View Full Version : Help...My horse rushes off with me....
21st Apr 2002, 06:52 PM
Hi. I recently bought a 19 year old (going on 9) TB ex-racer. I bought him from the riding club I joined back in November 2000. In a group lesson when it is time to Cantor, Orion likes to rush off with me and it is hard to slow him down. I pull and give with the reins but he still will not slow down. My coach tells me to pull harder on the reins. I know I would enjoy the Cantor alot more if he would not rush off with me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I ride in two group lessons per week and ride without a coach on Sundays. When I first bought Orion in January 2002, the barn manager suggested that I choose another student to ride him in a lesson when I was not riding him. I did not like this idea because I bought him for me and not for other people to ride. I am wondering if there is a disadvantage for him when I only ride him three times a week and not 6 times a week when he was a school horse.
I use a comb to comb his tail. A few people suggested that I use a hair brush for his tail. Any suggestions.
Any suggestions and comments would be appreciated.
21st Apr 2002, 06:57 PM
It sounds like he's not getting as much exercise as he needs. If you can't ride him more often, could you turn him out so he can exercise himself? I understand he's your horse and therefore you don't want anyone else on him, but would you let someone else lunge him for you?
I think the best bet though is to give him more turnout, and maybe reduce his feed if he's still getting the same as he was when he was being ridden six times a week.
Regarding his tail, I would detangle it with my fingers first, then comb out strands with a mane comb.
21st Apr 2002, 07:10 PM
He is turned out 7 days a week. He loves to cantor and play with the other horses so he does get his exercise that way.
Thanks for your help.
21st Apr 2002, 07:13 PM
i would do what Showjumoer says...she does sound like he wants to burn off energy!! If that still doesn't work you could try gettin someone to lead you to help pace him in canter. Try getting him to collect more too.
22nd Apr 2002, 05:11 AM
Here is a few things that I do with my own horse to improve my transitions and keep my horse from rushing about, which he is inclined to do.
Tune your horse into your aids, prior to attempting canter, make sure he is attentive to you.
Try and make sure that your trot work is straight, calm and foreward moving, with even rhythm and tempo. Practice working trot to a more collected trot and back to working, using just a few steps at a time of each. This will help keep his attention, and prepare him for what you expect at the canter.
Make sure that before asking for the canter the horse is calm. Ensure that your transition to canter is calm and balanced, use your legs and seat as the driving aids, into a soft but closed hand and then a small give with your fingers to reward the horse. Your seat should be balanced, dont flop around and give the horse a reason to rush.
When in the canter, do loads of up and downward transitions, in short succession, in other words do not let the horse run around rushing for too long. Use half halts and a deep seat to help slow him, and do not forget to relax your legs and remove them from the driving position. Horses often continue to rush if their rider is nervous and tenses their legs.
Part of your problem is that he was once a school horse, so many riders have taught him bad habits, and he is in a group with other horses, Does he go better if he is the lead horse? Perhaps he rushes canter in order to keep up with "the jones" as the expression goes.
As for a mane and tail comb or brush, I actually use my fingers to seperate knots etc, then spray in some conditioner and run a comb through both. I dont think it matters what you use, as long as you remove debris and knots before hacking into it with a brush or comb.
22nd Apr 2002, 09:11 AM
Had a friend with the same problem in an ex point to point horse.
Apparently the pulling back of the reins to a racer indicates go faster. Maybe you should try giving more rein to your horse?
22nd Apr 2002, 01:07 PM
yep pulling on the reins doesn't always indicate anything to them, they need to be retrained from basic, get him to accept contact again, lunge him maybe using side reins too!!!
Aly definatly right!!
u don't have any problems when you do trot??
ask him to canter do a stride or 2 then bring him back into trot praise him loads when he does it!!! maybe work him on the lunge before getting on!! burn off excess energy!!
23rd Apr 2002, 08:04 AM
This sounds typical of an ex racehorse which hasn't had much schooling.
I'm afraid it will have to be back to basics. The others are right, with racehorses, the more you tighten the rein, the faster they will go, unless they are schooled and taught different.
I certainly wouldn't have anyone else ride my horse in a lesson, unless I chose to let them ride and was there watching.
