Buying an OTTB

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Buying an OTTB

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  • Choosing an ottb
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    09-16-2012, 07:15 PM
Buying an OTTB

The rescue I go to has mainly OTTB's. I love them a bunch and I was wondering what to look for in buying them, and certain things you would do to train them. A lot of them are really young (3 or 4.) So any tips you might have that are helpful.. feel free to share.

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    09-16-2012, 07:27 PM
You have to have a lot of patience to retrain an OTTB. In my case, taking things very slowly in small steps and rewarding often. Consider that they may be quite traumatised and might never be suitable for what you want to do with them. You have to be very level headed, and be a very calm and relaxed leader. Do a LOT of groundwork. Keep training sessions short.
With owning an OTTB, its about the journey, not the destination.
My one has a lot of love to give, but he can be frustrating at times. You have to learn to love and accept their quirks sometimes :P
    09-16-2012, 10:24 PM
I just bought an OTTB and I bought and read the book "beyond the track" by Anna Morgan Ford. It was very interesting and discussed everything from track life, choosing an OTTB up through restarting. I had brought my boy home a couple weeks before I read it and I found myself saying "Yeah, they do that!" to so many things.

Ditto on the patience and lots of praise. My boy is quite frustrating at times but he has a good heart and I know the hard work is going to be worth it.

Also, having a trainer that has some knowledge of OTTBs will help. Mine is always pointing things out that he's doing or that we need to do because of his history. It's been a rewarding journey so far though.
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    09-16-2012, 10:37 PM
I have 2 OTTB's and one thing I've noticed is that they have a short attention span. You can't just trot around the ring 6 times asking for something. You've got to be confident in what you want, and if you don't get what you ask for in a reasonable amout of time, go back to the walk, or do something that you can praise him for. With no praise, they will become bored and then everyone will get frustrated. Also, I agree that you need a strong base for the groundwork. Lots of OTTB's are super smart, so if you start right, you will have an easier time when you get on. I love my OTTB's and I will never own a different breed :) They can be super fun, or super frustrating- just remember: Eventually you will hit a wall and it will seem like you take one step forwards and 3 steps back. It's just about finding what works for that particular horse.

The nice thing about OTTB's is that you will never have a "go" problem and most of them are ok with water (on their faces too), trailers, and saddling at a young age. They were started at the track which could be good, or it could be bad (always the chance of picking up bad habits). In my case (with my 4yo OTTB), it was good :) She is the most responsive horse I've ever ridden and I love her.

Good Luck with your search, and I think it's great that you're thinking of rescuing :)
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    09-19-2012, 01:25 AM
The thing you will need to help retrain an OTTB, is a good instructor to help you during the ridden.
Never think you can do it just by yourself :) The trainer is the third person that can help deliver both the message the horse is trying to send to the rider, and vice versa.
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    09-21-2012, 02:14 PM
Totally agree with all the above posts, I have owned my ottb for a year this saturday, and it has been quite the journey for me and her. I've now got her loping the barrel pattern so we've come along way. There is the odd time where she gets in race mode when we are in the arena, but all I do is take her on the road and open her up for a quarter mile or so (roads very soft and she has shoes on) and walk her back, and she gets over herself, and we get back to the task at hand,
Good luck with your search, and if you do get 1 they are lovely animals with lots of love to give
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