Thinking of giving a rescue OTTB a forever home. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Washington State
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
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.
Thanks for the advice. I just wanted to add that I mean 'pet' in that I don't do anything professionally or even amateurishly with them. I don't show. I don't train for barrels, work cows, or belong to a club. I just get out and ride down the road two miles (country rode) to an county park with equestrian trails and ride ride ride there. It's all low key. Love horses... just don't have any desire to be competitive with them. I just have a desire to improve myself and my riding.

I have four horses and each one gets a great deal of attention and the one I can ride I ride a great deal. I am 6'4 and a plus sized rider so not every horse is for me. One of mine is in her late twenties and no longer can be ridden (and was a hot horse though I have had her since she was twelve and rode her from the boarder of Canada to the boarder of Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail...), ones a very small arab mare and another is a friesian cross out of the arab both of which my are my husbands.

This would be a 'pet' horse to ride and ride and ride. We don't have children and are in our thirties so we have animals instead. I think this guy might be the perfect fit for me.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I don't have a whole lot to add, but I'm bringing home an OTTB mare this weekend. She was raced up until she was six, and does have an old injury.. although the vet said if she was kept on supplements, she'll probably be sound for riding into her 20s. She recommended Recovery EQ, so that's what we're buying for her. Indie is a huge sweetie though, so I'm really excited. :)

I'd just get a quick vet check, as if he was raced for a few years.. he likely has an old injury or two. Then just ask the vet about any supplements that might help.
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Forever loved, never forgotten; my beautiful Indie. <3 Hoofprints on my heart.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 09:28 AM
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Ya know I got my very first horse off of a rescue site. he was a 5yo 16.3h TB gelding, heading to slaughter (on the feeedlot). I had always ridden stock horses under 15 hands and NEVER had I been on one bigger. Never even seen a TB.
Well I bought him sight unseen.
I hadn't ridden in at least three years prior and was 19 at the time. Well I can say I was scared to death that he was going to be a huge handful when I went to get him.
Well the day finally came to go get him:/
I showed up to the quarentine area and met the lady who ran the place. She showed me where he was and told me to go get him (I thought they would go get him!). Well he let me halter him, even dropped his head into the halter!
Okay easy part over. "Now to lead him away from his friends and for him to act insane!"
Nope he was the easiest horse I had ever lead away from a herd " Okay he for sure will NOT get on the trailer!"
NO he walked right in!
I have to say I got really lucky. Instead of a hot crazy ex racer I got a calm puppy dog ex racer.
He was calmer than any horse I had ridden prior. He is a sweetheart and since then kids have even ridden him. He has completely changed my outlook on the breed. The only negative I can find is that they eat more than stock horses. A lot more.
Hope you give this guy a chance and goodluck to you:)
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Lots of great advice from other OTTB owners.

My question is:

Have you rescued before?

I have rescued 3 or 4 horses in my life. I still have the Arab I rescued 19+ years ago. He was a starving horse poster child with an injured vertebra.

He still has health issues that go back to whatever happened to him before I came along.

Point-being, for anyone that's never rescued a horse that truly does need rescued, please be prepared for health issues to crop up over time and have extra money in the checkbook for the things you weren't planning on.

Nobody (including the great folks that run these rescue operations) can predict what the long-term ramifications of the initial abuse and/or neglect can be.

I have pumped a lot of $$$$ into my Arab that I know, for fact, are due to neglect and injuries when he was young. Over time, he got his self-esteem back to become the Passive Leader (second-in-command), still plays tricks on me, and still makes monkey faces when he's mad at me.

The one thing he can't do anymore is that beautiful-leave-alump-in-my-throat Arab float. Thanks to the arthritis from the vertebra injury he had when I rescued him over 19 years ago.

So unless you plan on not keeping this horse over the long haul, those are my thoughts on what you need to know about taking on a rescue - regardless of breed
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 10:31 AM
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I have had two OTTBs so far in my life. Both were used as trail horses, had good feet and were generally easy to keep weight on. I didn't regret getting them at all.

My first one was a 12 year old mare straight off the track -- very quiet; beginners could ride her; after a winter of not riding you could hop on her and head out like she'd been ridden yesterday. Did have a slight heaves issue; she passed on at 24 years.

My second one was a 9 year old gelding with lameness issues that retired him from racing -- had about 10 to 12 months off and then was good for riding again; after a winter of not riding him though you had to invest abit of time getting him into the swing of things again but then he was good to go. He was not ridden the last few years of his life because of a decline in his health (tricky heart) and he did require special feed at that time; he passed on at 32 years.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-03-2012, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Washington State
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Wow folks. I can't thank you enough for the hard questions and up frontness on the pros and cons. Walkinthewalk, I get what your saying. I don't sell horses, I'm in it for the long hau so if they come to me they come for foreverl. My draft was a rescue with issues like rain rot and horrible feet, but I've been very lucky in that I haven't had the need for a vet call for about five years since I moved to my own place (safe fencing, no dumb**** boarder issues) and out of a boarding facility.

This horse never started because he was too big and too lazy to actually race according to the rescue. I can see that too because he has a totally laid back attitude. He was race trained though, so started imho too early like all race horses. So you are right he might have long term issues that come out later. His bad feet come from abuse after his track training days - being left in mud, shoes on way past reset stages, and being run on cement roads. He was attempted to be turned into a Mexican Dancing Horse. I haven't had a crop in my hand around him, but I suspect that's not going to be a good experience from what I understand these 'dancing horses' go through to be trained.

But I'm going to take him on. Hes's just too sweet to pass up, especially with his attitude and size. I think the feet issue will resolve itself in time with good solid trimming, supplements, and shoes.

Jore: Glad you are bringing a new OTTB home! You'll have to let us know how she does!
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Last edited by Centaurheart; 09-03-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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