Reply To: OTTB

G & S
Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

If this is your first OTTB, one of things you might not know is that many OTTBs are only taught to go forward, and not really taught to turn in answer to pressure on one rein or the other, much less to bend through the neck. Back when I was younger and saddle breaking horses, I used to long line them with a bridle, and the long lines attached to the bridle, so I could teach them to turn in answer to increased tension on one rein or the other. OTTBs are also often intentionally not taught to slow down or stop in response to increaed tension on both reins. But it is easy enough to also teach the “slow down” or “stop” rein command while long lining, and it is possible to teach the horse to be response to a slow down or stop command merely by increasing the tension in your fingers, hands, & arms, instead of pulling back. If you teach these two basics before you get on, you have a horse with at least a rudimentary concept of turning, slow down, and stop when you do start riding. Teaching it this way can also be make it easier for the horse, so that when he is ridden in a hunt seat or dressage saddle, or even a western saddle, that will put the rider’s weight in a much different balance than what the horse is used to, he only has to deal with the new rider balance issue, not the rider balance issue plus new (& to the horse) strange rein commands. Easier for the horse and safer for the rider. This method also works well for youngsters.