Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 1)
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   17th Jul 2010   •   21,102 views   •   74 comments
Retraining a Racehorse

Week 1:
I am going to type up, in detail, all my experiences with retraining Moonfire. I'm going to tell you what I did and when, what the results were, what my thoughts were, what Moonfire's progression is and so on. I hope to be publishing weekly articles on this, so I sincerely hope that you choose to follow them. My aim is to be able to offer some assistance, if just a framework or guideline for what to do when retraining a racehorse, for those who are facing similar training challenges. Of course, what works for one horse may not work for another, but I can give you some idea of what I did and what results it got from my lovely little pupil. If you have any questions about how I did a specific thing, or what you ought to do with a specific horse, please feel free to mail me, and I shall help in any way I can.

Friday 2 July:
For a while I have been talking to people and asking around about certain racehorses I would like to get my hands on. Eventually, I was able to get the details for a trainer looking to rehome a horse.

Next, I found out all I could about this horse from the trainer, to see if he would be suitable for what I wanted. I am looking for a junior or adult jumping horse, possibly with some dressage and eventing on the side. This horse's name is Moonfire. He is 16hh, which is about perfect for what I want, and 3 years old which means he should grow enough to be 100% perfect size-wise. At the age of 3 years, he is ready to start light work in just about any discipline. Admittedly, it would probably be better if he was 4, but thankfully is a strong enough horse that his age shouldn't prove a problem, especially since I shouldn't be too heavy for him when comparing my size to his. He is a gelding. Admittedly, I do prefer mares, but since I am planning on training him for resale, it is best to have a gelding, since there is far less market for mares.

Once I had my basic information, I grabbed my mouse and got to clicking around google, researching my new prospect. His sire, Dynasty, is rather an impressive racing stallion, but none of his progeny have done very well in what I'm looking at using him for. His dam, however, is sired by Elliodor, a stallion who has been known to produce some nice jumpers. My next step was to research Elliodor's progeny and see how they have done in the show ring. I found a couple of Elliodor horses jumping 1,20m and 1,30m, so that was enough evidence for me. I was also lucky enough to stumble across a forum discussion about Elliodor relatives and their uses in riding. It seemed that many people shared a similar opinion: The main traits that most of Elliodor's progeny show is a big, bold jump and a slightly nervous, skittish attitude. Well, for a resale horse the attitude could be a problem, but the big jump is exactly what I am looking for.

I have now established the fact that I am interested in seeing this horse. I contact the trainer once again, this time looking for more details. Moonfire has raced only around 6 times and he never did very well, so his legs ought to be sound. He did, however, suffer complications after being gelded and was given a 32-week rest. He last raced on 18 June 2010. Well, the rest can only do him good, but the gelding complications could mean his condition or health might be a little below average. Last thing to find out is the price and conditions of sale. Thankfully, the trainer was simply looking for a new home for Moonfire, so he said that I could have the horse free of charge as long as I took him as soon as possible and promised not to enter him in any races.

Now we list the pros and cons:

Free horse. Ideal size. Good bloodlines. Short racing career. Gelding.

Gelding complications. Possible skittish attitude. A little younger than ideal.

I decided that it was definitely worth going to see Moonfire.

Later that day, I went with my instructor and my mother to see Moonfire. It is always a good idea to get a few other opinions on a horse, especially from people who know horses. That way you can be more certain that you are not making a mistake. Well, Moonfire is certainly a large horse. Not only is he tall, but powerful and muscular, too. This would have slowed him down on the track, as he is a little too bulky, but it will be a great asset in the showjumping ring, or out on a cross-country course. His condition was much better than I expected, and he had a lovely temperament. He seemed sweet, affectionate and calm. Once we had looked him over in the stable, we took him out to have a better look. We examined his conformation, which was actually surprisingly good. He has the most gorgeous neck I've ever seen on a racer, good thick legs, and a wide chest that promises he will grow to be a big horse. His hindquarters need a little more condition and could do with some more muscle, but that is to be expected of a racer, as they move mostly off the forehand. We checked over his legs, and found a small bump on his left front knee, but it did not seem to trouble him and certainly was no more serious than a stable injury. We trotted him out to check his movement and soundness. He tossed his head around and bounced a little at first, but after that he moved nicely in-hand and seemed obedient. We concluded that he was sound, and his movement seemed nice enough. Overall, Moonfire was an even better horse than I had expected! I arranged with the trainer to come out early the next morning and test him under saddle.

