3yo tb filly

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26 September 2021
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Hi I’m looking for a bit of advice, iv recently got a 3 yo tb filly that came out of racing a few months back now, shes had a bit of ground work done with her and had an English saddle on and has been sat on and has had a few little walks out.
she seems really sweet and sensible although a little tense (which is to be expected)
Im Wanting to just basically hack out on her on a weekend.
What would be too much for her? What kind of work do you guys do with your 3yo olds? Any advice welcome 🤗
 

coblets

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She’s 3, an ex racer, and in a new place. Why would you do any work with her? Sending her out on a hack alone in a completely new environment is just going to encourage her current tension - especially as she doesn’t know you well yet.

I’d be turning out 24/7 until at least Feb, and doing a bit of groundwork with her every once in a while to keep her ticking over. Gives her body a chance to recover from racing, and good for them mentally too.
 

Carrottom

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I would think weekend hacking should be fine, I would limit the time though as she probably hasn't been ridden for longer than 30 minutes. I usually start with 30 and build up by 10 minutes a week to an hour.
 
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She’s 3, an ex racer, and in a new place. Why would you do any work with her? Sending her out on a hack alone in a completely new environment is just going to encourage her current tension - especially as she doesn’t know you well yet.

I’d be turning out 24/7 until at least Feb, and doing a bit of groundwork with her every once in a while to keep her ticking over. Gives her body a chance to recover from racing, and good for them mentally too.
Do you not think taking her out for walks on the lead rope (as she’s been at home for a while doing ground work) would help her?
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Thank you, can I ask the reason why?
sorry I’m new to horses so young
A horses skeleton hasn't fully finished developing until they reach the age of 8. Add to that she's still mentally developing. At this age, had she not been a racehorse, she would still have been in a field learning to be a horse and growing.
 
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Thank you, can I ask the reason why?
sorry I’m new to horses so young
Because my preference is to wait until they are more physically mature before starting ridden work. With my own horses I can do that and I can also tailor anything they do to the individual's needs. I am not competing in age classes or selling, so there is no reason to rush.

I have previously helped with retraining ex-racehorses for new jobs and the person I helped was very keen on giving each horse a let down period (shoes pulled, turned out in a herd) after racing of a minimum of a few months and in some cases a year. She was also very strict in how they were brought back into work with lots of straight line work in walk, think of an old fashioned fittening programme and that's what she did. I saw how successful it was with a range of ex-racehorses, so I would do similar myself.
 
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Trouper

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Study the bone growth development chart.
Read books on re-training of racehorses.
Turn her away for the winter and just let her be a horse - she has not had that chance in her young life.
By all means do a little bit of groundwork with her and just take time to get to know her and build a trusting relationship.
Enjoy her!!
 

paddy555

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Hi I’m looking for a bit of advice, iv recently got a 3 yo tb filly that came out of racing a few months back now, shes had a bit of ground work done with her and had an English saddle on and has been sat on and has had a few little walks out.
she seems really sweet and sensible although a little tense (which is to be expected)
Im Wanting to just basically hack out on her on a weekend.
What would be too much for her? What kind of work do you guys do with your 3yo olds? Any advice welcome 🤗
I don't ride my 3 yo until it is a 5yo.

I would suggest that you stop riding her, spend the winter handling her, walk her, keep her well handled and then next spring send her off to a professional yard to have her rebroken and schooled. When you get her back you will be riding a young horse. Do you have the experience for that?

Otherwise I think just wanting to hack a 3yo ex racer a couple of times on a week end is not going to work very well. Unless you have reasonable experience riding 3yo's she is very soon going to do something which gets both of you in trouble. By something I mean refuse to go, refuse to stop at speed or go up. Are you going to be able to cope with that?


Clodagh I took it to mean from small racing saddle to English saddle with stirrups swinging around her sides.
 

ycbm

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I'm going to go against the trend here and say that I see no reason not to keep her in light work if she's healthy and well grown and you are not too heavy yourself. I have kept several 3 year old ex racers in work and they still grow, settle and mature just like the ones which are turned away do.

But a bit of light hacking only at weekends is a very big ask mentally for any 3 year old, never mind an off the track 3 year old, and I would advise you to either have her on a short amount of light work 5 or 6 days a week, or none at all.