As well as your lessons, try some schooling by yourself, or with the help of an experienced friend. Try some trotting poles etc, lots of transitions. You will probably find that he will try to rush trotting poles, jumps etc as well.
Perseverance and patience is what is needed here - I don't really believe it is excess energy - just typical ex racehorse behaviour - he doesn't understand what you've been asking him.
23rd Apr 2002, 09:01 AM
Have you checked all of his tack, back feet, diet etc. If he is any kind of pain or discomfort he will be doing his best to escape from it.
Otherwise I would suggest letting maybe an experienced rider (possibly your coach?) ride him. I understand he's your horse but it could be something that you are doing when riding unintentially. I'm sorry if that sounded rude, I hope I haven't offeded you.
You might want to consider having leson's with a differnt instructor. A fresh perspective mightwork wonders but I undestand that it might now be possibe.
I'm sorry that I can't be of any more help.
23rd Apr 2002, 09:39 AM
I ride my ex-racer 6 times a week. The day after his (my!) day off he is nearly always a so-and-so. I think TBs are just so bright that they need to be mentally occupied as well as exercised. Days you can't ride lunging would certainly help. It would also help him get more balanced into his canter.
I had the same "rushed" canter problem when I first got my chap. We worked on lots of transitions on the circle (eg. 6 strides trot, 6 strides canter then trot again). We also did walk to canter. And I make sure that his trot is slow and balanced before asking for canter. Transitions within trot (as someone else suggested working trot, then trying to go to a slower, bouncier trot, then out to working trot again) help to balance the trot. We also did cantering over single poles on the ground, (several poles scattered around the arena so that he never knew whether we were going to go over one or not) which helped to get his attention and make him round his canter and think a bit more. Its taken time to build up his muscles so that he can carry himself better in balance and not rush his canter, but we get some quite nice canter work now.
23rd Apr 2002, 12:28 PM
Can you have some private lessons?
Also one important point that has been missed - if your horse is working in outline and 'on the bit', he will be a lot easier to control. Ive just been through all this with my TB ex racer, lots of schooling and private lessons will help. You need to get him soft and in outline plus keep hold of your outside rein, thats your speed control, evertually you should be able to completely give and retake the reins without any change in speed or balance.
Be careful your aids into canter are not CANTER!!!, they should be a subtle whisper rather I can now just think canter and off we go. If you are ansxious about your canter you might be transmitting this to him when you ask.
In a class he may also be bombing about trying to be lead horse, get some private lessons and dont worry - you'll get there.
11th May 2002, 04:57 PM
I've been riding a young school horse who's a dream at any kind
of trot - aid sensitive, willing, nice outline. But as soon as I ask
for a canter, no matter how quietly and relaxed I try to make the
transitions, she reacts as if a bee's stung her in the ear...flattens
out, races off and is terribly unbalanced. I even wondered if she
had wobbles. No amount of half-halting and deep-seating seems
to work. It's almost as if she's afraid of something and her usual good sense completely disappears. My coach tried her out and she did the same thing. (She recently had a sore molar removed and that hasn't helped; her feet are fine.) I wouldn't call it a racing off problem so much as a fear/flight response one. Any
11th May 2002, 07:56 PM
I don't know if I can be much help, but I'll have a go...
Piaffe is right, it sound like typical ex-race horse behaviour. He would have been bred for speed and stamina, and trained to just...GO!
I can't help you much as far as this is concerned because I have no experience with race horses. However, if you are feeding your horse lots of concentrates such as 'maize' (sp?), this won't help much.
Lungeing your horse often will also help get rid of some of his 'zest' and he may well be more calm when you ride him.
When riding him, do lots of things to keep him interested, transistions, changing of the rein, exercises such as leg yeilding, and making sure he is on the bit will all keep his mind active, and maybe he'll listen more when you want him to slow down.
Just a few ideas. Hope I helped! Let us know what happens!
12th May 2002, 07:48 AM
Some racehorses get the message to go faster when you pull back on the reins, because some brace themselves on the bit. It helps them. I think you'll have to retrain your horse from the basics, and if he continues running away wiht you, try cantering in circles until you've got the pace you want, canter straight, turn circles, canter, turn, canter turn. Or if he's just got too much energy, you could lunge your horse before the lesson.
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