Horseracing I - On My Radar Screen

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Horseracing I

Understanding Exotic Wagers:

More detailed explanations for wagers with large numbers of combinations are included on the individual charts for those types of wagers.

Bet one horse to win in one race and one horse to win in the race that immediately follows. This bet used to be offered only on the first two races of the day at race tracks, then a "late" double was added by many, using the last two races. Some tracks have multiple doubles, using some other races or all other races on any racing day. The bet is usually a $2 minimum.

is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the first and second place horses in races which offer exacta wagering.

In boxing the exacta, the bettor may bet a minimum of two horses on a single ticket, giving the bettor every possible combination of the chosen horses to finish first and second in exact order.

If you like one horse and want to play it with all other combinations of the rest of the field, so that any other horse can run second, that's called wheeling. For example, if you like the #2 horse and want to play him to win, with all the other horses in the race, you'll say to the mutuel clerk "$1 Exacta, wheel the #2 on top." $1 is just an example; you can wager whatever amount you like. Also, you can put your horse "on the bottom," in which case he must run second.

is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select the first and second place horses in races which offer quinela wagering. The exact order of finish doesn't matter as long as they both run first and second.

The quinela wheel is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select a horse which has to run first or second and other horses, any of which can run first or second along with your main horse to have a winning bet. (If your main horse finishes worse than second, it's a losing bet.)

is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the first, second, and third place horses in races which offer trifecta wagering.

In boxing the trifecta, the bettor may bet a minimum of three horses on a single ticket, giving the bettor every possible combination of the chosen horses to finish first, second, third in exact order.

If you like one horse and want to play it with all other combinations of the rest of the field, so that any other two can run second and third, that's called wheeling. For example, if you like the #2 horse and want to play him to win, with all the other horses in the race, you'll say to the mutuel clerk "$1 Trifecta, Wheel the #2 on top."

This is a simple variation of wheeling. In a KEY wheel, you select one horse to win, and then your choice of x number of horses in the second and third positions.Let's say you like the #3 horse really well to win, and you think the # 6, 7, and 8 horses are the only other horses in the race who have any shot at all of hitting the board. You would play a "$1 Trifecta, Key the 3 over the 6, 7, and 8."

The favorite of many trifecta players, this variation is virtually the same as a basic wheel, except that you can exclude as many horses as you want. This allows you to build some pretty creative bets.

Is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the first, second, third and fourth place horses in races which offer superfecta wagering.

In boxing the superfecta, the bettor may bet a minimum of four horses on a single ticket, giving the bettor every possible combination of the chosen horses to finish first, second, third, fourth in exact order.

If you like one horse and want to play it with all other combinations of the rest of the field, so that any other two can run second and third, that's called wheeling. For example, if you like the # 2 horse and want to play him to win, with all the other horses in the race, you'll say to the mutuel clerk "$1 Superfecta, Wheel the # 2 on top."

This is a simple variation of wheeling. In a KEY wheel, you select one horse to win, and then your choice of x number of horses in the second and third positions. An example is in order. Let's say you like the #3 horse really well to win, and you think the # 6, 7, and 8 horses are the only other horses in the race who have any shot at all of hitting the board. You would play a "$1 Superfecta, Key the 3 over the 6, 7, and 8."

The favorite of many superfecta players, this variation is virtually the same as a basic wheel, except that you can exclude as many horses as you want. This allows you to build some pretty creative bets. Since Superfecta Part Wheels are largely played using $1 as the basic betting unit, and in the interest of displaying part wheels as clearly as possible, we'll feature only the costs of tickets using $1 in the chart that follows. Remember, of course, that $1 tickets always pay HALF as much as $2 ones! Superfecta part wheels usually involve a lot of numbers and can quickly become VERY confusing, so plan your tickets carefully, never be in a hurry, and write 'em down! See the superfecta wagering chart for more information.

Is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the winners of three consecutive wagers, placing your bet before the first race in the set of three goes off. Many tracks offer multiple pick-3 wagering opportunities every day. For example, races 1-2-3 might be the first pick-3, followed by the set of races 2-3-4, 3-4-5, 4-5-6, and so on.