Saturday 3 July:
I got up bright and early on Saturday morning to get to the racing stables at 8AM. I wore my cross-country skullcap as opposed to my usual jumping helmet on the trainer's recommendation as an extra safety precaution if something were to go wrong. My stirrup leathers happened to be attached to my dressage saddle, so I decided to try him in that.

I got on to Moonfire in a sand ring where they usually walk the racers as a warm up. He was already tacked up in his racing tack, so we just swapped his saddle for my dressage saddle before I began to ride him. The other horses were training on the track nearby, but Moonfire did not seem to be in the least bothered by this. He objected to the change in saddle, putting his ears back and giving a few sulky kicks, but this was to be expected, as he had never worn anything like it before. I walked him for a while to get a feel of him and to let him get used to the saddle. He was calm and relaxed and I could feel that he had a nice spring in his hind legs while walking. After a while, I tried trotting him. He would not accept the bit, but he responded beautifully to all hand aids and was even willing to bend a little. His trot is incredibly smooth, and I was easily able to sit to it. He has a long reach to his stride, yet he does not speed up at all. He settles into a nice, balanced rhythm and never shows any signs of wanting to bolt. I tried his canter as well, and found that he was a little lazy and reluctant on the transition, but that he had a big powerful stride, a steady rhythm, and good balance for a racer. Much better than I had expected. He was clueless about getting the left lead, but all racers always know only 1 lead when they come off the track. This is a problem that we will have to work on.

After my ride on Moonfire, I decided that he was not only worth getting, but an extremely lucky find! It was decided that I should pick him up at 9AM on Monday morning.

Retraining a Racehorse

Sunday 4 July:
No work with Moonfire.

Monday 5 July:
At approximately 9AM I went to collect Moonfire. We had to sign a few papers, but it did not take long, and pretty soon I was leading him toward the horsebox and the start of his new life. He was a little nervous about entering the strange box, but he went in after having a quick sniff around. I stood in the box with him for a while, keeping him calm and making sure he was well balanced, then I got out and left him to get used to being alone in the box. When we reached the farm I turned him out in our jumping arena and armed myself with a lunge whip so that I would be able to keep my loons away from the fence if they caused any trouble. Moony settled in very quickly and did not seem too concerned about the strange place or strange horses. Once he was calm and settled I attempted to loose jump him... That did not go well. He had no clue what to do, so eventually I decided it would be better just to find what would make him 'click' under saddle. So I got on him and rode him around, trotting and cantering over poles on the ground. He had a few moments where he didn't want to go over the poles, and then I would have to be quite strict with him and give him the occasional tap with the crop, which seemed to work quite well, since he stepped over without getting worked up. There was one pole he especially didn't like, so I got off and lead him over that one before getting on again and riding him over it. Once Moony was happy with the poles, I had a very low cross set up for him. He had no clue what to do, and did not even attempt to jump. After barely managing to get him to step over it a couple of times, I decided it was time to try a new method.

