Thinking of giving a rescue OTTB a forever home. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-22-2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Washington State
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Thinking of giving a rescue OTTB a forever home.

I don't know a great deal about Ottb horses but there is a supposedly sweet boy at a local rescue whose a gentle giant recovering from living in mud and neglect. The rescue is great and I like the people there and their opinions. However I've never been around ottbs and id love to hear your thoughts on them from folks that own thoroughbreds. This would be a pet used for light riding beginning dressage and trails. He had a first ride on sat with the rescue folks and they said he knew his stuff... and was a good boy. Hes 8 and is a massive 17hh.

Thoughts? Perks? Downside to Ottbs?

Thanks in advance. Sorry this looks terrible too. Posting from my phone. :)
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-27-2012, 02:14 PM
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I have an OTTB and I couldn't be happier. I bought him as a 9 year old (I've had him for a little over a year). He was retrained off the track and then sold to the family I bought him from.

Pros: They've pretty much seen it all (except my guy never saw cattle before and stopped dead the first time he layed eyes on them). He's excellent with shots, farrier, sheath cleaning, etc. and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that they are put through everything in their racing years. If you want a horse for any type of speed event, you know they have what it takes :)

Cons: Being a TB he is hard to keep weight on and he does "rest" on your hands while riding, but that is what they are taught to do, so you just need to retrain them out of it.

All in all, I couldn't be happier. I've had lots of people tell me that they're happy to see an OTTB in a good home, apparently not many end up having nice lives after the track. I will definitely buy another OTTB (hopefully one directly from the track, I'd like to retrain them myself).

Hope that helped, any other questions, fire away!
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-27-2012, 02:21 PM
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I just recently rescued an ottb mare in April, she was going to be shipped to slaughter so I sent the money through paypal after only seeing a photo and she is truly an amazing horse. She is so trusting and nothing seems to phase her! She definitely has energy and get up and go at times but she's so worth it! I have always had show morgans so this was a completely new experience for me. She is one of the best horses I have ever met, if she had the option she would follow me around all day like a puppy. She could be groomed for hours on end and has no issue at all with the vet and farrier. The huge plus to ottb's is they really have seen it all! I would say take the chance and go for it! My girl hasn't even been off the track a year yet and she really is a dream! Feel free to ask any other questions! Wishing you the best of luck
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-27-2012, 02:41 PM
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I own an ex-racing TB, and while I love him to death and plan to keep him for the rest of his life, the majority of these horses simply aren't bred for longevity or long-term health.

Not all of them are hard keepers, and if they've been retrained properly once they come off the track they've learned NOT to lean on your hands. My JJ is a fairly easy keeper, but of course he eats much more than my two Arabians. A 17 h horse is a BIG animal, and I hope you're not a newbie first time horse owner. My TB is considered 'small' at 15.3 h, and he still out eats the Arabs by quite a lot.

TBs are prone to ulcers, as well as having shelly feet. Many of them need to be shod all the way around their whole lives, some only need front shoes, and very few can go completely barefoot. They're bred for speed, not good feet.

They also appears to be more sensitive to allergens, and like certain people, may need allergy medications during the high pollen seasons.

Many of them have old track injuries that will come back to haunt them as they get older, and they can wind up with crippling arthritis and kissing spines. Are you prepared to love and care for a horse for many years who may wind up crippled and unrideable sooner than you expected?

So, if you're looking for an easy keeper that's not going to need shoes, can eat less than stellar food, and won't require anything much past the yearly vaccines to keep him healthy, you might want to pass.

All of that being said, they tend to be lovely, people oriented horses who will try their hearts out for their humans. Once you have a TB's respect, loyalty, and affection, you'll generally have it for life.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-28-2012, 04:11 AM
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I rescued an OTTB from slaughter and he is the most lovely natured horse. He follows me around like a big puppy.

One word of warning, he may seem very quiet to ride NOW but that can be due to poor condition, as his condition improves he may become more of a handful. Im not a very experienced rider and mine is a bit much for me, not that he has a nasty nature at all he's just a bit excitable! And he seemed quiet as a lamb when I first got him!

Here in Australia about 90% of them come off the track with ulcers so Id look into that straight away.

Mine does have good feet and goes barefoot.
but he's not an easy keeper and cant live on pasture alone.

Ive been reading up today on standardbreds, just a thought, if you want to rescue a racehorse and are not a hugely experienced rider a standardbred might be more suitable, it seems in general they are more calm.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-28-2012, 05:29 AM
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I have several OTTTB's plus have looked after OTTSB's.
Lovely horses all of them.

Pros: Have seen most everything and are used to crowds, noises and pressure situations.
They are very athletic and can turn their hoof to anything and generally be very good at it.

Cons: They come with baggage. Some no more that any other pre-loved horse but others with quite a lot.
They CAN be difficult to keep weight on but by no means all of them are (I have 2 which when younger were real fatties and I had to watch what they ate!).
Generally have crappy feet, but they do improve with time. When mine are just running around the paddock they are barefoot.
It takes them a while to become 'normal' horses. Some of mine have been 6 months, while one took 18 months to 'turn the corner.'

We have had some magic moments with our crew and they have given my kids (when they were home and competing) a fantastic and successful time (everything from dressage, jumping, trails, sporting and campdrafting to whatever the kids imagination demanded). They have mellowed into old age beautifully and I love them to bits.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-28-2012, 05:43 AM
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There are some great OTTBs and they can suit some people and purposes really well.

But I don't think they suit the purpose of "pet" very well, or trails for that matter. Some can be lovely but they are often very excitable and sensitive. Many of them require regular work or they can be a little difficult. They can be prone to injuries and require a lot of maintenance, like feed and rugging.

It's of course your choice, but for a pet I would look for something a bit more low maintenance. There are a lot of horses out there who need rescuing.

As Mazza said, Standardbreds are great little horses who are often over looked. They tend to have solid temperaments and are reasonably low maintenance once retrained, yet many don't make it past the track.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-28-2012, 03:22 PM
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I have an OTTB. He is a feisty guy, but I love him. Mine needs a stronger hand on the ground, but once you are on him, he does great. I think that anyone who gets one needs to be experienced.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-31-2012, 12:27 AM
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every horse is different.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the information. I really appreciate it. I actually got the oportunity to visit this guy first hand Saturday and he was all they promised him to be... sweet, loving, monsterous sized. Like some posters have said, he does have tender feet and need shoes all the way around. I don't think hes going to be a hard keeper though. The rescue has had him a few months and hes already showing a pudge.

I'm not worried about his size. One of my other horses is 18.2 and a belgian draft who can be rather pushy and plodding depending on her mood or the time of her cycle. She's normally a doll but I'm used to big.. I'd just like a little more free action in a riding horse. This guy seems so mellow I think he'll make a great trail horse. Plus, he adored attention, and like other posters have said, took to me and followed me around like a puppy the minute I started giving him attention. The weird thing is though... even though hes a registered TB (his papers are right there) he looks a whole lot like a quarterhorse because his backside is huge. I pictured TB's a lot sleeker.

Anyhow, thank you for the advice. I found it very helpful and very true to what I experienced when meeting this boy. Check out the picture. I think I'm going to adopt him. He's amazing.

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