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 Post subject: Horse afraid of rail
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:19 am 
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Newborn

Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:31 am
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Hi, we have a horse that simply does not like other horses being to her outside, especially at the number one post position. She will wait until most horses have passed her and then move to the outside and try to gain ground from being 7 wide. She actually has a pretty good move, though her speed is her best asset and might be best from a forward running position. Can anyone offer any help or suggestions?

PhantomMask


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 Post subject: Re: Horse afraid of rail
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:26 am 
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Darley line
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 5936
Location: FL, NY
PhantomMask wrote:
Hi, we have a horse that simply does not like other horses being to her outside, especially at the number one post position. She will wait until most horses have passed her and then move to the outside and try to gain ground from being 7 wide. She actually has a pretty good move, though her speed is her best asset and might be best from a forward running position. Can anyone offer any help or suggestions?

PhantomMask

Hi Phantom,
Perseverance and understanding is key. Here are a couple suggestions which might help your horse get over this situation? This isn't unique, many horses are in the same boat....but their trainer will work with the horse and duplicate race conditions in morning training which seems to worry the horse in the afternoon. Continually training the horse in company (in gallops, breezes and gate work), allowing the horse to be on the inside, in the middle and on the outside of horses, till eventually the horse feels secure in all spots. If the situation persists, possibly removing or adding blinkers, or retooling a set of cups on the b's, to limit vision inside and/or outside.
On race day, if the horse has been running in sprints only...change to a distance race if you feel your horse is best from a forward running position. Slower fractions will make it easier for the horse to clear the field....tell the rider to send the horse with a couple cracks of the whip coming out of the gate. This too must be worked on in the morning, so the rider and horse both feel secure in doing it in a race. Even if the horse isn't a distance horse, once it's on the front end, it will do a world of good for the horses mindset. This first distance race is a learning experience, you're not looking for a check, you're looking for the lead. The horse will realize, when it's on the front end, there are no horses on either side and the horse will strive to make the lead in sprints or distance races. Again this situation should be recreated in morning gallops, breezes and gate work and it will eventually dawn on the horse, being in front is the easiest way to avoid having other horses around and with some luck eliminate her fear of being around others all together:>) TJ


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 Post subject: Re: Horse afraid of rail
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:13 pm 
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Starters Handicap

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:35 am
Posts: 679
I have had, recently, exactly the same problem with a filly. Our instructions to the jock have always been - get her to the outside at all costs. She too, had a good early foot, so those races in which she drew the rail or the 2, were really problematic. But sometimes too, when someone just unexpectedly rushed up outside of her, the same problems occurred. We had tried everything (blink extensions, training companions). Plus every race we had to give up so much ground when she went 6 wide.

But - a couple of thoughts -

First is she a fairly nervous filly to begin with? We found that that was definitely linked to our problem. Those days that she was more nervous - we knew that the big end of the purse wasn't coming in.

Not sure if turf or dirt is her milieu, but dirt allows further separation between horses and we found that that helped - even though she could run on anything.

Finally - I switched trainers, and the filly was much more relaxed around the new trainer. In her last race she ran on the inside of a pack, split horses twice and went on to win her AOC - her fifth win. My jaw was on the floor.

Moral of the story is keep your hopes up - you'll eventually find the key.


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