From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I had two great rides! Yesterday we did mostly walking with a bit of trotting here or there and he was excellent! We really have to work on him rounding his neck, or atleast not sticking his nose out and playing with the bit! He is getting much better each day and now he can actually go rounded for a few steps at a time! We have to find where our feet are going again, but we are doing lots of circles, serpentines, change or directions, and more to keep his mind and body busy. It works a LOT more than just staying on the rail!

Today I got him, sat around until about 3:45om, then went out to groom Jet. I started grooming him, got all of his tack ready, and my sister came out and said, "I wanna ride with you but only when Mom comes home!" -looks at half tacked horse and sighs- "Alright, let's go lunge her because she hasn't been ridden in months..." "YAY!" So I lunged Elsa. She didn't bounce surprisingly. We brought her back down and while she was brushing Elsa, Josh(my younger brother) and I brushed Biscuit. I was amazed and so happy when Josh said that he wanted to ride Biscuit. All the horses were getting worked and brushed today! Josh is usually scared of horses but lately he has been helping me with EVERYTHING! Brushing, feeding, water, cleaning, getting tack, whatever I needed, he would be there to help. I should pay him one of these days lol. But anyways, Mom finally got home and we tacked Jet and Elsa up. (Josh was going to ride after us since he is a very beginner rider and didn't want to be on Biscuit with 2 other horses in the ring).

I was the first to get on and I let him stretch out for a lap or so in each direction. Then we got to work! We did circles, this that, and everything in between! He was a very good boy considering Elsa saved her bouncies for Abby when she was riding. He passed her nicely, was passed by her nicely, everything went amazing! We both decided to trot. Elsa was a lunatic and thought that she was the racing Standardbred going 30+ mph. Abby wasn't prepared for it and got a little nervous. She tensed up, telling Elsa to go faster. BAD CHOICE WITH ELSA. You have to stay calm on her. Your calm, she's calm. Your tense, she's tense. She is very good at reading people. But Abby kept on working with her and got her going nicely at the end. We trotting more that usual since the ground was unfrozen. We did lots of trotting and Jet did really well! He kept his head in a reasonable position and was listening to me. You and I are probably thinking two different things. He isn't the perfect made horse. He is green, and still in training so ofcourse he isn't completely balanced and ofcourse he makes mistakes but that's how we learn. He never once was out of control, he was quite the opposite. He was lazyyyyy. But that's ok, I prefer lazy over wild!

After Abby and I rode, josh rode Biscuit. He rode in a saddle without stirrups (his personal style of riding. He hates stirrups and would prefer bareback compared to using them). Biscuit hasn't been ridden constantly.... in years. Possibly ever. Nobody really know show muchhe is trained. We know he drives, but riding? Not so sure. But whenever Josh feels like riding, Biscuit is always his pick and Biscuit takes very good care of him. Before Josh got on, I had to get his bouncies out. Since he drives, he doesn't really understand lunging or if he does, he acts confused. So I brought him up to the ring all tacked up, put some grain in my hand and ran! He galloped after me, bucking and playing. We do alot of inhand work and he always stays at my shoulder. As soon as I stopped, so did he. So then Josh got on. He wanted to play Simon Says so we played Simon Says. We learned that Biscuit loves to do half-passes and knows how to do them. I also voice-command trained him and so when Josh surprisingly said, "Can we trot?" I said "Yep! ready? Biscuit.... trot!"and off we went. I wanted Biscuit to go slow so I did a brisk walk while Biscuit jogged. Overall, Josh had a blast and he was laughing and smiling the entire time! Biscuit loved being ridden and absolutely adores Josh!

I will post more later? Depends on if I have school tomorrow or not =)

-Emily and horsies