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

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What In The World Have I been Up To?

Jet and I have been doing pretty well. After the last show, I was worried that I had pushed too far to fast lameness wise but he has been perfectly fine since then!

We have really been working on his canter. Going to the left, he has made noticeable improvements but unfortunately I can't say the same for the right lead canter. Any tips? He will pick it up but he leans in, counterbends and is fast. I know all of it is due to him being extremely unbalanced and I know he is tighter on his left side making it harder for him to stretch it and bend to the right. I really try to encourage his right hing leg to move forward and underneath himself but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. In a field, he is much better and balanced but my tiny 70x80ft "riding ring" is not giving him the same oppurtunity to stretch and balance on a straightaway.

We have also started jumping again. We started out with crossrails at the very beginning of September and have managed to work our way up to 2'3" at my friend's house (she has a much better set up for jumping than I do). We have even started working on lines! He seems to be enjoying it or atleast putting up with it. I don't see him ever going much higher than this but I guess time will tell. Here are some videos:



X-rail to 2'3"

Cantering 2'3"

Best Vid!

And a few pics (:


MK riding Jet

 The boy himself (:

Our competition schedule for the rest of the year looks like this:
October 2nd: Flatlands Combined Test or Horse Trials, haven't decided yet
October 15th: Fall Show at my School
October 23rd: Last Haskins Show
October 30th: Apple Knoll Halloween Hunter Pace

We have a busy month coming up! I hope we are ready!!


  1. Great videos! You guys look awesome.
    Good luck for the shows.
    btw - I love your header.

  2. I would probably try to canter him in the field. When he is warmed up, try asking for him to use himself for a few strides and then relaxing your expectations again. If he has a hard time balance in a small area, his (and your) tension won't make things any better, so you may as well stick to the field for undersaddle canter for a while.

    Work on getting him through and even at trot, and work on circles and staying true and through at trot. This should help even build his musculature more evenly, and help his "carrying" muscles do both directions, although canter still does ask other questions of his body.

    If you are experienced in the correct use of vienna reins, lunge him in these to help him to *choose* to use himself correctly in both directions. My old guy was butt high, so some balance issues, and an occasional(once a month or so?) undersaddle vienna lesson for him did wonders. My friend spent the better part of a summer with her OTTB on the lunge in vienna reins, and it helped his balance and carriage enormously.

    Inexpensive ones can be made at home pretty easily. Let me know if you want more help with that. =)

    Good luck!

  3. Thank you (:

    We have been cantering only in fields for a few days and I can already see improvement. my riding ring is quite small but allowing him to stretch and balance on straightaway has really helped us all around! Thank you for your help and suggestions! I would love to hear more about the vienna reins (: