Videos! Retired Racehorse Training Project

OTTB in the snow

High Level, Blizzard Pony. Photo Tiffany Catledge/Retired Racehorse

If you have copious amounts of spare time, you can spend all of it at Retired Racehorse Training watching videos of Solidify, Four X The Trouble, Brazilian Wedding, and High Level, and drooling over them and possibly making new, brilliant plans to visit your local racehorse rehoming affiliate as soon as possible. It’s simple, you’ll just have some friends over, bribe them with pizza to help you build a new paddock and add a new stall on to the end of the barn, and bingo, room for another horse. You’re welcome.

I especially enjoyed the latest videos from Solidify and Four X The Trouble’s trainers. Both are coming along nicely, but both have picked different things to be sticky about. Solidify is concerned that no one is going to hold his nose up for him. Four X The Trouble is concerned that someone is sitting on him and therefore his hind legs are paralyzed and cannot move. They’re both common problems for OTTBs, because exercise riders A) hold the horse’s nose up for them and B) don’t sit down on them at the canter (unless they are unlucky and lose their stirrup leather somewhere in the homestretch. Oh hi.).

Solidify is especially impressive in this video, taken with Tiffany Catledge’s working student in the saddle and inside a creaking, groaning indoor arena being rocked by a rather cyclone-ish sounding gale. Solidify is much more concerned by the loops in the rein than by the sounds of impending doom raining down upon the party. He is happy to move with a little spring from his hind end, but he is still questioning the student’s motives in asking him to move into the void and find the bit himself.

Four X The Trouble winnows his way back into the first place in my affections by reminding me of my heart-horse, Final Call, in this video. “Canter!” “Shan’t!” “Canter!” “Shan’t!” “Canter!” “Fine but I’m sticking my head up in the air!” (Please note, for all subtitling purposes, Four X The Trouble has a British accent sort of like David Mitchell.) He is happy enough to move forward but oh! His poor BACK! He’s being SAT UPON! This is UNPRECEDENTED BEHAVIOR.

Come here and let me kiss you on your foolish nose, Tempyst.

As for Brazilian Wedding, I haven’t paid much attention to her, I realize. It’s not because she isn’t lovely, it’s because Erik Dierk has actually put together 35-minute training videos. I think this is simply amazing, and I applaud him, and I encourage everyone to watch them. I just haven’t had time.

I did watch the first five minutes of this one, and was interested by how completely different Dierk’s training strategies were from mine. Well, his strategies for mounting up, which was as far as the first five minutes got. I always preferred to get on in the stall and ride out (ceiling level providing). I thought that was a remarkably good time-saver, thank you racetrack for teaching that to me! Dierk likes to take the horse for a walk and girth them up slowly. He also doesn’t recommend changing stirrup lengths while in the saddle. Clearly he has never experienced the singular joy of fixing your stirrup lengths while you’re standing up your horse at the wire before a mile and a half gallop.

Then again, maybe he has.



Filed under Retired Racehorse Trainer Challenge

8 responses to “Videos! Retired Racehorse Training Project

  1. I’m just sitting here enjoying the idea of an OTTB voiced by David Mitchell. That would be hilarious. I’ve had Erik’s video on in the background for a bit (I have a weakness for mares); it’s actually charming. I love how he goes into detail about all of his plans and goals.

    • From now on ALL horses are voiced by David Mitchell. I’ve made a decree. It’s all fun and games until they start going on about Nazis.

      I’m going to watch it eventually. I really am!

      • Portia

        I have to say I am a big Eric Dierks fan and I really love Brazilian Wedding. His videos are great and his training principles are right in line with my hunter/jumper background. She appears to be the more relaxed one of the bunch so far.

  2. Erik is just lovely with Brazilian Wedding. He does a great job of training + explaining, while riding no less.

    Well worth watching the entire video!

  3. Julie

    Just finished the Erik Dierks video and think it is a great compliment to the other trainers videos. I might be biased because the great detail doesn’t bore me, being a newer OTTB owner. But we have to remember OTTB’s can, need, and are being rehomed with non-trainers, or people with less experience and know how. He is showing the average Joe that it can be done. Great job Erik, and to all three trainers for their styles! Erik-valuable info and love your kind demeanor 🙂

    • Yeah for all the Erik love! Like I said, I think it’s very cool that he made full videos out of this. I’m looking forward to checking them out. Seems like something that could be very much at home on HRTV.

  4. Miriam

    For those of us who are somewhat novices, thanks for noticing the imperfections in the videos – I was just amazed at how well trained these horses already are (well, other than that head up in the air), and how badly I must be doing by my new ottb.

    • Oh yes, they’re all still doing naughty things! Granted they are much further three weeks in than I would be… (go way back into the category “Training Diary” on this site and you will see, I think I was barely cantering with the OTTB I was reschooling) but these trainers go through these horses one after another… naturally they’ll be quicker than the rest of us.