As for talking up the OTTB's, you are preaching to the converted here my friend! I have been working with both O(n)TTB's and O(ff)TTB's for almost fifteen years and dearly dearly love the breed. The racing industry however just isn't for me, my true passion is taking hopeless case OTTB's and working with them. The crazier, skinnier and more pathetic the better.
Two in particular have changed my life; the grey girl in my avatar is my once in a lifetime horse, broke my heart when I had to leave her behind in Australia as I couldn't cough up the money to have her shipped here to Texas with me after ten years of partnership. Now I have Bobbie, my badass brown and she is shaping up to be just as rewarding an equine partner as anyone could hope for.
I love the challenges the OTTB's present, as another poster excellently put it the other day, they are 'spicy' which is very apt! The ones I take on are often from auction, the kill pen or otherwise neglected. My grey girl could put a bucking bronco to shame and spent the first six months pounding my arse in the dirt before one day, seemingly overnight, we clicked and she eventually became my most successful eventer. That horse would do anything and everything for me without hesitating and always gave me 110%.
Bobbie, my Texas OTTB, was also handful when I bought her and had been deemed unfit for riding but I *had* to have her when I saw her, despite being warned against her. The first three months we had together were very hairy I can promise you, there were a few moments where she had me wondering "what am I going to do with this she-devil?" One day she reared and spun and almost took both of us over the arena fence that you can see in the pic below.
But again, with patience, consistency and work work work she came around. Similarly the transition seemed to take place overnight and again I have a horse that tries her heart out for me and in turn has stolen mine. Here are some shameless bragadocious pics:
When I brought her home (the look in her eyes in this shot still saddens me when I look at it).
May 2 small.jpg
After a few months, having perfected ground tying she very innocently will stand wherever I left her and watch my every move.
Bobbie October (2).jpg
Not bad for an unrideable horse eh?