Case Study: Steff & her horse Teddy.
I purchased Teddy as an OTT Thoroughbred in December 2018. He had received little to no training in any other discipline except for sprint racing and had only been off the track for six weeks on the day I took him home. This meant he was placed in a paddock to spell for four months and was brought back into work in late March.
Whilst I have been an equestrian rider for many years and feel quite capable in this space, in truth, I am returning from a riding hiatus following a stint living overseas which means my confidence and skills are a little rusty. This also meant I wasn’t entirely comfortable beginning Teddy’s retraining journey by myself and therefore sought the brilliant services of Bec and Tayor Griffin from Elite Equestrian.
I am quite a protective horse owner and wanted to ensure Teddy got the best start to his training program with people who took the time to understand his personality, to determine what the most appropriate methods were to overcome his education hurdles. Bec and Tayor have been the best possible duo for this horse, as they not only took the time to read and understand his behaviour, they knew how far to push and how firm to be in those situations where he was testing his boundaries.
Teddy has now been under Bec and Tayor’s watchful eyes for the better part of 8 weeks and has come leaps and bounds in that time. Teddy presented the following before beginning his training at Elite Equestrian, all of which are now resolved or far less prominent:
• Running away from contact (he was a sprinter so contact = run faster)
• Putting his head high in the air (contact related but a real defiance tactic)
• Grinding his teeth on the bit (we believe this was anxiety related)
• Pulling/running towards the gate (a dangerous defiance tactic)
• Rearing at the float (as soon as you put pressure on his halter, he would fly backwards and rear to get away from you)
• Wouldn’t tie up (he would break off every time and couldn’t be trusted to stand alone)
He now floats with far less trouble, albeit he still needs some food-based incentives for a little extra coaxing! He doesn’t run away from contact, no longer sticks his head in the sky, holds a steady frame even through transitions, and doesn’t pull or run towards the gate as aggressively as he once did. He’s becoming much more relaxed under saddle and tries much harder to do what you’re asking, instead of resisting at every turn.
Tayor has one of the best riding seats I have seen, never loses her cool (even in difficult situations), has really gentle hands and beautifully smooth aides. Teddy is learning so much from her and is responding so well to her riding style. It’s actually quite mesmerising to watch.
I cannot recommend Elite Equestrian enough for everything they are helping Teddy and myself with. They are growing my confidence again and supporting me through every turn which is so important to have through a journey such as this.
And this is only the start.