Is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the winners of four consecutive races, placing your bet before the first race in the set of four goes off. Many tracks offer multiple Pick-4 wagering opportunities every day. For example, races 1-2-3-4 might be the first Pick-4, followed by the set of races 2-3-4-5, then 3-4-5-6, then 4-5-6-7, and so on.

Is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the winners of five consecutive races, placing your bet before the first race in the set of five goes off. Some tracks offer multiple Pick-5 wagering opportunities every day. For example, races 1-2-3-4-5 might be the first Pick-5, followed by the set of races 2-3-4-5-6, then 3-4-5-6-7, then 4-5-6-7-8, and so on.

Is the form of pari-mutuel wagering whereby you select in order the winners of six consecutive races, placing your bet before the first race in the set of six goes off.


Dutch Calculators

DUTCH 2 to 7 horses. Enter odds and press RUN

Enter odds -- -- 1st
Enter odds -- -- 2nd
Enter odds -- -- 3rd
Enter odds -- -- 4th
Enter odds -- -- 5th
Enter odds -- -- 6th
Enter odds -- -- 7th



Dutch Formula

It's pretty straight-forward to set an an Excel program to manage it.
Suppose the profit sought is P
Suppose the odds (new, tote style) are a, b, c, d, ..... (depending on how many horses are being backed)
Then the stakes needed A, B, C, D,..... are given by
One horse (trivial case)
A = P/(a-1)
Two horses 
A= bP/(ab-(a+b))
Three horses
A = bcP/(abc-(ab+bc+ca))
Four horses
A = bcdP/ (abcd-(abc+bcd+cda+dab))
etc, etc
e.g. eight horses
A =  bcdefghP/(abcdefgh-(abcdefg+bcdefgh+cdefgha+defghab+efghabc+fghabcd+ghabcde+habcdef))
 In general, in words, the stake to be invested on any horse is given by the product of the profit sought by all the odds on the other horses divided by the product of all the odds less (and this is the tricky bit to put into words  - thank goodness for algebra) the sum of the combinations of the odds one level down from the total product. A couple of points to note.
(1) The term in the denominator is the same for all the wagers in the same race; so, if one is computing by hand or in head, that calculation is done once only.
(2) When the second term in the denominator is greater than the first, dutching is not possible at those odds


Fraction Odds - Americans - Decimals Odds
















Index Horse Hand Guide.

Lead rope  1

Grooming  2

Saddling 3

Mounting  horse 4

Holding  Rein  5

Leading  horse 6

Stirrups 7

Position of Rider 8

Putting away 9

Bridling 10

Identifying Leads 11

Lifting feet 12

Cleaning  feet  13

Leg Command's 14

Riding 15

Leads 16

Stop   17

Back-up   18

Leading  horse  19

Figure eight   20

Bits   21

Health care   22

Diseases   23

Other problems   24

Nutrition   25

Care on the trail   26

Hoof trimming   27

Sidepassing   28

Front end control   29

Longeing   30

Sacking   31

Problem Horse  32

1 Lead rope

It should be six to seven feet long. Once the horse has been tied he should be able to eat from the ground but not able to step over the rope and get burns or bruise. The Manger tie is the most useful tie you can use, it can be undone very easy if the horse get into trouble.

2 Grooming

Use a comb and a brush to remove any tangle and twists in the mane and tail. Make sure that the girth and back are well clean so that the cinch and blanket do not get caked with dirt and sweet so that the skin can't breathe.

3 Saddling

All of the handling of the horse is done on the left side. Make sure that the blanket in dust free by shaking it. Center the blanket well up the withers. Pick up the saddle with the horn in your left hand and the cantle in your right with the cinch over the seat.

Gently carry the saddle over the horse making sure that the stirrup and cinch dose not bruise the left leg of the horse. The saddle should fit just back of the shoulder. Not every saddle fits every horse so you might have to use thicker saddle pads.

The cinch should be done up near the elbows, yet not near enough to crowd the skin, which may result in cinch sores. Move the front foot forward to make sure that the cinch is done up on the hard girth back of and between the front legs.
Check the tightness before you mount and after a short walk. The second check is indispensable for your safety.

4 Mounting the horse

Approach the horse on his left side, face the saddle, collect the reins in your left hand, you can also grab the mane. Grab the horn with your right hand, put your left foot in the stirrup, and push from the right leg swing over and into the saddle in one motion. Dismount is the exact reversal.