I took Moony on his first outride. He behaved absolutely beautifully! He stayed calm and obedient and didn't spook at anything. Since he was being so good, I decided to take him onto the tiny little jumping trail I often ride on my other horses, just to see if the different atmosphere would help him understand jumping better. Apparently it did. Moony soared over all the jumps, mostly consisting of twigs, yet some standing as high as 80cm or 90cm high. Moony kept a good rhythm and listened to me perfectly, so we were able to have a very enjoyable ride. After completing the track, I popped him over a little log jump at the top of the main trail to see how he would react to something a little more solid. At first he was hesitant, but soon I had him jumping it nicely. I found what helped a lot was to get into a light seat and drive him into a forward canter, then find a good rhythm so I could plan a nice stride to the fence, all the while being careful to keep a good, even hold on his mouth so I could force him over if he tried to pull out. Moony also seemed to like a lot of leg and very soft hands, so I just toyed with my riding style until I was doing what seemed to work best for him.

When I took him back home afterwards I pointed him at that same crossbar and he hopped over without a fuss. After that, I hosed him down and let him go. He rolled around in the sand at least half a dozen times, then got up and followed me around the paddock like a big puppy.

Retraining a Racehorse
Moony jumping a little log pile on his first outride

Retraining a Racehorse
Moony following like a puppy

Tuesday 6 July:
I got to the farm around midday and gave Moonfire a quick check-over, making sure that his legs didn't have any cuts, scrapes or swellings. He had a mild bite mark on his rump, but nothing too serious. Moony seemed a lot more eager to go today, and pranced around a little when I put his bridle on. Once tacked up, I took him into the arena to try and work on his schooling. We managed to establish a little bit of bend. I did this by opening my inside rein and applying a lot of pressure with my inside leg. Moony was a little unbalanced on the uneven ground (Our dressage arena is terrible.) so he seemed inclined to hang in on one side of the circle and hang out on the other. I reacted to correct it was best I could, tightening my outside rein to balance him and pressing with my outside leg when his shoulder fell out, and opening my inside rein slightly, holding my outside rein for balance and pressing hard with my inside leg when he fell out. He learned to move away from the leg very nicely and soon we were doing a reasonably smooth circle.

One he was doing that nicely, I worked on his canter. I attempted a couple of walk-to-canters and canter-to-walks on the right rein (his good rein.) which he performed surprisingly well for such a green horse. Once again I was shocked by the glorious power and smoothness of his stride, not to mention his wonderful balance and the unexpected adjustability he was giving me. I was able to lengthen, shorten, speed up and slow down his stride as I saw fit, and I was able to turn him very easily with just the lightest touch. Since his right canter is already so good, I didn't work on that for long, but instead set about tackling the left canter for the first time. I tried establishing a good bend and asking him to canter when I could feel his balance was in the right place, but he would always shift his weight onto the outside shoulder the moment I asked him, then strike off on the right lead. I tried pulling him onto a tiny circle to throw him off balance and encourage him to take the correct lead to right himself, but that didn't happen either. What I finally managed to do is get him to strike off to the right, then give him a sharp squeeze and have him change to the left. Well... At least I won't have to worry about teaching him flying changes... He responded to this quite well, and slowly started to understand what I wanted. Eventually, he struck off on the left lead on command. I made a huge fuss of him, and rode him in one circle, then took one full round of the arena in a light seat, patting his neck the whole way. Pleased with my result, I decided to call it a day for the schooling, and took him into the jumping ring. Again we started with poles on the ground, and this time he was not phased by them at all. I then tried some low crosses with him, and he did them without hesitance this time, though his jumps felt a little too effortless for my liking, so I decided to challenge him a little. I set up a 60cm upright and rode him at it. He hopped over sweetly, but left his hind legs trailing and clipped it down, obviously not respecting the poles enough. I put it up to 70cm and he cleared it once, then tapped it with the hind legs again. I then raised it to 80cm and rolled barrels under the jump to make it seem more solid. Moony did not like the barrels much, and he goggled at them and scuttled away. Next time I took him over at a trot. He got much too close and launched a big, awkward jump to get over while stretching his neck as far down as he could in fear of the barrels. So I decided to take the pole off and just jump the barrels on their own. That worked quite well. I toyed with his striding and tried to place him in different spots, and each time he cleared them nicely. After a while I put the pole back up and jumped it with him a few times. He was still finding awkward spots and jumping with an awkward shape, but as a green horse I didn't expect him to be perfect anyway. After doing that, I popped him over the crosses again, and his jump felt much better, as though he was actually getting into the air and not just cantering over.