And lots of turnout, in a herd.
.
 

teddy_eq

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So, I am experienced with young horses and I have too recently bought a three year old from Newmarket. I use a well regarded sports horse vet in the South East. He advised I keep the horse ticking over by all means if I want to ride, however, in the next six months, find the time to turn him away for at least two of those, as he will carry on growing (even though Thoroughbreds are generally faster to mature). Just like a holiday :).

I would not recommend hacking any three year old alone, purely because young horses of any type can be unpredictable and lack confidence. If possible, I'd advise an experienced friend joins you with an experienced horse to give you both confidence. You might find your mare is bold as brass and happy to hack alone but, I wouldn't experiment on the first outing.

I took my three year old out for his first hack since he retired from the track at the end of July and he was a superstar. Granted, he is used to traffic and hacking as he came straight from Newmarket. I was still thrilled to bits with him.

As above, there is nothing wrong with a three year old doing light work. Holidays are never a bad thing, but don't feel obliged to give her a year off! I didn't have my Trakehner backed until he was five and he had an easy time of it yet, he was still crippled with various orthopaedic problems. Take the horse as you find them, they are as individual as people.
 

Goldenstar

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I would leave her for the winter start again as the weather improves in spring .
she’s backed ridden away she does not need to do any more .
I often got mine leading from another horse at stage they see the world without the weight of the rider.
 

I'm Dun

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controlled, steady work for short periods of time can help strengthen the limbs. There's research papers out there if you want to look for them. If you are hacking steadily on decent going then I'd happily carry on. I wouldn't have her in the school or hacking through deep mud etc, but otherwise, there is no reason you can't carry on.

Horses break an awful lot, yet there seems to be nothing proving that light work at 3 makes them more or less likely to break.
 

LadyGascoyne

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I’d hack a bit and when the weather isn’t great, I’d give some time off.

It’s a personal preference for me, not so much related to whether the horse can take it. I’d prefer not to have anything tense, inexperienced and joggy on slippery roads or in poor visibility. I’d start up again in spring.

I personally backed my youngster at 4 and have started to ride her properly at 5 but she is an Arab, not a Thoroughbred, and she has been with me since she was rising 3 so was totally unbacked. With a started horse, I’d probably just continue but slowly, and give winter off.
 

Esmae

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I would turn her away until next spring to mature and relax. Then I would restart and reback and do about 6 weeks gentle riding away and then turn her away again until the following year and start her ridden career properly from there. I don't believe in them doing things too young. Skeletal development takes time as does mental development. If you are patient she will reward you. If you rush, 9 times out of 10 you will rue the day.
 

Jim bob

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Elf on the shelf is a work rider (trainer/owner?) Correct me if i am wrong. She knows what she is on about.
Thank you for your great advice it was really helpful 🙃
For what its worth. Knowing how hard racers work. I would turn her away for 6 to 12 months. So she can be a horse. Given she has been at the very least in training. I would want her to have the best start after racing.
 

ycbm

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I would turn her away until next spring to mature and relax. Then I would restart and reback and do about 6 weeks gentle riding away and then turn her away again until the following year and start her ridden career properly from there. I don't believe in them doing things too young. Skeletal development takes time as does mental development. If you are patient she will reward you. If you rush, 9 times out of 10 you will rue the day.

I'm sorry but I don't see how it can be considered rushing to keep a horse which was broken at 2 in gentle work at 3. It might even be better for it mentally.
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Esmae

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I'm sorry but I don't see how it can be considered rushing to keep a horse which was broken at 2 in gentle work at 3. It might even be better for it mentally.
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Well that is what I would do. Just because the horse was broken at 2 doesn't mean it is anymore mentally mature than one that wasn't. I just believe in taking my time and thus far that approach has worked very well.
 

Carrottom

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As with everything else - it depends on the horse!
I've had 3 ex racers 3 year olds and they were so different in size, physical and mental development. The filly was a very early foal and towards the end of her 3 year old year she was very forward. One gelding was a real baby and grew another 2 inches over the following year.
 

ycbm

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Well that is what I would do. Just because the horse was broken at 2 doesn't mean it is anymore mentally mature than one that wasn't. I just believe in taking my time and thus far that approach has worked very well.
That's fine, my experience is of riding 3 year old ex racers and that worked fine too.
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ycbm

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Charlotte, it's horses for courses but it might help people advise what would be best for her if you could show us what she looks like, and tell us what kind of support network you have around you and what experience you have.
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