what they are trained to do.

I own an OTTB and have ridden my fair share of them straight off the track and later in life. They arent for everyone but they certainly can and do excell at other careers.

And I would not recommend getting a horse straight off the track and take them straight to jumping. Thats what my mares old owner did and it took me 3 years to undo everything she did to the poor horse. A horse off the track doesnt have the balance, strength, or training to be safely and regularly jumped without proper flat work.

The horse in the pic looks cute. Its hard to judge from a free lungeing shot though. Id ask for a confo shot and also its more about the mind than anything. Good luck.

I agree with KrazyTB,OTT horses can make excellent dressage mounts...? [Confused] Just becuause they originally raced DOES NOT mean that they are unable to focus! My ootb was a sucessful racer who has taken a lot of retraining, but he can focus! Nothing says your guy can't be your next dressage horse, it might just take some careful retraining. [smiley Wavey]

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"What I want to know is why in the world everyone is so worried about this horses head position at liberty. I have seen western pleasure quarter horses play around with their heads higher than that."

---YES! my Arab runs around with head held high and tail streaming out behind and looks just like that Arab in the pic. (he is gorgeous by the way twohottblueshoes!!! [smile] But when we are doing dressage work and I really have him bending and I am driving him with my legs into my hands he reaches down into the bit beautifully and carries himself so well!

"The most important thing I have found with arabs is to be quiet in your riding and make sure you are extra quiet and steady with your hands. Noisy hands will bring the arab head straight up."

--EXCATLY!! As long as I am quiet and VERY soft with my hands my Arab responds beautifully! He responds instantly to a soft little half halt, but if I give a firm pull.. he pulls right back and throws his head up! [Roll Eyes]

Twohottblueshoes--Good Luck!! Arabs are alot of fun, and are extremely smart! [smile]

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ANY horse can do dressage successfully - do they all go to the Olympics? no, not usually - but, I don't think you are planning that anyway. Otherwise you would be looking at high-end warmbloods.

He's a lovely looking Arab with classic breeding and nice movement and athleticism. With the right training, he will do very well.

Your biggest obstacle is really the training component. Unless you are very motivated and have some money to spend to get a little help from a trainer, you could be in over your head. Are you ready for a project horse?

OTT's usually have impeccable ground manners and are generally very good under saddle.

Above all, I would have him vet checked to evaluate soundness. OTT's can have soundness issues due to their racing career. You don't want to get into a problem situation so do your homework.

Arabs perform the same as any warmblood or thoroughbred. They are known for their athleticism, intelligence, personality, endurance, and beauty. You will likely encounter some dressage queens with expensive horses who will look down their noses at your Arab, but you can always take a glimpse at their sorry posting, humpty dumpty sitting trot, and meat-hook hands for an idea of what their opinions are truly worth.

Keep in mind that not all trainers actually train horses - many just ride and tell other people how to ride. Take your time in finding a good one who can give you guidance on training your horse.

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-

This is an OTTB I owned for 3 years. I sold him this summer after searching 12 weeks for the right home. He just did not work out on barrels. He loved to pleasure ride but did not do public places at all. Too much stimulation.He would come unglued.He was a love at home.

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quote:

Originally posted by GreyArab:

You will likely encounter some dressage queens with expensive horses who will look down their noses at your Arab, but you can always take a glimpse at their sorry posting, humpty dumpty sitting trot, and meat-hook hands for an idea of what their opinions are truly worth.


Sooooo true!!!

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quote:

hey!

umm... if you want critiques...here goes!

it will take lots of work to get his head down and his stride looks kinda short. he is really pretty and i like him but he does not look much like dressage horse material.


I agree with everyone else. His head playing around in the field could be totally different. My TB (although not off the track) will have his head up high in the sky playing around in the pasture, but when I get on him, he carries it much lower and bends and flexs well. Walking he sometimes looks like a western pleasure horse because he carries it so low and long! In my opinion, how a horse carries his head in the field is not a good reflection of how he will carry it with a rider on board. I also don't think that his strides are that short, or at least nothing unusual for a typical Arab. That's also why some horses are taught to do an extended trot. I think he would make fine "dressage material" if you take are patient with him and get the right trainer to help you. [Wink]

And by the way, he is also a very handsome Arabian, with a beautiful coat and markings! I love his diagonal socks! [big Grin]

[ 11-23-2005, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Hunter/Jumper Gal ]

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