Elizabeth Wood
photo by Phil West

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TRAINING NOTES from Elizabeth

Walk and keep asking for the "baby give" bend.

Walk and keep asking for the "baby give" bend. Aly's Charmer.



Sing D Song training with Elizabeth at Bits & Bytes Farm - April 2007.

Sing D Song training with Elizabeth at Bits & Bytes Farm - April 2007

training notes from elizabeth

Our horses > training notes from elizabeth > April 11, 2007

Our training notes often show schooling at the farm but may also include cross country schoolings and trail rides away from the farm. Go back through our notes to see how we train our off-the-track Thoroughbreds and prepare them for new careers as sport horses.

Getting Your Horse to Bend

Most OTTBs have a problem bending to the right. You cannot pull their heads to the right or they will drop their shoulder and curl into a turn. What you need to do is ride with a constant supporting outside rein. Ask for the bend with the inside leg. Push the horse to the outside rein. Make a "wall" of your outside rein and outside leg.

Classic Casey
The horse tends to want to drop the head and turn the nose in the wrong direction.

Open your inside rein and lift it. I find that carrying a bat length whip is useful to tap on the should to help keep the horse from dropping the shoulder. I also sometimes use spurs (with a flat headed rowel that tickles) to get the horse's attention with the inside leg. Yes, I said use spurs and a whip with your ex-racer! This is the most common problem with any ex-racer.

Open your right hand and lift slightly.
Open your right hand and lift slightly. Push the horse to your outside leg. Paula and Bounced's first ride. Bounced needs more support from Paula's outside rein.

Horse trainer, John Lyon's talks about the "baby give" to get the horse bending his head. Look it up. A brief description of this is to hold pressure on one rein until the horse "gives" or bends to it. IMMEDIATELY release the pressure. Wait a second and apply the pressure again. Hold pressure on one rein until the horse "gives" or bends to it again. IMMEDIATELY release the pressure. Repeat about 100 or more times each side and soon you will have a horse that will give you his head with the lightest of pressure.

Ask for the bend.
Ask for the bend. You can see Lucky's rear leg coming across and under him in the turn.

As you are doing this at a walk, do not worry where the horse is going. Focus on being quick with the release when the horse gives you the bend. What the horse wants more than anything is for you to leave him alone - he gets that when you release the pressure. The horse will give you what you reward (release) for. After a few days the horse will bend properly and then it is on to the next task - making him straight with impulsion!

Sing D Song and Elizabeth.
Sing D Song and Elizabeth.

Horse photos in this Training Note from Elizabeth include:
Aly's Charmer
Classic Casey
Sing D Song

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