5 Holding the Reins

Reining- both hand should hold the reins at all times. To rein to the left, the left line is pulled away from the neck and the right rein pushes the neck over. Back side of the left hand down, run both reins through the hand .

Turn the hand clockwise so the back of the hand is up. Lift finger 2,3,4, over the left rein. The left rein now enters the left side of the left hand, comes up between finger 1 and 2, loops above finger 1 and is clamped in by the thumb, as is the right rein.

About 12'' distant from the left hand, take the other rein in the right hand. Check to be sure that reins are of equal length.

If your horse does not neck rein well you will find if you rein him suddenly to the right his, ears will point into the turn, his nose and head going up and away from the turn. Reining combines neck reining with the ability to lead the nose into the turn and to keep the head down.

You must always use light contact with the horses mouth, the reins must not be to tight, and not to loose. If your horse likes to charge, bring him in firmly then slack the reins. Give and take, or you will develop a hard mouth. To this point I am assuming that you are use a D- ring snaffle.

Hands must be kept low, elbows in and back so hands are above the horn.

6 Leading the horse

Always use both hands, the right about a foot from the halter and the left to carry the remainder of the rope. He should be encouraged to walk smartly and always to the right of the horseman. If the horse walks behind you and he gets spooked you will be in his line of travel.

7 Stirrups

Always adjust the stirrups on the ground for safety's. The length of the stirrups should be when you stand in the saddle (heels down ) you should be able to slide a flat hand between you and the saddle.

8 Position of Rider

Heels down, always. Do not sit behind the the action of the horse. Keep elbows in and back. Sit well forward. Lean body forward for a jog and even more for a lope.

9 Putting away the horse

For safety never ride horse into stall or barn. Always dismount first. Lead horse into stall and tie. Undo cinch ( flank cinch first ). Careful fix the cinch so that they don't drag as you take the saddle off.

Undo lead rope, slip off bridle gently, so not to hurt the horse's mouth, assuming that your horse wears a halter. If not then this would be your last step.
10 Bridling

Place your right arm between the horse's ear's and hold the top of the head-stall before his face. Hook your left thumb under the curb strap and push the bit towards the mouth with the left hand. If the horse doesn't open his mouth stick your left thumb into the mouth and gag it open.

In one motion, bring the right ear forward into the ear loop, tuck the left ear forward, and slip the head stall onto the head.

If the horse's head is to high push the head down a number of times and teach him to keep his head down. If necessary pull on the left ear down each time he lifts his head.

11 Identifying Leads

When a horse is in a canter he reaches with one front foot more than the other, if he reaches with the left foot then he is in a left lead and with the right foot the right lead. the rider can lean over and take a look at which lead the horse is in.

12 Lifting feet

Front foot- Facing the rear while standing at the shoulder, run your hand down the front leg to the tendon. Using your inside arm. With your elbow push the inside of your horse,s knee, buckle it and lift the foot. Lean into the horse to shift his weight off the foot you are lifting.

Hind foot- Stand beside the horse's hip facing the rear of the horse. run the hand of the inside arm down the leg to the cannon. With your shoulder push the horse off balance and bring the foot backward with your upper leg, being careful not to get kicked. If the horse refuses to give his leg, lean into him, pull the foot forward, out, and back over your knee.

13 Cleaning the feet

Pebbles, glass, and bit of debris have a tendency to work their way between the frog and the bar, and between the sole and the hoof. Using a hoof-pick, gently but toughly hook such foreign material out. Don't be too gentle in hooking out the dirt. You can't hurt the horse unless you gouge with considerable pressure.

14 Leg Command's

Tapping at the center right of the horse should move the whole horse to the left. Tapping both feet to the rear of the cinch means go. Tapping both calves above the cinch while the horse is in movement means stop. The same tapping while the horse is not moving means to back up. Touching the rear of the horse on the left side means the horse will move his rear to the right. Never give a signal and just hold, just tap once.

15 Riding

Your center of gravity should be in the center of the horse. The rider should in no way interfere with the movement of the horse. Do not sit forward where you bounce severely on the pommel of the saddle. Do not sit on the cantle and get whipped around when the horse rear hit's the ground.

Stirrups must be the right length. Heel are to be down so ankles can flex. Do not lean back, or too far forward. Keep elbows in.

