Turning over horse?! OTTB etc. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 07:24 AM
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Agree with Saskia.

An OTTB, 6 months off the track, with 60 days training, is worth $500 - $1000 more than you paid for it off the track, meaning $1000 - $1500. You can buy horses at that price from the rescue and rehab places all day long, and some decent young stock that hasn't been on the track.

For the horse to sell for $4000, it would need to be very stable at all three gaits, no longer "tracky", no longer leaning on the bit, supple on its right side, hacking out quietly and jumping small courses, and doing it quietly and well. That's a tall order for two months training.
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Last edited by maura; 02-17-2012 at 03:44 AM.
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post #22 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 09:23 AM
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I live in South Africa and I paid R5000 for my OTTB. The reason I bought him fresh off the track is because I am specific about how I want him trained and let down and rehabilitated. People try and sell them for between R10 000 and R20 000 (maybe more) with either a few months training and sometimes without. Those horses have been advertised for months and months maybe even a year or more.

Do you want to end up with one or more OTTBs that dont sell? Then who pays for their upkeep? Even if they are on your property they still need to eat and they need proper quantities and quality of feed. Who treats the ulcers, fits the shoeing bill (because they often need a few months of good farrier work to reshape their feet and harden them up) and the general bills the vet will more than likely be sending when they run a fence or get kicked and bitten from their lack of social skills? accidents happen in the blink of an eye.

In one of your original posts you said they had a month of let down time, then further along they have had "a few months" off? Which is it? I know for a fact that a racing yard will not keep unproductive horses in their barns for months on end when they arent winning and paying for their upkeep. I say this because I know many trainers in our market. When I bought mine I hadnt even paid for him and the trainer told me to take him right there and then so that he didnt have to pay for a dinner meal that evening and could move a new runner into the box.

An OTTB requires a lot of care and attention and love to learn to be a horse again. I don't really like the idea of trying to turn them over in 70 days. After a month mine is only starting light ground work, is losing weight by the day and is nowhere close to learning to jump, especially not 1.50m.

Im sorry to say that if you had an OTTB for sale (especially at that price) that was 70 days off the track jumping 1.5 meter or jumping at all I would not go anywhere near you or the horse. That kind of skill takes years of dedication to produce.
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post #23 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 02:12 PM
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WHat you intend to do is admirable but I do not think that you have gone into the facts and figures.
You have to be able to cover all contingencies. For this you do need a place of your own and not paying out board.
So, look at turnout keep for 4 - 6 months. Vet for inoculations, teeth and farrier for feet during that time. So work out just what that would cost.
Then you have the training. It can be done but 120 days to totally retrain an OTTB means that you must be very experienced in re training to get away with this.

So add 120 days it would cost to have a horse on full livery with a good trainer to cover feed costs and your time and add that to the cost of the horse. You will be loosing money!

When I read your first post and the part that you said "you only make money if you are breeding" is false, breeding is a very risky game even if you have the best proven mares!
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post #24 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone - and Foxhunter, yes I have taken that all into consideration I have 50 acres, and have added up all cost (feed vet farrier tack etc.) And with the break before starting working, after racing, I'll keep them where I work for about 3-6 months before i start working them, they will still be handled everyday as well, then I won't have to pay for feed etc while they are there!

Thanks again!
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post #25 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 06:54 PM
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I hope your paddocks are of increadible quality - not many ottbs will look good enough just off pasture to sell for $4000+.
It took me around a full year, to sell a lovely little ottb mare that I purchased straight off the track for $1000. She was training elementary, had been on trail rides, ridden with and without other horses, taken to my coaches place for lessons etc.

I got $700 for her

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post #26 of 91 Old 02-16-2012, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I can get these horses for free - and I will be feeding it 2-3 times a day with unlimted hay and grass only during the day (cause we have night paddocks because of the wild dogs.)
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post #27 of 91 Old 02-17-2012, 02:31 AM
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May I ask how many you intend taking on at one time?

