Are OTTB expensive????

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Are OTTB expensive????

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  • The cost of owning an OTTB
  • Average purchase price of a ottb

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    08-20-2010, 11:41 AM
Are OTTB expensive????

I'm fairly new to this site, but in the time I've been here I've seen so many posts about OTTB! I was just wondering if they go for a bargain since they can't race anymore or what. And I also want to give a big hi-five to all of you that have bought OTTB.....cause I know a lot of them go to slaughter when their racing career is over. And one more question, I see so many OTTB on here that are just used for english diciplines, and I think th at's great, but are there any of you that use your OTTB for western riding?? I've always shyed away from OTTB, cause I know they can be quite a handful and can be dangerous. Can anyone calm my nerves on this issue???? Thank you all!!
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    08-20-2010, 11:54 AM
I don't call my boy an OTTB any more, because I think once they've been off the track for longer than 6 months, they're just TBs at that point.

I know some people don't agree with me and think there's some sort of cachet attached to the word OTTB, but I'd rather think ahead for my horse and not look back.

I got JJ for free. There are many OTTBs who go for nothing or next to nothing, because their trainers/owners just want to find them a good home. That was the case with JJ; he didn't want to race, was lousy at it, and his trainer claimed him in a stakes race just so she could give him away to someone who would give him another job and a good home.

TBs aren't really built for Western disciplines. Sure, you can throw a Western saddle on them, but the way they're put together conformationally doesn't make them suitable as Western show horses.

'Quite a handful and dangerous' is just a stereotype. I've never known a more laid back, quiet guy than my JJ. I've met some TBs who are more tightly wound than others, but all they needed was regular exercise and to be taken off sugar laden feeds.

The majority of TBs are quiet, calm, lovely horses with good temperaments and an eagerness to please and do their best.
    08-20-2010, 12:03 PM
I don't plan on doing any western showing...just trail riding..and I've come to love the comfort of those saddles specially made for trail riding....they look like oversized english saddles really... A trainer at a stable I rode at when I was a kid got an OTTB, and he was a stunning grey..but he was wound up tighter than any horse I'd ever seen...I can't count how many times that horse would cow kick her when she would get near him just to brush or saddle him. I'm guessing he was fresh off the track maybe?
    08-20-2010, 12:07 PM
Like many other horse OTTB's can vary dramatically from very good to terrible and from inexpensive to very expensive. Horses retire from the track for a variety of different reasons. Some go lame, some don't have the heart to run, some are just plain inconsistent and some get too "expensive" for the revenue they generate at the track. People who own track horses also vary as much as the horses. Some treat their horses very well and others treat them poorly. Some just want the horse out of their barn and out of their checkbook, and others genuinely want to ensure their horses have good homes. Because of these differences, some track horse owners will give their horses away, and others will try to recover some of their costs by selling the horse.

The cost of the horse does not only reflect the initial purchase price. Some track horses have injuries that need to be continually tended to and that can get expensive. Some have crazy metabolisms and it can be difficult to keep weight on them for a period of time. Others need extensive training (followed by a good long rest) before they can function as good saddle horses. Just because they were saddled and carried a jockey on the track doesn't necessarily mean they are in any way 'broke' to ride. My experience with to OTTB's I have owned is that they also need about 6 months to just cool down in a good safe pasture before they are ready to be re-schooled.

On the positive side, OTTB's can be fantastic horses. They are often well behaved when handled on the ground, as they have lots of experience being handled. They also have lots of experience with trailering, traffic, people and things other horses might shy away from. A good, sound OTTB can be a great horse if handled well. I wouldn't recommend one fresh off the track for a beginning or novice rider who doesn't have the experience to deal with some of the potential issues that may arise. It isn't that all OTTB have issues, but often you don't really know what you've got until you have had the horse for a year or so.

I hope this helps.
    08-20-2010, 12:18 PM
Originally Posted by annaleah    
I'm guessing he was fresh off the track maybe?
Maybe, maybe not. But it could have had as much to do with what she was feeding him, as his temperament.

TBs are great for trail riding, and it doesn't matter the saddle you put on them. They'll do well in any tack, as long as it fits properly.
    08-20-2010, 12:21 PM
The best horse I have ever owned was an OTTB. She was so nice, and I did ride her in a Western saddle. Nothing bugged her, well except my mom for some reason. I have seen many in my time that turned out to have really nice second careers as a pleasure/trail/show horse.
    08-20-2010, 12:22 PM
As with any 'cheap' horse...the problem isn't the initial purchase price, its the money, time and training it takes to make them sound and sane.

In my area, you can pick up probably 2 dozen horses for under $200. All are worth $200. Some are actually worth less. You could pick up one of those horses, put a years worth of work, vet bills, groceries, and training and at the end of the have a $800 horse.

I like the experience of working with a green horse so the time and money and training are worth it. For someone who wants a 'quick' project...I don't think they exist!
    08-20-2010, 12:27 PM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
As with any 'cheap' horse...the problem isn't the initial purchase price, its the money, time and training it takes to make them sound and sane.

JJ didn't cost me anything to buy him, but I've put a boatload of time, energy and money into him to turn him into a nice pleasure mount, and we're still not there yet.

Plus, TBs typically don't have rock hard feet. There are some that do, but it's a common trait of the breed that most of them are going to need shoes all the way around the rest of their lives.

They also eat more than your average QH, Arabian, or pony, so figure on your feed and hay bills skyrocketing. Mine doubled when I added him to my little herd, because he needs so much more than the Arabians to stay at a good weight.
    08-20-2010, 12:49 PM
Wow....when I had my arab, I thought he ate a lot! He was a bit of a piggy too! Time is something I will be limited too, so having a project horse like that probably wouldn't fit, if I had tons of money and a trainer that'd be different maybe. But, I have three kids and a time consuming do love the look and everything about TB, just maybe not for me....heck, maybe I should just stick with my thanks everyone for your input!!
    08-20-2010, 01:00 PM
If you have the experience and time, owning and OTTB can be very rewarding and a great way to get an athletic horse. But like any other breed, they're all unique. An OTTB from a good barn will make a great horse for any discipline. They are more suited for English due to conformation and the length of their strides, but you will find that some of the sprint bred horses are shorter, resembling QH, and I've seen some of them do WP with TONS of training.
The pros of these horses are, traffic safe, commotion safe, clip/bath/haul like pros and are happy in a stall. Just don't set off a bell around them if they've had gait training. It seems like it's something they never forget.

I personally love TBs of any origin. They are full of heart and Love to run/jump... perfect eventers. Because they have spent a good portion of their life with people, they aim to please. My past TB was a saint after his first year off the track. We racked up championships in hunters/jumpers and dressage. And yes I rode in a western saddle for long rides, he even was trained to jog and lope, but he was still faster than everyone else in the ring. We pinned a few times though so it's possible. He was a great trail horse and I could beat anyone in a gallop across the field.

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