Advice for OTTB/Ex-Racehorses

Joined
1 January 2012
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4
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Belfast
I am now a proud owner of an OTTB, Alfie ( raced under Alf Tupper (GB), 8 years old, 16.2hh bay gelding ) he is very willing to please, is incredibly affectionate and an angel in the stable and for farrier etc, learns fast aswell although he is my first horse and I would appreciate if anyone could offer some schooling tips and also how to keep him calm under the saddle and what to do to stop him bolting off and also how to stop him if he does. I have only had one incident of this and he lept over 3 trotting poles and galloped round and round, repeating the huge leap over the poles. Sometimes he will try and pick up the pace and try and take off but if I feel him trying to do this I will try and talk him down and circle him. Understandably he only does this as it has been bred/trained into him, he would never try to hurt me, he would nearly hurt himself rather than hurt anyone which is a quality in him I love and is hard to find even in schoolmasters. Every horse whether it has raced or not can be disobedient and gallop off so I try not to judge all his problems as race related and give him the chance to prove me wrong.
He has not raced in over a year and has done basic schooling, and can walk, trot, canter nicely and always on correct leg when he wants too! Can circle in trot aswell, but I am going to bring everything back to basics and do alot of lead rope groundwork and lots and lots of walk. He is turned out into the sand school with other horses every day and would be worked by me 3/4 days a week so I don't think he has any built up energy ( well more than usual for a racer! ).
I have all the confidence in the world in him that he will make a great riding horse and will eventually compete.
Also I would like anything ex-racehorse related posted here too! eg. experiences, what feed you use etc. as I could refer to the advice you all give and use it to help bring on my lovely OTTB Alfie :D

Thanks!

Amy xx

Here are a few pictures of him I took, and also one I found of when he raced, I will post more if any of you are interested :p











 

Holly Hocks

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1 March 2010
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England
Keep your feed as basic as possible. Mine is on spillers high fibre cubes and plain unmolassed oat straw chaff. And feed adlib hay/haylage. Give plenty of turnout.
I've had a couple out of training, but I've never had one take off with me like yours has. Remember that the more you take the rein, the more the horse will also take the rein so you end up pulling against the horse and the horse pulling against you. At the beginning mine have all been ridden on very very loose reins. I have never forced any contact.
 
Joined
1 January 2012
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4
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Belfast
HollyHocks - I never pull against him when he misbehaves, but he understands that pulling the reins at walk means halt, he just doesn't transfer that learning to his other transitions. And yeah he is only on stud cubes and haylage, thanks for your advice!

Jacksmum - Thank you so much! He looks soo much better now than a month ago, he was greatly underweight when I got him and his feet hasn't been done in months, and was cooped up in a shed for 5 weeks, I'm amazed how quickly he trusted and bonded with me. He's settling in now though and he seems to be very happy! I agree, at the end of it all i'll be rewarded with a great partnership you couldn't have if you just bought a been there done that old schoolmaster :)
 
Joined
1 January 2012
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4
Location
Belfast
Don't worry in those pictures we just put his tack on loosely before we went home one night to make sure he wasn't cold backed, just set it on and tightened girth slightly, didn't realise how far back it looked!
 

bumblelion

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11 March 2008
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1,962
His saddle looks too far back in the pictures
I thought exactly the same!! Although OP- seen ur later post!

Time and patience is the key, I've found with ex racers. He looks gorgeous! As for feed, keep it simple! My tb gets adlib Haylage at night in stable, hay in field as not much grass, half scoop unmollassed chaff twice a day with joint supp and balancer and a good few handfuls of hi fibre nuts in his decahedron in the field! He thrives on routine and plenty of turnout keeps him sane!
 

Tammytoo

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10 June 2011
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Yorkshire
He is absolutely gorgeous and looks like he has fallen on his feet :D
Try this forum, they are very friendly and full of great advice.
http://www.horse-directory.co.uk/exracers.htm
Good luck, they are very rewarding :)
Second this suggestion, small but very friendly and helpful forum.

The only thing I would change is the stud cubes. They are pretty high protein, really more suitable for youngstock, broodmares etc who need the extra energy to grow and I really don't think he needs extra energy!. If you want to give him a feed then Allan & Page do a good one called Calm and Condition which worked really well on my ex.racers.

He sounds absolutely lovely though - lucky you!
 

goneshowjumping

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19 August 2008
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760
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in the mud!!!!!
The only thing I would change is the stud cubes. They are pretty high protein, really more suitable for youngstock, broodmares etc who need the extra energy to grow and I really don't think he needs extra energy!. If you want to give him a feed then Allan & Page do a good one called Calm and Condition which worked really well on my ex.racers.

He sounds absolutely lovely though - lucky you!
my boy is on a&p calm and condition, and he thrives on it, i steer clear from haylage though on advice from my vet to prevent aggrivating ulcers. I also feed gastriaid by NAF just to keep him ticking over nicely.
TB's are very rewarding and yours looks a lovely sort.
 
Joined
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Well north of Watford
Nice-looking horse - saddle still looks too far back on the one where you are sitting on him, though...

Lots of changes for him, so don't rush him. Drop the feed and turn him out as much as you can.
 
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