Because fair enough your plans have changed which is why you asked advice, but if you are only doing one and you now plan to keep them for 3 to 6 months before training them and then only putting in how many months on training you are looking at close to a year before you are able to sell them on and what kind of profit do you expect to make? Feeding that horse 2 to 3 meals a day, buying hay (or teff and lucern) farrier bills, teeth bills, possible vets bills and unforeseen accidents, innoculations, ulcer treatment etc etc etc is going to cost you more than you could EVER hope to make. Should you be taking on more than one it (A) means you have double the work to do and (B) double the bills. or triple or more depending on how many you have at a time. Yes, you might breakeven when you sell the horse or even make a profit based on the fact that you got the horse for free but that money is just going to cover all the expenses you have incured along the way.

In my personal experience these horses also need to be kept in at night to hold their condition. They let down and some let down worse than others. They arent used to being out on grass all day and possibly night. It's something they need to be weaned into. It's a huge culture shock for an animal that has spent 22 hours a day in a stall to then be turned out to grass and expected to socialise and just fit in to a new environment. Some dont WANT to go out to graze because they are so used to being in. Others will run a fence aimlessly and lose condition. some just stand and stare. Every OTTB is going to deal with the transition differently.

Im sorry if im sounding negative but I really dont think you will ever make a business out of something like this. It sounds like a sinking hold of financial despair. If you were taking on a horse for personal use I would say go for it. And should you decide to continue do yourself a favour and read the book "Beyond the Track: Retraining the Thoroughbred from Racecourse to Riding Horse" you can buy it off Amazon.com it will really assist you with the basic reuirements an OTTB needs.
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post #28 of 91 Old 02-18-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks MysitcL (: The majority of OTTBs that I will be getting are already in a paddock with grass, and fat as mud (; Will look into that book! and yes, bills are insane - I can do hooves, and dental will be super cheap as my boss is one :P We have one OTT at the moment, he isn't doing anything atm, because he has sore feet because we (my sister) took his shoes off, but I won't be doing that with the ones I'm getting. and hes going great, fat etc. (: Thanks heaps again!
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post #29 of 91 Old 02-18-2012, 02:46 PM
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I've had some experience with OTTB's, if your getting them straight off the track I would recommend AT LEAST 3 months (around 90 days) of recovery time. Then I would slowly start building muscle, race horses (off the track) aren't built (muscle build) the same as jumpers they race on a flat track but might get winded trotting up a hill, a big thing if your trying to retrain an OTTB to jump is to slowly and gradually build up muscle in their rear. I would start by walking up smallish hills, and slowly working up to a trot, then a canter, I wouldn't rush this process as it could cause discomfort and possible damage to the horse mentally as well as physically. Also most OTTB's are really only comfortable with one lead at the canter they may be more off balance with their other lead, and is something they're going to have to learn for jumpers. After you reteach them the basics(take your time in this process, its very very important not to rush) , I would start lunging an ottb over ground poles, start with a walk, trot, then canter. As soon as he's comfortable with that I would start riding over ground poles (building confidence with a rider on his/her back =]) then I would probably move on to elevated trotting poles, the lunge over a cross rail, then ride over a cross rail. You want to build their confidence from the ground up its really about repetitiveness, starting with walk, trot, canter almost every time. Also grid work is very helpful! Grid work is very common way to teach a horse to jump. This is just my opinion and has worked for me in the past, I really recommend alot of groundwork though it really does help build confidence and trust =) I also can not stress enough not to rush the retraining process. I hope this helped a little bit. Also here's a really helpful guide that I found about retraining ottb's from a barn that specializes in retraining ottb's =): http://www.leightonfarm.com/RetrainingManualCurrent.pdf
Hope this helps! Good luck

Last edited by December; 02-18-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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post #30 of 91 Old 02-18-2012, 04:24 PM
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As I'm not from Aus, I don't know the layout down there. As I see it, your biggest problem will probably be shifting the perception people have of OTTBs. Alot will avoid them like the plague - as soon as they hear OTTB they run a mile. Not saying all people, but it is quite a common reaction.

As a business venture, I don't know how well it would work. I just can't see making much money when you look at how much you'll have going out in expenses. If you want to make much profit your going to need to compete and show successfully, so that people don't just assume they are an ordinary OTTB.

As an attempt to find the horses new careers and homes, I say go for it.

Whatever you decide, best of luck :)

Stop for a minute, open your mind, learn. You may not agree with what I say, I may not agree with what you say but we will both learn something new.
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