Hi everyone, happy Monday! :yes:
I wanted to reach out about some exercises for a normally dead-quiet horse that has a new found phobia of going off the property. I’ve been riding a OTTB gelding that raced for a few years, retired, and has been mostly ridden around at home and trails for the past couple of years. Normally he’s very agreeable with everything you ask of him – jumps around 3’ courses relaxed as can be, auto lead changes, hacks around on the buckle. No real spook in him and while still somewhat green, he’s a nice solid citizen.
However, I’ve been taking him to a few off-property events such as hunter paces and a few lessons and he is the exact opposite. Very tense, inverted, quick, and overall quite nervous. He hasn’t been bad in that he’s pulling dirty tricks or stopping at jumps, but he’s just not the same horse. I imagine he’s probably just back at the track in his mind, but I wanted to see if you had any exercises in your bag of tricks that may help with getting a more relaxed horse and an overall better experience for him.
I’ll do some figure eights or other little exercises to keep his brain busy, but as soon as we start something different, we’re back to the same tense, upside-down neck, giraffe movement type thing. What are your suggestions? I’m open to anything as I know this guy could be great in the show ring if I could get him to go around just like he does at home!
I appreciate the help!