Many of our readers may be working with a new off-track Thoroughbred this winter, and Elisa Wallace has some advice on starting these athletic horses over fences in their new careers.
Elisa spends time working over fences with show jumper Anne Kursinski on her 7-year-old lightly raced Thoroughbred, I Reckon So or “Ricky”. “You can see he’s sorting out his body and his balance,” Elisa explains, observing the horse’s reactions to the new concept and reiterating that it’s important that the horse is allowed to understand each question and learn through mistakes.
Other key takeaways from Elisa’s pointers:
- Repetition is key – allowing the horse to learn little by little over a fence should yield more understanding
- Do your best to stay out of the horse’s way – assume a neutral, stable position over the fences, avoiding yanking the mouth or otherwise punishing the green horse for jumping
- Allow the horse to sort out his own balance
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