16 Leads

Let's call for a canter in the right lead, rein the horse slightly to the left, and clearly signal with the left leg toward the rear cinch simultaneously reining him back to the right, saying "canter".

Should the horse take an incorrect lead, drop him to a trot and try again. Practise both leads.

17 Stop

Starting at a walk, let the horse see, feel, and hear, the command. Leg pressure above the shoulder with a low rein pull, and a Whoa! Later on you can try this at a trot. Always use the three commands.

18 Back-up

Teach your horse to back up from the ground first. Facing the horse give the lead rope a push with the word's back-up. Once he recognizes the word's and back-up on command then it's time to try from the top of the horse.

19 Leading the horse

Lead the horse along a wall with the horse between you and the wall. If the horse is tardy, with your left hand reach behind you and whip the horse. He will lunge forward, but get the idea of remaining at your shoulder. The wall is there to keep him from running away by dodging sideways.

20 Figure eight

This calls for a lead change. It stand to reason that if a horse started the figure eight in his right lead he will have to change leads when he reaches the center of the figure eight where the lines cross. At a trot call for a lead change at the center of the figure eight. If you are turning left call for a left lead, if right call for a right lead.

21 Bits

Any bit that has the reins hooked directly to the bit (the part that fits in the mouth) is a snaffle. Any bit that has the reins attached to shank is a curb. But overall, a jointed bit is know as a snaffle and a solid bit is called a curb bit.

The D-Ring Snaffle is a good bit to start a horse with. It is gentle enough to prevent hurting the horse's mouth. Steel bits or copper plated bits are more likely to get a horse to salivate and keep a tender mouth.

22 Health care

Roundworms- are frequently 1/2 inch thick and up to a foot in length. The horse picks up the larvae in stables and grazing around manure heaps on pastures. Roundworms attack chiefly young horse's and lodge in the small intestines, resulting in the tiring of the horse.

Bot fly- lays eggs on the horse's flanks, noses, and shoulder. The animal ingest the eggs by gnawing at them. Once in the digestive system, the eggs hatch, the worms attach themselves to the stomach walls and are passed out in the feces in 8-10 months, pupating in the soil and manure, Bot flies then begin the cycle again.

Pinworms- are small worms, again picked up from soil or manure, locating near the rectum, where they itch, causing the horse to rub his tail.

Bloodworms- larvae are on wet grass, when eaten lodging in the large intestine, where they do considerable damage to the walls.

Houseflies- are not parasite in the true sense of the term. It does not suck blood, but it is highly unsanitary, feeding on manure and then discharge of the nose and eyes of the horse, causing a tickling sensation which worries him to the point where his feed and resting are constantly interrupted.

Horseflies- can literally worry horses to death, they suck blood, causing pain as they do so, and they do not take turns. Any number of these fairly large black flies attack a horse around the muzzle and tail. They are obnoxious partly because the horse becomes unruly, and even dangerous.

Mosquitoes- again these insects are blood suckers and inflict pain on the horse's. Mosquitoes are the chief carriers of Sleeping Sickness and Swamp Fever.

23 Communicable Diseases

Distemper- germs are contracted in common water tanks, feedbox, equipment, horse blankets, saddle blankets, and bridles. This disease is most common in the spring of the year. horses are most susceptible when they have colds. Running noses, the discharge of which thickens and yellow are a common symptom.

The lymph glands under the lower jaw often abscess and drain. Penicillin shots ( 20 cc's per day for 4-5 days) usually relive the situation. Distemper among herds or stable often has to run it's course before the problem settles.

Sleeping sickness- usually carried by mosquitoes, this disease evidences itself in a severe fever, drowsiness, twitching muscles, dulled senses. there may be slight discharge at the nose, a weight loss and dribbly urination. Vaccination in spring or early summer protects the horse for about six months.

Call a veterinarian for a serum that helps in the early stages.

Swamp fever- this disease is caused by biting insects.

Symptoms: fever, weight loss, weakness, swelling of the legs, bleary eyes. The red corpuscle count is low, the pulse is slow and weak. While these symptoms may disappear with rest, they recur. The horse must be destroyed if by a coggins test the disease is confirmed.

