OTTBs: Victims of ignorance and prejudice - Page 5

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OTTBs: Victims of ignorance and prejudice

This is a discussion on OTTBs: Victims of ignorance and prejudice within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    07-24-2011, 05:25 PM
Green Broke
Beausant thank you for this thread and for sharing your beautiful video and story. I have admired photos of your boy since you joined this forum and am so glad that he found a home with you and your son.

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?

December (2).jpg
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    07-24-2011, 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by Celeste    
I had never thought about the standardbreds. Does anybody have any experience with them?
Standardbreds are the most wonderful breed. I worked with Standardbred racers for a handful of years and I love them with a passion. They are kind, docile, willing and affectionate, and they all have such big personalities. What's really interesting about them is they don't ALWAYS look like Standardbreds. In the barn I was at, we had a few that I SWORE were Quarter Horses and a few others that looked like oversized Arabians. They don't come in as many colors as other breeds - the majority of the horses we had were bay, with the odd chestnut or black thrown in for variety. Once, we got a gray gelding in and by watching the commotion in the barn, you'd have thought the Queen was coming for a visit. But nope, just a gray Standardbred.

My heart horse was a Standardbred filly and I regret not buying her every moment of every day. She was 4 years old when she was sent from the training back to a breeding facility and I never saw her again. I searched for months, but could never find any relevant information on her because I didn't have her registered name. I knew her as Vanna and she was my equine soul mate.

You'll never regret giving your heart to a Standardbred. They are amazing.
    07-24-2011, 06:00 PM
My 'crazed' OTTB (I prefer recycled meeting me and my daughter for the very first time.

His worried expression gets me every time. I rode him for 2 minutes and told him not to worry any more...he was going home.

Now he lives his life in knee high grass, happy as a horse can be!
    07-24-2011, 07:16 PM
Originally Posted by Beauseant    
bsms is right in that OTTBs are not good horses for those with time issues or those who want "finished" mounts....

But I have found that it isn't TIME that keeps prospective buyers away from OTTBs, it's fear. Adjectives that attach to them.... terms like vicious, crazy, tempermental, insane, wild, dangerous....frighten buyers away...
In my case, I have a common corral 70' in diameter for 2 horses, and my current property doesn't give me much room for expansion. The book I mentioned explained that there were often socialization issues and also often time needed for hormones to clear out of the system, and I have no separate area to handle that sort of thing.

Add in feed issues - the recommended feeding of the OTTB was easily twice what my current horses are getting - and concerns about my riding skill (lack thereof), and I decided an OTTB wasn't for me right now.

I would compare it to Arabians. My 2.00 horses are 1.75 Arabian. The mare in particular was a poor choice for a beginner rider. I've also met a number of folks who say all Arabians are crazy, and who swear they will never own an Arabian. That is their choice and (IMHO) their loss. All horses are individuals, but if I were to get another horse, I'd look FIRST at Thoroughbreds and Arabians. That intensity is intoxicating! And frankly, regardless of what breed I bought, I'd also plan on giving them a rest time, followed by starting them over at the beginning of their training. I'd rather find the holes in their training that way than find them out on the trail...
    07-24-2011, 07:59 PM
Green Broke
Wow- what a demon..!!
Seriously, what a sweet video- he's looks so happy in his new home..
    07-24-2011, 08:14 PM
Love the video of that monster. Scary stuff but you did warn us so we have no right to complain. He's an amazing boy. Thanks for sharing this with us and for giving this wonderful guy a loving home. (Great ! Now I want an OTTB ! And I do gaited horses ! *wanders away muttering in confusion* ) LOL!
    07-24-2011, 11:29 PM
On behalf of Beauseant, I thank you all sincerely for your photos of your lovely horses and for your support of these OTTBs.

The horse in the video bears little resemblance to this pathetic, scabby, starved to a body score of 2 creature, who was so weak and dispirited he couldn't even hold his head up for the photo.

But this is Beau how he looked when we bought him....and this is a perfect illustration of what happens to racehorses who don't win. Oftentimes, they are thrown away like trash, discarded like something worthless....and starved....if they don't win, they don't deserve to eat.

I am not bashing the racing industry, I am bashing the breeders and owners who treat these majestic animals as if they were disposable.

Hard to believe the running, head tossing, rearing, kissing, nuzzling bundle of grayness in the video was once the pathetic horse above.....
    07-25-2011, 10:23 AM
Originally Posted by Celeste    
I had never thought about the standardbreds. Does anybody have any experience with them?
I just helped a friend get her first horse, and we ended up finding a Standardbred for her (left the track about 10 years ago).
Sweet thing, very willing, very patient.
The only downside is that it's hard, hard, hard to get her to canter. She just paces faster and faster - and she can MOVE at the pace.
Other than that, she's being a perfect first-horse for someone building her knowledge and experience. They're a perfect pair.
    07-25-2011, 10:30 AM
Racehorses are beautiful animals, they just need patience and gentle hands! I love them!
    07-25-2011, 08:03 PM
I would love to own a former racehorse someday.

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