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Training a New Endurance Horse
Hi, all. I'm looking for some advise on training a horse. I finally bought
my first horse that is specifically for endurance, he was vetted at
Rochester Equine Clinic in New Hampshire by the vet who does the Maine 80.
He told me that this horse has the potential to be a 100 mile horses. So I
guess I did a fairly good job choosing him. Let me tell you a little about
him and his background. He is a 10 y.o., 15.3H Standardbred gelding (don't
want to hear that I should have bought an Arabian). He is medium boned and
tends to stay on the lean side. He has very nice confirmation and has a trot
to die for.
He is a very smart, and willing horse. He is practically bombproof on the
road. First time out some stupid kids blazed passed us honking and he
didn't care. So here's where I need some help. He is a former sulky
horse, he has 4 gaits, but does not work off of his rear end, and is very,
very heavy on his forehand. He is also not used to a rider. He is broke to
saddle but is just learning how to balance himself with a rider. He is so
unbalanced that when he trips, he lurches forward almost dropping his chest
to the ground. The first time he did this, he flung me on the ground. So
I'm trying to training him to work off his rear end, but I can't longe him
(I get very dizzy) and I don't have a place with a long run uphill. The
last time I trained an off the track Standardbred, I had access to more
hills. I will do some dressage work in the ring (yuk!), but really can't
stand ring work. Any suggestions would help.
Just so I don't get the "Is he sound", "does he have some back problems",
and other similar statements, I took him to Rochester Equine Clinic in New
Hampshire and had him vetted specifically for endurance. The vet who does
the Maine 80 was the vet who looked at him. The vet knew he had raced for 8
years and was very, very picky knowing what my plans were for him. He
couldn't find ANYTHING wrong with this horse. The vet check included over
20 xrays of various bones including hocks, knees, and the entire front legs
from the knees down. So there are no soundness issues with this, just
balance. Thanks in advance.
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