Lockjaw- bacteria which thrive in manure and swampy areas. The problem is greatest when a wound heals over from the outside first. Usually no fever is evident. The neck stiffens, swalling and chewing become difficult, legs stiffen, breathing and pulse quicken, and the horses becomes nervous.

Call a veterinarian to administer a dermal injection when a major wound is noticed or symptoms of the disease occur.

Ringworms- this is a skin disease which appears in round, dry, scaly patches, usually around eyes, on the neck, shoulders, chest. Ringworm is caused by fungus. The patches become itchy and irritated. Antibiotics clear the problem. Disinfect grooming and riding equipment and stall.

Mange- similar to ringworm in it's symptoms in the early stages. Mites burrow into the skin in hidden areas such as the mane. The infected areas become highly irritated. Early detection is important.

A veterinarian can prepare solutions to remedy the problem.

In the case of herds of horses you should, upon the finding of mange, check all horses in the herd. Again disinfect the stalls, since horses rub the itchy areas against stall partitions and mangers.

24 Other problems

Fistula- because horses sometimes are stabled in stalls with low doors or are fed in feed racks that are not high enough, they bruise and/or break the skin. Infection sets in deep, and frequently the only relief comes by surgery. In mild cases apply a medicinal salve. Similar damage results when a high-withered horse is fitted with a saddle that is too low in the gullet. Be sure the saddle fits properly.

Heaves- also know as "broken wind". This respiratory disease is not communicable. It often results from allergies, poor-grade dusty feed. Symptoms: coughing, loss of appetite, eventually a deep raucous "heaving".

This becomes chronic, but can be relived by feeding complete horse feed (pellets or mash) or by damping the grain and hay. Only the most dust-free hay should be fed. This disease is not curable, but relievable.

Cinch sores- when cinches become dirty, stiff and sweated up, they chafe the soft skin behind the elbow. Attach a keeper strap from the cinch ring to the rear billet ring to move the cinch back from the sore. Apply medication, and when the sore appears healed, pad it with soft cloth or sheepskin to avoid breaking of a sore again.

Scalds- these are common because of careless horsemanship, as are many horse ailments. When saddle blankets are sweated and stiff so that they absorb little sweet and heat, sores result. Very thin saddle pads (or very cheap ones) also trap heat. Saddle pads need to "breathe" . Treat the sores quickly and avoid riding.

White-haired spots on horses back are often proof of careless riding. Sometimes horses so resent such sores that they become miserable when saddling time comes around.

Swelling of joints- these are caused by a combination of hard work and weak joints. Rest, corrective shoeing and lineament may relieve the problem. Check the joints for heating. Light work may be all the horse will ever be capable of.

Navicular disease- this is a deterioration of the joints in the foot because of poor conformation or heavy work before the bones are mature. X-rays usually reveal the problem, along with the feeling of heat in the foot.

A type of arthritic condition, it is very hard to detect. Occasionally any lameness whose cause if not immediately observed is written off as navicular disease. The deterioration of the joint is practically impossible to correct.

Hoof cracks- are to be distinguished from chapped walls in that they are much deeper, often causing lameness. Dirt and germs can enter the cracks. Any cracks that extend from the sole into the coronary band should be looked after by qualified farriers. However, a crack that reaches up only an inch or two can be dealt with by filing a rut horizontally (not too deep) at the filed line, relieving pressure above that line and allowing the hoof to grow out the crack.

Use a hoof dressing along the coronary band to hasten growth. Another alternative is shoeing, using side clips on the shoes. Chapped walls should not be ignored either. Hoof dressing applied at least twice a week to the entire wall is absorbed into the hoof, negating the likelihood of problems.

Contracted heels- the frog is the blood pump of the foot. If the frog dries out and does not make contact with the ground, it contracts, and so does the whole heel. Shoes with heel bars and/or packing improves the situation. A liquid dressing like Coppertox also gets the frog spongy to do its work.

This dressing and having the horse go barefoot (unshod) is probably the best way to remedy the problem. The horse may at first turn lame in the pasture. Watch the animal.

Call a veterinarian or a reputable farrier for help. Many horses have contracted heels because they have, since being yearlings, been shod for halter-showing purposes. As the frog expands, so (eventually) does the heel.

