While relaxation is a goal with an off-track Thoroughbred, riding without concentration can contribute to distractions and “bad” behavior, said Aubrey Graham, anthropologist and trainer at Kivu Sport Horses. horse nation.
Rolling intentionally will keep a horse interested, which will keep them engaged and moving forward, Aubrey said. This is especially important for OTTB riders, who tend to be smart and often get bored easily, causing them to seek distractions.
Additionally, OTTBs can get stuck in training “ruts” by being driven the same way every day; they may express their displeasure when asked to change.
Horses can express their displeasure in several ways: by anticipating a change in gait or an upcoming movement; exert the minimum effort and become boring; and being obviously bad, such as opposing, rearing, scaring, etc.
A rider looking to be more interesting – and therefore keep her horse’s interest – must differentiate between “working on” and “working towards,” says Aubrey. “Working” involves fundamental elements of riding that will serve a horse well, no matter what discipline it adopts (such as pace and straightness). “Working towards” means setting goals and working on developing the skills needed to achieve them, such as progressing to high jumps or competing at higher levels.
Read Aubrey’s advice on how to keep OTTB brains engaged at horse nation.