Retraining a Racehorse
Moony jumping the barrels and pole

Wednesday 7 July:
No work with Moonfire.

Thursday 8 July:
I didn't have much time to work with him, so I decided to see what he thought of bareback riding. I buckled on his bridle and started by riding him around the lunge arena that he is currently being kept in (To keep him safe from the rest of the herd until they accept him and stop trying to peel him like a potato...). He did not seem to completely understand the concept of bareback riding, as he would take just a few strides, then stop again. Eventually I got him walking around without stopping, even bending a little, but he was still very hesitant and uncertain. I tried a bit of trotting, and he sulked a bit and broke gait often, so I decided I would take him out into an arena and work him properly. We went to our back arena, which is too thick for any real schooling or jumping work, but perfect for just riding around, stretching out, and building muscle. Moony seemed much happier now. He even cantered around nicely, seldom hesitating. I worked on adjusting his canter - speeding it up and slowing it down. This is clearly one of his strengths, for Moony has the most adjustable canter I've ever seen in a racer, hands down. He responded immediately every time I asked him to shorten or stretch forward, and we even managed to get a canter slower than a trot, yet with enough power that it did not break. After that I decided to work on his transitions a little, getting him to do trot-to-canter, walk-to-trot and walk-to-canter in the same corner on command, so that he could learn to distinguish between the slightly different aids and figure out that not everything simply means 'go faster' as it does in racing. He responded phenomenally! He picked it up really quickly, and by the end of our session we'd even had a few walk-to-canters without fitting in ANY trot strides whatsoever between! He also never cantered from walk when I asked him to trot, which was a great sign, as it meant he was really listening to me. We also tried some canter-to-trot and canter-to-walks, both of which he managed beautifully on command. The second I asked for a walk, he just dropped his canter and settled into a smooth walk, yet when I asked for trot, he did not even attempt to walk, but simply flowed forward into a trot. He really seems to have a knack for obedient transitions and stride adjustments, so I am beginning to think he has some potential as a dressage horse. I can also feel him starting to show signs of wanting to come on to the bit now, but I'm not going to push it. I'll just try to get some proper bend, get him stretched and supple, then ride him forward into my hands and see what happens. Overall, I am very pleased with Moony's progress, and he always seems a little more willing after each ride, so I think he is really starting to enjoy his new life.

Friday 9 July - Monday 12 July:
Away at an event - no work with Moony, though I did give him a hug when I came back on Sunday, and he was being very sweet. He seemed honestly happy to see me, what with the way he was nuzzling my hair and following me around. He really does have such a sweet personality, this Moony horse.

