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[RC] race brain behavior vs. training. - Melissa Margetts Ms. Kitty

Holy cow! I was actually ASSUMING that they HAD been more trained, prepared, experienced etc. than any other horses in the world at this level. But at this event they certainly didn't act like the "perfectly trained" horses jvm said they were. That's why there was the question as to what the hell happened and is this just what is normal, common, expected and accepted at WEC and if you see this happen all the time at these kinds of rides.Do these types of endurance race horses just forget all that training we know they've been given, easier than other horses when it's time to perform? Like I said before, I've just never seen it in coverage of other top level equestrian sporting events like dressage at the Olympics. I have only seen it at racing events while the handlers are trying to get the horses into the gate, and attributed THAT to "race brain" and the inexperience of those being two year olds. When the question was first brought up, it was explained by the weather and the excitement of the event, the travel and change of conditions. But this type of behavior doesn't seem to happen with other types of events that have the kinds of challenges. My guess still is that it was a combo of a lot of these things but that a great part falls on the tendency for the horses for this type of event excel precisely because they were chosen because they HAVE a "race brain". But along with that quality they are probably more apt than most to just "loose it" than other breeds in other sports. It's also my guess that a rider WANTS them to keep that "race brain" in order to be competitive to win, and not train it OUT of them, but in turn, is challenged with the continuing NEED to continually try and train even more manners into them than other sports just so they can focus that "race brain" on the task at hand.


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