Founder- overweight horses that have free-choice feeding such as creep feeding or very rich pasture are likely candidates for foundering. If the horse does not founder by himself, he may do so by drinking cold water or eating rich feed while he is still hot and sweaty after vigorous exercise. In foundering the coffin bone (or main toe bone) tilts downwards irretrievably.

The hoof starts to grow fast and evidences "rings" of growth. The coronary band bends with the new tilt of the coffin bone and the shape of the wall distorts. The damage is permanent, but with proper trimming and shoeing, the horse will likely again be able to do very light work. Severe founding that is neglected results often in what is called "snowshoes", the hoof grows fast and turns up again to be a rocker foot.

Colic- is abdominal pain causing the horse to roll and kick, sweet, refrain from eating and, perhaps, have a rumbling stomach. It may be caused by over eating, over drinking, defective teeth, or indigestible feed. At first sighs of this nature withhold all feed and walk him.

Do not let him lie down.

Call a veterinarian, as complications could lead to ruptured stomach or intestines and teeth.

25 Nutrition

The pleasure horse that is used only on weekends, is on good pasture, and has water available at all times, is not of concern here. Many horses have to be fed all year - hay, grains, supplement.

Cobalt iodized salt should be free choice. Generally a 12% protein mash is sufficient to be fed with hay. Trace minerals and vitamins A, D, and E, are included.

Rule of thumb, daily diets for horses in light-to-moderate training: grass hay, 15 lbs. with oats, 10 lbs.; plus free choice on salt and calcium-phosphorus mineral supplement. A good grain concentrate mix per 100 lbs. would be oats = 65 lbs., barley = 25 lbs., bran = 7 lbs., protein supplement 32% = 3 lbs..

In using this prepared ration, the average horse will be well taken care of. Ensure the feeding of good, clean hay. Timothy hay is good, particularly if it has a high alfalfa content.

26 Care of Horses on the trail

One of the most embarrassing experiences a wrangler has, at times, is that of walking back to the ranch in the morning to retrieve the horses that got away at night because they had been insecurely tied for the night. This need not happen if trees, halter ropes, and halters are strong enough to survive a pull. There are times when horses spook at night and panic because of a bear or coyote in camp.

The most effective way of caring for each horse is to use a manger tie on a tree, just above a branch or twig that ensures that the rope cannot slide. There are alternative methods, but this appears to be the best. One should be mentioned here, a strong sisal rope or, what I have used, a mountain climber's rope is tied securely to two trees far enough removed from each other to tie the string of horses to.

Tie it about 4 - 5 feet above the ground. Then tie the horses to the rope so they are on the opposite side of each other and can eat on the ground level by straining at the main rope. This works excellently. Horses that are mean, biting and kicking, must still be given there own tree. They must be isolated from the heard to keep good order.

Always avoid clowning and carelessness. Animal are animals. Practise utmost safety at all times. If there is any doubt about the reliability of the horse's disposition the wise thing to do is to ride in single file. Avoid rocky surfaces, even if the horse's are shod.

Pace your horse according to the condition he is in. Don't expect 40 miles of a horse in condition for 15 miles. Feeding may have to be by grazing. Hobble the horses for feeding, night or day. Generally, it is advisable to keep one good horse tied, should the remainder of the heard wander off and need to be located and retied.

At night keep the track under heavy spruce trees where it will remain dry even in the rain. Set the saddle near the trunk of a tree, and stand them up on the saddle horn. Hang the blankets, sweated sides upward, over the saddle.

Heat exhaustion is a possibility on hot days. If the horse becomes listless and ceases to sweat, remove all equipment, walk him into some shallow water, if possible or splash him to cool him. Let him rest in the shade of trees, walking him occasionally. He may be ready for light riding in a day.

27 Hoof trimming

The wall of the hoof, as a general rule, for a pasture trim should be about 1/8 of an inch below the sole. The wall, when the foot is on the ground should be at an angle of the pastern. The frog must never be trimmed except for the ragged, torn portions that will be lost anyway. The finished trim should result in a well-rounded hoof. Tools that you will need are, hoof-pick, rasp, hoof-knife, nippers.

28 Sidepassing

The opening of gates requires that the horse be able to sidepass. Teaching the horse to sidepass is not always easy because the aid means nothing to it at first. It will move forward or backward when the signal is given. A fairly successful way to start the horse is to back him diagonally with a wall or corral. Little by little bring the front end over by tapping the shoulder with the reins or with a quirt.