This concludes week 1 of retraining a racehorse - Moonfire. I hope that you found some of this useful, and that you will continue to follow these articles!
Undesired Humor  
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,925 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Thanks :)
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,914 views
Aww, he's gorgeous, you truly are very lucky, with all your horses, infact. :)
Your band o' loons should all settle down to him soon enough, hopefully. :P
He's an excellent find, and has a great future to look forward to, it's just a shame you can't keep him.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,095 views
Fox Crest Stables  
I seriously dislike the fact that you're jumping this horse at this height at age 3. He is not done growing and not done developing yet, not to mention he has no leg protection what so ever. It may just be me but I find it extremely irrisponsible of you to be doing that to this horse. I don't know what they teach you in the UK, but I do hope you realize that jumping a horse under the age of 4 over anything over 18" is highly irresponsible and could possibly have serious long term health risks for the horse. Not to mention working said horse over big fences multiple times a day two out of his 4 days of work in his first week of training when he's completely unconditioned for it.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,969 views
Fox Crest Stables  
I seriously dislike the fact that you're jumping this horse at this height at age 3. He is not done growing and not done developing yet, not to mention he has no leg protection what so ever. It may just be me but I find it extremely irrisponsible of you to be doing that to this horse. I don't know what they teach you in the UK, but I do hope you realize that jumping a horse under the age of 4 over anything over 18" is highly irresponsible and could possibly have serious long term health risks for the horse. Not to mention working said horse over big fences multiple times a day two out of his 4 days of work in his first week of training when he's completely unconditioned for it.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,969 views
Undesired Humor  
Foxie-She knows what shes doing. And she does not live in the UK.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,963 views
Great job, Polo! Can't wait to hear how everything goes!
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,952 views
Fox Crest Stables  
UK, Australia, Europe, New Zeland, US, whatever. That doesn't change the fact that she's jumping a 3yr-old over 2'6" jumps and higher. I've been training, breaking in and working jumpers for years, I have the experience to know what I'm talking about and I know for an absolute fact that it is completely irresponsible to be jumping a 3yr-old. My opinion won't be changed no matter how loyal you are to her.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,969 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Foxie: That is your opinion, and I appreciate that. :) You make a valid point, but I too have experience in breaking and training jumpers, and I do not believe that what I am asking him to do is too much, nor that it will have any risks for him. The ground we work on is incredibly soft, so the shock on the legs is extremely minimal. Also, most people out here have their thoroughbreds jumping in 80cm competitions by age 4, unless they raced for longer, of course. The South African Thoroughbred is a fast-maturing horse, and most of us out here start them early, especially the resale projects. Still, I appreciate your concerns, and I shall be sure to get my vet's opinion very soon when he comes out to deworm the horses, and let you know what he says. :) Thank you very much for you input! If you have any further concerns or queries, please feel free to mail me. ^_^

Sheepster: Thank you! ^_^

Bearsy: Thank you! :P They are starting to accept him... It is a pity... :( I guess we'l
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,952 views
Foxie isn't out of order.
She is completely correct.

This horse is THREE years old, not only is it not developed for this. But you JUST started training. On you very first ride you jumped him, you are getting way ahead of yourself.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,073 views
I'm going to have to agree with Foxie and Phantom. I think you are moving way to fast for an "off the tracker". You should be working on flatwork. Transitions, lateral work, and conditioning are the basis for a good jumper. Not to mention a 3 year old as not fully developed in bone mass. Also any good jumper or event rider will tell you that they only jump one or two times a week. Their conditioning schedules are mostly based on dresage, trot or gallop sets, hacking and ground pole work. I'm sure his confidence isn't that great yet either. Your setting yourself up for disappointment in the future.

I wouldn't be surprised if he turns into a stopper at fences and has leg problems down the road.

I think he is lovely and I wish you the best of luck with him.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,044 views
This is one of the most dangerous things I have seen on Ponybox, EVER. So let's get this straight. You say that because of gelding complications his health and that he needs conditing. Okay. So you get him home and the first thing you do is ride him. PROBLEM RIGHT THERE. I always allow a few days to get the horse settled into the new home before riding. So you then decide to JUMP HIM?! His first off the track ride and you jump him. Wow. Like Foxie said, very VERY irresponisble and just stupid. He isn't even developed all the way. Thoroughbreds have very delicate legs and at three years old with no training outside the track you are jumping him nearly every ride. Wow. I'm not going to be suprised when in a week or two he is no longer sound. You are putting this horse in serious danger. I don't care if you have 'experience', because obviously it isn't enough that you have the bright idea of jumping him already. At this point you should be doing ground and minimal work on the flat, gettin
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,019 views
Oh yes, not to mention he showed that he wasn't ready for jumps yet when you had to nearly force him to go over ground poles for christ's sake, as well as free jumping him 'did not go well' so you decided to make the super smart choice on jumping him that same day.. wow. Get a grip. South African Thoroughbred, whatever, it's still a 3 year old, it's still a Thoroughbred, a breed who's legs are delicate, etc.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,019 views
Savveh ease up.
I work with actural races horses that are still in racing, We have 2yrs old in training - Fully mouthed and backed.
Are you going to tell me that im irresponsible for that?

