EQUINE MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING - Fred and Rowena Cook
Retraining Racehorses, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Schooling
Email: Enquiries@equinetraining.co.uk or call 01780 740773
A HORSE going into training needs to learn more than just galloping about! Life in a racing yard is vastly different to that of any other form of training or livery yard.
THE daily routine in a racing yard s very structured and there are specific things that the horses have to accept so the more we can prepare them for these, the less of a culture shock it is for them when they go into training.
WE have a a great team around us providing all necessary ancilliiary services that may be required - specialist veterinary surgeons, farriers (including remedial) chiropractic and physiotherapy practitioners as well as having a full complement of therapy equipment courtesy of FMBS Therapy Systems.
IF REQUIRED we will back and start youngsters pruor to actual racing prep being carried out.
THIS may need to start with in-hand work if a horse is recovering from any kind of injury having already been in training..
HOWEVER for horses deemed "sound" we always commence prep work with long reining as this is still by far the best way to build up, balance and strengthen a horse within himself before adding the weight of a rider. Long reining is not just about walking horses abut the countryside but also undertaking work in the school in walk, trot and canter to further build balance but also improve suppleness and coordination. Working horses in this way enables us to check that a horse is correctly carrying and using itself before adding a rider.
OUR PREP work is not just confined to an arena; the horses benefit so much from working out on grass, as this helps develop their natural balance, and also being long-reined or ridden along tracks. Changes of scenery not only helps educate a horse but also is one of the best ways to keep horses fresh and enthusiastic.
APART from the right work to promote muscle, fitness and stamina, we also like to carry out some basic school work which further helps with balance, coordination and the development of muscle in a the right places. And the horse that has the correct muscle development is clearly going to withstand the general wear and ear that racing imparts.
WHILST working into a contact is not a concept the racehorse needs to know about, acceptance of the bit, so as to be settled in the mouth and hand, is an asset for both horse and jockey; a horse expends unnecessary energy fighting his jockey on the way to the start and during the early phase of a race.
NOR is an outline necessary but by encouraging a lowering of the head, topline muscle development is better achieved.
RACEHORSES are invariably on the forehand. By riding them in a similar way to a riding horse they can be taught to carry more weight on their hind legs/quarters (provided of course the rider knows how to do this) which keeps them off the forehand and so less likely to damage tendons.
WE teach horses to jump - but with a good technique.
THE racehorse does not need to jump in the style of a horse that is going showjumping; a bascule and greater lift from the shoulder is not required but if he can be taught to fold his forelegs, he is much less likely to tip up especially when negotiating a hurdle.
AND if he can jump well slowly, then he will be better able to jump accurately, and therefore more safely,at speed.
THIS gelding is by Silver Patriarch and as he will go hurdling, teaching him to jump is an important part of his training.
THE racehorse needs to learn to stretch and flatten so that he does not lose valuable time in the air. This horse is developing a good stretch through his body (the flattening process) and he has enough lift at the shoulder - he does not need more for his job; he just needs to fold a little better.
ONCE he starts to jump at speed he will also become more open through the neck rather than jumping, as he is here, with a lowered head.
This rather weak individual (photo right) had a tendency to run through his hurdles;
Having been taught to jump properly, is now fit and ready to find a chase fence.
Fit and ready to be returned to the trainer.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the horse on the left is not a thoroughbred but 3 months later we have a potential racehorse. Although still needing some further hindquarter development the horse is standing correctly and taking weight behind..
WE also take horses on box rest and re-commence their return to work with controlled in-hand and ground work prior to being put back under saddle.