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Digital Subscriptions > Horse Illustrated > Oct 2019 > Getting Started RIGHT

Getting Started RIGHT

Retraining the Thoroughbred from racehorse to riding horse.

For the early days of training an off-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) under saddle, choose mild days with little to no wind, when the arena or paddock is quietest and without external distractions. And, if your schedule allows, work your horse around same time each day with the same feed, turnout, and grooming schedule as you’ve already established. Always reserve plenty of time to groom your horse and tack up as it can be a relaxing preparation for ridden work.

Spend a few minutes longeing your horse before mounting to loosen up muscles and joints, as well as get any bucks out.

Before mounting, longe your horse for at least 5 to 10 minutes to “get any bucks out” and loosen up his muscles and joints. For your fi rst several rides, it is benefi cial to include a couple of minutes in side reins, which will help the horse focus on working in a correct outline and encourage him to relax his neck and back muscles before you get on.

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