Have to see to believe

I’m fairly open about the whole training process but there are times when I simply don’t post videos because the horses look so bad. I don’t want people to go all crazy on me like they can on the bulletin boards 🙂 If you haven’t been through the process of retraining tb’s then sometimes it’s a bit hard to watch. People might think I am evil or have no clue what I am doing. Sometimes I do wonder myself 🙂

Rockin Fun has sort of followed the trend of gorgeous, crashing, holy hell he looks bad and now on the road back up again. I had sent a video to Allie of him in the ring 2 wks ago and she went OMG that is painful to watch. It was that point where you know it’s bad but you have to keep going. Now that I have some comparison video, I will post the really bad video for the sake of learning purposes.

Some pics first:

Arrival from track- May 24

June 12

July 4

July 13


Now for the video. The first video was taken on 7/13/11 before he had his chiro appointment. It was the 2nd/3rd time he had been in the ring because I had just been trail riding him to build muscle. Allie saw the video and said OMG don’t show him to people..yeah it’s that kind of bad 🙂  He is just going ouch, ouch, omg this sucks. I just sort of promised that it would all be fine and he would be okay.


This video was taken today


It’s exactly two weeks between those rides and the difference is quite dramatic. During the super hot spel,l I very lightly lunged him introducing him to the vienna reins and showing him he could stretch and he was really into it. Today was the first day that I even took up contact with the reins and at first he was not getting it but then he caught on. I am riding him over tempo but right now that is where I want him to be because he needs to march up into the contact and no be behind the leg. The canter is dramatically different. I can’t even believe he softened his back at the canter tonight! I thought that would be a long way off still so I was excited.

I realize he is still funky all over but he is two months off the track so he hasn’t had as much down time as most of our horses do. Mainly because he prefered being in a stall so life on the lay up farm wasn’t his cup of tea.

I get their coats darker by putting fly sheets on them to protect from the sun and the color comes back pretty quick. He is really starting to put on muscle now and his neck is filling out. He absolutely loves to trail ride and is so quiet. I LOVE this horse. He doesn’t look super fancy right now but he has an amazing brain and is so willing. He will try absolutely anything you ask of him and horses like that are worth their weight in gold. He has been introduced to jumps just to see his general attitude and he was good but right now it’s more important to build his muscle.

I know that I always go on and on about how awesome CANTER horses are but seriously I don’t know how we end up with so many quiet/lovely animals. I do know we do a good job at giving them the time they need, getting them comfortable via farrier/dentist/chiro and then restarting them correctly. I think because they get a nice start there is just no drama and no rushing them. They really enjoy their new lifestyles.

It would be easy to panic when they look so ouchy and stop pushing through but you really do have to just lightly ride them to continue to build the muscle. It’s amazing how quick the progress can be. I will continue to ride him out of the ring as much as possible to keep him happy, forward and fit.

If somebody is looking for that nice quiet all around horse you should snap him up now. He has clean x-rays of feet, ankles and knees. Absolute sweetest horse you could ask for. I really can’t say enough good things about him. I’m hoping to take him along this weekend when I go to x-c school another horse. I may just pop some logs, walk in water, do a bank and a ditch and see how he takes it all in.


6 responses to “Have to see to believe

  1. I think anyone who would seriously criticize (not just OMG!) the first video has not worked with TBs fresh off the track. He is doing what all of them do that I have worked with, high head, braced back and short choppy trot. It’s how they move on the track, nobody teaches them how to carry a rider at the trot – why would they? I think he is lovely and has improved a lot in a short time. His trot stride is already longer and the canter is a gait all by itself and not just a prelude to a gallop. He is my kind of guy, unfortunately I have no money to support another horse. 😦

  2. Splishsplashriding

    Wouldn’t we all LOVE it if they were all taught how to trot with a rider and not just all strung out or straight to gallop? My barn manager has also breed and raced her own TBs and hers carry themselves well because the were given the op Ty to learn and it certainly makes a difference now 🙂

    He is already SO much improved already and I know he will get past the funky OMG stage quickly with you and someone will get themselves one heck of a horse!

    Ashlea and Splash

  3. If I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t even think it is the same horse. What a difference in a short time. It will be fun to watch him progress. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad.

  4. Nick job working with Rockin Fun! One big difference I see in the video is the positive change your farrier made in his hoof balance. Many TBs have two different front feet and Rockin Fun’s seem to be a little more extreme than one normally sees . In the first video his LF heel is way too high and out of balance with his RF which can occur from lack of appropriate farrier care, or if the horse has been barefoot and has broken off the toe. When the foot is too high like this, it makes it uncomfortable for the horse to canter on that lead, causing the horse to brace his back and raise his head to minimize the jarring on the coffin bone joint and knee. Most likely, your farrier was able to make some changes to his feet between the two videos.

    Rockin Fun looks so much more comfortable going left. His right front hoof still has too low of an angle and too long of a toe but I can’t wait to see him when your farrier is able to balance him up by getting his heel heights even. The low angle puts pressure on the ankle and eventually could lead to soreness. Your farrier may be doing a great job but Rockin Fun’s natural hoof design may require front shoes to maintain the correct balanced toe length. RF sounds like he has all the characteristics to be a horse from heaven for someone. Wishing you both the best.

  5. Dramatic difference… he looks wonderful!

  6. I know you called the first video your “bad” video — but when I look at that, here is what I see: I see a horse who looks honest, kind, and generous who has a lovely balance to his canter and it made me fall in love with him. I actually felt like I got a feel for him more in the first video and then when I watched the second one, I went, yeah, that’s what I thought I saw! Thank you so much for sharing those, he looks wonderful and now I hate you for making me love him. Oh how I want to bring home a project pony, how I wish I could find a way to make it happen!!!

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