If this horse didnt want to jump, He would of keep refusing.

Im working with a ex race horse myself and when i first got him on that very day i went riding on him and he needed conditioning why did i do that? Because i would rather work a horse that wont get ahead of himself straight away then feed him up then ride him, Knowing he is in great health and still has the "race horse mode"

I have a 2year old TB filly who is to small for racing but LOVES to jump and she's 2 and it hasnt affected her one bit and unlike polo who has great ground, I have very tough ground and i still jump her, Well its more of the her seeing a jump and cantering to it and jumping it herself but oh well.

If you ask me, Polo was probably only testing out what he can, and can not do and by the looks of it, s
  Jul 17, 2010  •  7,962 views
Dragonfly Farm  
I may not have much experience in the way of training Show Jumpers, but I have enough experience re-educating ex-Racers to know what you are doing is wrong, arrogant and irresponsible.

Foxie and Savveh have pretty much summed it up, so really I shouldn't have to add anything else other than this:

You are clealry an experienced and capable horse woman, but I honestly would have expected better from you.

Peace out.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,246 views
T W I  
You guys! No matter whether she's wrong or not does NOT mean you have to be so abusive in your speech! I am not even her friend, in fact I've have barely even talked to her. I am just seeing you guys really laying it on her which is unnecessary.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,185 views
T W I  
Oh, and I'm not talking to everyone. Only some members.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,185 views
Seriously guys? Just chill out! Jeez what did the poor girl ever do to you? For all you know it all, wannabes out there.. she is most likely thousands of miles away from you and you don't know her or the horse. You have no control over what she does with the horse and if she ruins him then that is her mistake and her problem NOT yours. A girl at my barn started jumping her horse boone at age 3 and he is now 9 years old and has never been lame.Diffrent people have diffrent methods for training horses and if you don't agree with it keep your prissy little mouths shut.And it is most definatly not the most dangerous thing on here,what about the pictures of people standing on their horses backs? They are hurting their horses back,and what about if they fell? They could break the horses neck!And polo is not irresponsible,none of her horses are skinny or beat up are they? Leave the poor girl alone!
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,274 views
Dakodia Elite  
Jeesh, guys. I honestly have NO experience training horses, considering I don't have one, but I feel you don't need to say she's 'irresponsible' and 'STUPID.' I know her and she would never do something that she doesn't think is right. Polo is an experienced horsewoman and she knows what she's doing.

Great job, Polo. He's a beautiful horse and I can't wait to see the progress you are going to make with him.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,277 views
that's wonderful!
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,192 views
Farm Products  
I don't anything wrong with this. Our farm starts jumpers at 2.5yrs all the time. We have only had one incident the past few years, but the horse had other issues and probably should not have been selected for a jumper to begin with.
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,214 views
So Polo, you know how much I love you, and how your EXTREMELY talented with all your horses and all.
I love your talent for scoping out a good horse, you're just an awesome horse person.
Though, I do not agree with the arguementative point this people are forcing way to hard on you.

However, I love Moonie, and I will say again- you.
Though, I do have to agree with the jumping that high first time, at 3 yrs old.

Cee just reached 2ft height, and I've been putting her over fences for more then a month.
Its just too much stress on their developing knees and joints, and from all the word in USA, that is what ruins a horse early in life.

So, all in all, I'm glad you've decided to get a vets opinion.

Farm Product-
I see HUGE problems with that. Though you might not find issues right away, horses WILL NOT last if started jumping at 2.5yrs
Thats crazy.
Horses should be BARELY broke at that age!

In Germany, the 'young horse' classes in Dressage go to 7-8 yrs old.
What do
  Jul 17, 2010  •  8,301 views
i am not going to comment on your training style. you can train however u like and its know one elses business, n=but i am glad you got and ex race horse and are training him. i have a mare myself. looking great
  Jul 18, 2010  •  8,190 views
Fox Crest Stables  
Its funny how all of our 'arguementative points' are backed by not only all of our years of experience, bu also by almost every vet and eqine researcher. Its funny how our 'points' are backed by cold, hard facts.

