OTTB as first horse? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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OTTB as first horse?

Hi everyone! I'm new and very excited to be a part of this community! It seems so helpful for advice. :)

Okay, so back to my question, I am very interested in adopting an OTTB. This horse would be my first horse. I have been riding for about 8 years now and eventing for about a year and a half. My riding experience includes teaching greenies to stay on the bit and consistently jump to riding eventing school masters. Currently, I am riding an arabian and preparing him for his first event. He is about 12, has some basics, but didn't know how to remain on the bit and wasn't much of a jumper. He refused all the time, but now we are consistently jumping three feet, with help from my trainer. :) Although I've never owned a horse or leased one, I am at the barn about four to five times a week, either working for my instructor or riding horses for boarders.

I'm used to hot-blooded breeds, ridden many arabians and a couple thoroughbreds, and I enjoy their energy. The reason I am considering an OTTB because I want a challenge and want to better myself as a rider. There is nothing better to me than seeing how far a horse has come. I'd really like to take the horse to at least preliminary, preferably a higher eventually, and I definitely expect that to take five or more years, but I'll be very patient. :) I will be working with my trainer weekly and she is always there for advice. Oh, and I would adopt one from a program that already starts the OTTB with basics. What do you guys think? Would it be a crazy idea or do you think it could work? Thanks for so much for reading! :)
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 07:53 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I thinks it's a great idea! Both TB's and SB's are great horses to work. I am restarting my own SB. I find most of the OTTB's are quiet because they've seen a lot of things. You definitely sound like you have a lot of knowledge under your belt, and starting an OTTB is a great idea! I definitely think it could work.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! :) That's really encouraging.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-25-2012, 08:27 PM
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You definitely have all the prerequisites for owning an OTTB. If you get one straight off the track, just be sure to give him some down time before retraining him. Then proceed with simple, straight forward training that dos not over face him. They are so smart and learn very quickly, but can get easily frustrated. Go for it!

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-05-2012, 02:09 AM
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Also bear in mind, don't pick the first one you view (however tempting!) because a lot of OTTBs can have issues that aren't apparent at first glance. My friend bought an OTTB who turned out to have a lot of issues with arthritis and other leg issues that weren't obvious at first. That being said, I have another friend with an OTTB who has been wonderful and they're doing quite well in jumping :)
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 09:29 AM
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Does your trainer have any experience with OTTBs? There are some things that a race horse has been trained to do (like lean into bit pressure), that take a knowledgeable TB trainer to overcome.
It sounds like you're def ready for a project type horse. OTTBs can be wonderful horses. They are usually very athletic and accustom to commotion. Plus most of them deal with clipping and vet care like pros.

Like said before, look at a ton of horses. The CANTER organization tries to review each horse before putting it out for adoption, I've found them to be very honest and knowledgeable. If it's possible, try to talk to the people who have regularly worked or cared for the horse. They are the ones who really know what the horse is like.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 09:35 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Nike!

I know several people who took OTTB as a first horse and never regretted it. From what I know they make awesome eventers as well as nice dressage mounts. My only suggestion would be when you go look for one take a trainer with you to get an opinion and definitely do the PPE (per-purchase exam) to make sure the horse is sound and doesn't have any underlying issues. Good luck! New horse is ALWAYS very exciting! :)

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-22-2012, 02:25 PM
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If you want to event then you can't really do much better than a good t/b. I've got one and I work with them.

I guess the only thing is it's going to be your first horse ever and it's very different turning up to ride one that someone else is managing, training, preparing and keeping fit and having to be totally responsible.

I'd say go for it but while you're learning keep the the horse where there's good help that knows how to retrain and bring on ex racehorses for eventing.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-22-2012, 03:15 PM
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I'm working with a OTTB. They are really amazing. Most of them make awesome eventers. They are high strung though.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-22-2012, 03:55 PM
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Welcome! I'm sure that you can handle an OTTB with your experience. Are you looking for that bc of price? I wonder if you'd do better buying a young sports TB, instead? They're worked pretty hard on the track. The one I got as an 8yo had visibly bent cannon bones from the starting gate.
Good luck and let us know what you do. =D
My Arabian, "Corporal" (1982-2009, RIP) refused jumps, too.
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