Meanwhile, tap the side with the outside foot so the horse associates the sidepass with the aid. If this is not a successful method, try riding along a wall, turning the head into the wall tapping the inside to begin a diagonal half-pass for a step or two, riding along to another area and repeating.

Sooner or later the side pass signal will be learned. Horses generally take 3 or 4 sessions to get the idea well enough to awkwardly open and close large gates. Remember that a good sidepassing horse moves sideways with the front end ahead of the hind quarters so he can cross his legs properly in doing so.

29 Front end control

A rollback consists of bringing the horse to a sliding stop, and just as it stops, spinning it over its hind quarters away from its lead to the tune of 180, coming out in the opposite lead. This requires pivot slowly; and to do this, they need to be aided.

Here's how to start a pivot. Back the horse into a corner where its rear is stationed. Then, if the pivot is to the left, tap (with the left foot) the horse's right shoulder to nudge him over while you lift the horse over with the reins. This requires much practice. Go easy on the mouth. Think the lift more than actually trying to do it. Every good turn is over the hocks.

Getting up over the shoulder for a pivot makes the job easier for the horse. Avoid the use of spurs unless you know what you are doing. Another method is quite simple. Move the horse along a wall, about six feet from it; stop him. Then pull him back over his hocks, at the same time doing a 180 turn toward the wall.

The horse's hind feet must be well under him for pivot, keeping his head down low. Do not neglect this point; it is the necessary step toward nimble, athletic action; it is an absolute necessity for rollbacks.

Here's a good exercise for your horse; walk him into a tire so his hind feet are in it. Have him move his front end around the tire. Don't overdo such exercises, particularly if you think your horse might pull a shoe in the process. Once or twice a riding session is all you need, to teach the horse. He will sour if you push your luck.

30 Longeing

The advanced rider must know how this is done. Longeing consists of having the horse on a long-line, walking, trotting, or cantering in circles around him. The reason are simple. Longeing provides exercise for the horse on a day he can't be ridden. Then, too, longeing is good ground work for disciplining the horse. On the long line the horse learns his vocabulary; walk; trot; canter; whoa; back; come here.

It's an effective training medium. Start with a fairly short line in the left hand and whip in the right. Have the horse go by you, ahead of you. As it reaches the end of the line (5-8 feet) it must turn, but will probably stop.

Walk after it with the whip behind the horse to keep it walking ahead and into a circle. Then try the other direction with the line in your right, and the whip in your left. As the horse get's the idea, lengthen the line and keep him going. Insist that he obey.

With enough practice, the horse will get onto verbal commands. If he turns miserable, deciding he's like to run away from you, don't hesitate to surprise him with a few sharp pulls when he runs and doesn't stop. Avoid whipping him. The whip is there only to urge him on.

Caution, if the horse has an irregularity in its travel, such as padding, it is best to forget about longeing, since the problem is quite easily aggravated by the circular pattern. Centrifugal force encourages swinging.

31 Sacking

Sacking the horse is a necessary step. This consists of waving a sack, blanket, or whatever, around every part of the horse to get him accustomed to sudden noises and movements. If the horse spooks, he is not ready. A good way to do it is to hold him with the left hand on the lead rope and to sack him with the right, though snubbing him to a post or hobbling him are common methods. Be careful not to hurt the horse.

32 The problem Horse

This is corrective work, and you will often be correcting irregularities that are undesirable. I'll list some bad habits here and suggest a few remedies.

Stiff neck- head doesn't come around when reining. This is usually caused by rushing the horse into neckreining. For some reason horseman often feel a horse must neckreining; then he's "broke". Wrong! Neckreining comes incidentally. The horse must always be reined with two hands.

Remedy- Draw reins, as long as necessary. Move your hands way out to pull that nose around.

Rubber-neck- too much neck bending, while body doesn't follow.

Remedy-touch shoulder with spur

Open mouth- use a cavesson regularly, except in a show ring. Emphasize leg-aid stops so you can keep off your horse's mouth.

Charging- often associated with star-gazing. Get that head down and give tight circles until the horse catches on. Repeat until the horse associates charging with circling. Horses hate tight doubling or circling.