At one point in time I might have said to myself, humm, she can ride fairly well and seems to have a handle on training. Well after seeing and reading this I must say I have lost any and all respect for you. You put absolutly NO ground work on this horse, you don't work on balance or any other form of structural foundation on your first ride. You spin the horse in a tight circle to get its lead, not to mention you push a 3yr old over 90cm fences when he isn't even balanced enough to pick up his right lead! You've seriously GOT to be kidding! Not only is he inexperienced, unconditioned and not finished growing both mentally and physically, but he is also coming off the track after being hyped up on high powered grain, feed and exercise.

So let's take a look. You pick up
  Jul 18, 2010  •  8,201 views
Fox Crest Stables  
Farm Products, that's simply awful.
  Jul 18, 2010  •  6,954 views
polo.. all of your articles i have read are amazing and you are so lucky to have a horse like him! good luck with your future progress with moonfire :)
  Jul 18, 2010  •  6,958 views
i just read some peoples comments on here and half the people on here i think need to be more understanding and realise we all know whats best for our horses, and we come from differant countries etc, so our horses may all be a bit differant whatever, like what polo said that the south african tb is fast maturing.
people should just mind their own horses and leave other people and their horses alone unless there really is physical, or mental damage affecting the horse. i do believe its ok to speak your opinion about this but not make the other person seem bad for what theyre doing, as you probably dont really know what was going on, like how often moonfire was going to be jumped anyway and at what height all the time.
polo i think do what you think is right for your horse as you're the one who knows him best :)
  Jul 18, 2010  •  6,996 views
S Q U I  
Hayley and Flash:
Well did the person start jumping that HIGH on his first jump?
  Jul 18, 2010  •  7,078 views
S Q U I  
Hayley and Flash:Well did the person start jumping that HIGH on his first jump?
  Jul 18, 2010  •  7,078 views
S Q U I  
I agree with Polo at ONE point.
I'm happy she's going to get the vet opinion.

But dearest,

MY opinion is that you shouldn't jump a three year old that high on the first day you get him.
And then a 2.6 jump for his second jump?
Honey, your going to ruin his legs.
It is to much stress.

You should really work on ground work and then move him up slowly to the flat. Work on his gaits and lateral movments, ect. When he is READY, start him on poles.

But really, Polo, your going to ruin him. You don't see it in the beggining, but you will see it down the road.

That is just MY OPINION!


BTW: Moony is absoulutly beautiful!
  Jul 18, 2010  •  7,078 views
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 Related Horse News
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 1)
17th Jul 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
I am going to type up, in detail, all my experiences with retraining Moonfire. I'm going to tell you what I did and when, what the results were, what my thoughts were, what Moonfire's progression is and so on. I hope to be publish ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 2)
1st Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Before I begin, let me make something clear. These are my methods. Methods that have worked for me in the past as well as new methods that I have decided will work for Moony in the future. These methods might not work for every ho ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 6)
12th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
On Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed, sick as I was, to get ready for the little practice show I had planned to attend. To my absolute dismay, I found that my darling brother had used up all the hot water, so I was doom ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 5)
4th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
The day of the show dawned not so bright and not so clear. In fact, there was a fair amount of wind and even a spot of rain. Still, I figured it was a good test for Moony, so I tacked him up and walked him down the road, since it ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 3)
21st Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
My instructor was around to help me with Moony, and we started by doing a bit of free jumping. She got him going extremely well, and he soon learned to jump on his own, without the help of a rider. As Moony is uncertain in our jum ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 4)
29th Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
I began by free jumping Moony, working him until he was jumping decent height fences in good form and with loads of spring. We introduced a few spreads as well, and Moony popped over everything comfortably. Once I was satisfied th ...
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