Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the barn whenever possible.
I can share with you my experience with OTTB's just from last summer to now. Please note these were not my horses. They were not my fiance's horses. They were his brother and left in our care, we had to ask permission before doing anything for these horses care.
My fiance's brother races thoroughbred horses in Az. Over the summer he brought up 4 of them. Of the 4 of them, I rode 3. Of that three, 2 were really well broke and so laid back it wasn't funny. It was hard to imagine them as racing horses. I used them on the farm for trail riding, for local fun shows (barrels, poles, etc), for chasing our cattle. They were wonderful ride and up for anything you asked of them. I rode them maybe a handful of times over the summer.
As far as keeping, I will say that they were extremely hard to keep. Of the 4 that were here. 3 of them showed signs of losing weight and problems keeping weight on. Of the 3, 2 seemed worse than the others. We offered them not only free choice pasture, but hay as well, along with sweet feed, alfalfa pellets, oats, beet pulp, and a few suppliments. Of the 2, 1 had an old injury from the track that seemed to flair up big time while he was here. We had the vet out a few times to look at it. The vet's suggestion was that he was never going to walk correctly again combined with weight loss, to put him humanely to sleep. We thought as long as he was showing us he wanted to live, we would not choose that route. Unfortunately we think his heart gave out because he passed away unexpectedly one morning. Of the 3 that were left, 1 was taken back down to Az and months later passed away unexpectedly. (I do not know the circumstances behind this.)
That left us with the one that never had any problems and another hard keeper. It's taken MONTHS for her body to adapt to her new situation (and us alot of feed and vet bills) These two are now doing really well and are maintaining a good weight.
I would never want to own a thoroughbred. I am sure others could be different but this was my experience and I'd not want to do it agian.
"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson