We not only physically prepare and train your equine athlete, but we also put a substantial amount of time into mentally preparing your horse to race to win. Thoroughbred education, injury prevention training and desensitisation to the neophobic anxiety thoroughbreds come with are all part of the program.
At Galston Park, we have the staff, time, space, experience and understanding to solve puzzles. We thrive in discovering what may be interfering in your horse, performing to its maximum capacity physically and mentally.
We not only provide cutting edge training techniques that achieve groundbreaking results and get your horse performing at maximum capacity but also for its maximum time threshold due to injury prevention training. It’s not a substantial investment only having your horse perform to its maximum capacity for 1 or 2 preps to only then break down, with our optimum performance programs, we are setting your horse up for a much longer racing career at the top.
Correct muscle development (muscles in the right places) is critical to give each athlete a higher chance of success and a greater chance to withstand the general physical wear and tear that racing impacts on the equines body.
Our training methods and techniques are applied in complementary combinations, which gain results quickly and for the long term. They do not come at an extra fee. They are all included in the daily rate of training.
Galston Park can provide an after-assessment of your horse then suggest a specific Optional Performance Program for your equine athlete depending on your goals, time with us or any particular schooling the horse requires.
Finding the right training and work gear is very important and can be an incredible advantage. Bridles, bits, blinkers, drawing reins, rollers are all part of getting the dry best out of each athlete.
Just the same as a human instep for a Nike running shoe isn’t right for every human runner, so is the same for each horse.
Dependent totally on the individual, Bella works with each horse independently to matching each horse with the correct compatible equipment.
What purpose does the gear need to serve to complement each horse to achieve the optimal performance?
Every tool provides a unique benefit, function and result. In gear, bit selection is one of the most critical choices in equipment.
Horses being trained in the incorrect bit can experience problems. These can range from pulling the tongue, biting and clenching and pulling on the bit. Other issues include stiffness on one or both sides of the body, tilting of the poll, stiffness at the pelvis and hind legs, lack of movement throughout the back, underdevelopment of the top line, underdevelopment of the under neck muscles, swelling of the parotid glands and dead mouth.
Training a racehorse to accept the bit (the correct bit) is vitally important not only for control and safety but also incredibly important for correct conformation and muscle bulk while providing injury prevention.
When a Thoroughbred carries it’s head high and runs through the bit, and away from the rider they are not only out of control, they are also losing a tremendous amount of speed vertically as their strides become shorter and faster while creating a very tight and rigid back increasing unnecessary exposure to injuries.
When a racehorse is educated to accept the bridle/bit, he lowers his head creating a partnership and control for the jockey and biomechanically results in a far longer stride covering more ground per stride forward and flat not losing any speed vertically allowing the athlete to stretch forward covering as much ground as possible on each stride.
RTRT (Residual tension release training)
This training method involves working the horse in a frame of contact, through working on “the bit” is not a concept the racehorse needs to know about. However, it provides many valuable attributes to both the racehorse and the jockey.
RTRT once progressively moving through the treatment works by allowing the horse to let go of any physical and mental tension that creates a rigid, stiff, weak and hollow horse.
Acceptance of the bit without tension and being settled in the mouth allows for horse and rider to work together as a team, intuitive hearing and communicating to each other through the bit and reins as jockeys have no legs.
Horses that are unaccepting of the bit exert unnecessary energy fighting their jockey on the way to the barriers and also through a large portion of the first half of the race and in daily track work.
They carry their heads high, losing flat speed, making their backs rigid and building muscles in the wrong places exposing them to unnecessary injury’s short and long term.
There are two ways a horse produces forward movement:
- The horse PULLS its weight forward through his/her front legs and shoulders, this is the movement that comes most natural to the horse unless trained – it’s a little like posturally us letting a shoulder rolls forward creating bad posture – why do we do it? Two reasons – gravity and it’s easier.
- The horse PUSHES his/her weight and body forward off the hindquarters and back legs.
Working a horse in a constant frame “round” lowering his head creates a significant amount of change in the skeletal and musculoskeletal development called “top line” Topline is the development of muscles in the right places, the physiological changes to the horse are that they develop a whole extra system of support, strength, suppleness and flexibility.
By working and training a racehorse in a constant frame each thoroughbred is building far more muscle bulk in the places where it counts creating a considerable increase in power and removing a huge amount of potential training injuries.
“Top line” literally means the “top line” of the horse – so when extensive top line is built through working a horse in a constant frame, there is an increased muscle mass throughout the upper part of the horse’s neck, top of the shoulders, the back and most importantly the hindquarters.
When looking at the conformation of the horse, or most mammals for that matter, humans included.
Q: Where are the largest groups of muscles, which in turn produce power?
A: In the hind.
Making the hindquarters as physically powerful as possible through increased muscle mass through posture changes in daily training is a game-changer. Through the right training, we can teach the horse to PUSH off its hindquarters using its largest most powerful group of muscles resulting in an explosive amount of forward movement instead of the horse PULLING forward from the front legs and shoulders resulting in a far weaker stride, slower speed, tendon and ligament injury and losing races and physically breaking down.
Injury Prevention Training
80% of racehorse injuries are due to lack of education, rider error and incorrect biomechanical training.
Injury prevention training is focused on two main objection points.
- the correct biomechanical movement and training the athlete to strengthen the right area of their physique to prevent injury aiding Balance and coordination creating an internal support system for the horse to reply on avoiding rider errors.
- Mental Training, programming the athlete to respond not react to situations and stimuli in a safe physical manner.
Creating a mentally sound racehorse is as essential as physically training them as an athlete.
If we don’t look after their minds an array of things can happen, one of the most common things I experience while working out in the field is thoroughbreds just being in a constant state of anxiety and flight response, this then with added stimulus cooks their brains and not only makes them dangerous to riddlers and themselves, it also causes them to break down physically. It creates a tough horse to re-educate into a second purpose and career after racing.
Mentally training and programming the equine athlete to cope with stress and handle stimulus creates a mentally sound and confident athlete.
You’ve seen it in the mounting yards – the horse that walks with presence, taking everything in its stride, owning his space with confidence, unfussed by what’s going on around him.
At Galston Park, we work with your horse exposing it throughout its training to a variety of different situations and stimuli like loud noises, plastic bags, fast-moving objects, other horses reacting and many more things. This is all done in a very safe and encouraging environment.
The aim is to desensitise each horse to exterior stimulus so that no matter what is happening around the horse, he is not to react, which in turn waists adrenalin on reactions.
We teach the athlete to stay focused on his job – TO WIN!
Rehabilitation services range from physical rehabilitation from an injury or surgery to mental rehabilitation from a mentally traumatic event or situation and behavioural rehabilitation.
Bella is also very experienced in working with difficult or unrideable horses. Special care is taken to understand why the horse is experiencing behavioural issues; generally, these horses fall under three different categories after further assessment to solve the puzzle of why the horse is behaving in an orderly fashion.
- The horse is in some form of pain.
- The horse has experienced some unknown trauma through an unwitnessed event.
- The horse has been poorly broken in and has slipped through the cracks. It’s very confused, like a child with a learning disability and needs some extra care to get back on track and catch up.
Please call Bella directly to discuss your explain your situation.
Galston Park does not offer spelling services.