Kicking- If it's a young horse, spend a lot of time sacking letting it kick to its heart's desire. Do this for days if you have to. This is better than risking your neck. Then start by tie-stalling him, with a heavy rail suspended horizontally, attached to the manger and at the back, hanging from the ceiling.

The rail should be at such that if he kicks at you, he hits the rail. Then start safely touching that rear leg, lifting it, sacking it until the problem seems solved. Never trust horses to soon. When you feel you can trust him somewhat, walk around him, come saddling time, always staying close enough that should he kick, he can't unwind. If the horse is older then pass it on.

The Sprinter

Starting with the forequarter limbs, they process shorter and upright pasterns, short cannons & longer forearms. The sprinter may have bulky type muscles, which may be observed form side on when looking for muscle shape (curve) at the front of its forearms. The bulky muscles can lack flexibility, but adds strength and speed over the sprint distances. With the upper forequarters they may have open shoulder joints, with a slightly shorter shoulder blade. It neck may appear short, bulky and low set. It may have a well shaped head with good width between the eyes, and a deep jaw aiding its airways. The open shoulder joint means the sprinter may have a horizontally restricted chest. This is also as a result of having a vertically deep girth and slightly shorter legs overall. The shorter and upright shoulder blade, along with the deeper girth, leaves less scope for extended stride length, but aids in producing a faster stride rate. It may also lead to a slightly choppy action, if combined with a short and upright humeros bone. The upright shoulder can also lead to the sprinter having a longer back when mature. The longer back helps to keep the Sprinter’s center of gravity more forward, producing a quicker stride rate through the forequarters. The extra length of the back may be slightly offset by horizontally strong upper hind quarters. Its rear cannon may also be shorter along with short and upright rear pasterns. Overall the sprinter has a long body type with a deep girth adding to appearance of stubby legs.

The Stayer

Once again starting with the forequarters, the staying type may have well angled and long pasterns, long cannons with a short forearm, and appear leggy overall. The stayer may have long and thin shaped muscles, which may be observed form side on when looking for muscle shape (less curve or flat for a stayer) at the front of its forearms. These shaped muscles are usually flexible and capable of working for extended periods, ideally suited as distances increase. The upper forequarters may have a particularly closed shoulder joint, this allows for a good shoulder angle and a horizontally deep chest. Its shoulder blade may also have some good length, but the stayer will often be vertically shallow as far as its girth goes. All the above factors allow for extra scope with the stayers stride, leading to a potentially longer striding horse. Its neck may be long, thin and set high. Its head may be long and thin. The well sloped shoulder can lead to a shorter back, this can enable good reach forward and lift, as it keeps the center of gravity (or weight) from going to far forward, which again aids stride length. Its hind quarters may be typically smaller than the pure speed horses. The stayers rear cannons may also be longer, along with its pasterns that may also be well angled as with those on the forelegs. Overall the stayer typically has a tall body type with a shallow girth. adding to leggy appearance.

The Jumper

The jumper needs to be able to clear jumps with ease, and also show a quick pickup and speed between the jumps. This leads to conformation traits of both the sprinter and stayer. Forequarter traits may include long cannons, short forearms, and open elbow and shoulder joints. The open elbow and shoulder joints results in a slightly upright humorous bone. This gives this bone the extra scope required to lift its knees high in an efficient manner. The shoulder blade may be slightly smaller and upright than standard, but the jumper may process a deeper girth. The upright shoulder may result in a longer back, although this may be off set by strong hind quarters. Horses that are versatile over distances, can stay, and have a sprinting type conformation often make the best jumpers. Jumpers often have an even length by height ratio, meaning the jumper can have the desired open forequarters, while keeping its center of gravity reasonably backward, enable more efficient lift from the hind quarters to clear jumps.

Summing up, most traits will push the center of gravity (or weight balance) forward on a sprinter, or in comparison backwards on the stayer and jumper. As an example lets look how some of the stayers traits help push its center of gravity (or weight) backwards towards it hind quarters:
Upright neck Deep horizontal chest Shallow girth Short back

It should be noted that most horses will process a combination of sprinting and staying traits, and many horses will race against what their own traits may suggest, but on the whole if you have a good eye for these traits you can expect to roughly predict a horses best distance with approximately a 70% success rate. Small variations typically make up these traits that are often undetectable to all but experienced horse people. This page is designed to be only a hand guide.
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