Take your time
I would like to offer some advice to the writer of “Three to Get Ready” (Consultants, EQUUS 438) who wanted to take her spooky off-the-trackThoroughbred to a show after a month and a half. I sincerely appreciate OTTBs. I’ve educated a number of them, and I’ve been an equestrian coach in dressage, eventing and hunter jumpers for roughly 38 years now, maybe a bit more, both here and in Europe.
My advice is to let the horse tell you when he’s ready to show, not to set a time for him. Certainly build your relationship and trust at home, and if possible, trailer him off your property at least once a week to school at other areas. Stick to the same schooling routine you do at home, continue the trust and relationship building in a variety of environments, and evaluate where there are holes and where the progress has been.
If you’d like to go to a show, go to a schooling show first ... but not to compete. Unload, acclimate your horse and basically school---just like at home, using every quiet calm schooling technique you do at home, and make sure you’re not excited, either.
Most of the Thoroughbreds I’ve worked with learn fast and are calm for the most part. They’ve been exposed to travel, crowds and the hustle and bustle of the racing environment. As athletes they have an amazing amount to offer. Cheryl Casati Monrovia, California