I adopted a 3 year old OTTB last year who was retired early with a ‘right knee injury’. However his PPE was perfect, radiographs clean, and I think the following is the real reason he was retired. I restarted him my normal way, with focusing on ground work for the first few months. He has been interesting from day one, and that he does not spook, does not act like a normal 3-year-old off the track, and does not want to go forward.
He has had multiple dentists, chiro, massage therapist, vet checks over the last year to confirm that he does not have any physical ailments, but I cannot for the life of me find his go button!
I restarted him in a hackamore for the first eight months or so, and even on windy days trying to encourage him to trot was an issue. I have tried the acavello sensitive bit, and an assortment of other simple bits, now he’s just going in a copper roller D. I’ve tried a dressage saddle, a bareback pad, a jump saddle, a saddle fitter, nothing seemed to make any difference. He does not make any mean faces, does not buck does not kick does not respond to a crop or whip, but he just won’t work.
Over the past year, I’ve ridden him on trails, indoor arenas, outdoor arena’s, sand arenas, grass jump fields, grass hacking fields, put him down a jump shoot, and have not seen him perk up for anything. I’ve ridden him alone, with ponies, in a group, and still no changes in work his work ethic.
It has been almost impossible to advance his training passed a walk/medium trot, because he just will not go. If I do get him to go over a log and fall into the canter, It is so exhausting to keep him catering that we haven’t made any progress cantering.
At this point I am dumbfounded about what to try next, and welcome any and all ideas out there to find his spark! I know I should be counting my blessings that he’s not a typical 4 year old OTTB, and that he is just a cool cucumber, but I’d also like to be able to do something with him at some point