Hmmm. Personally, I steer clear of thoroughbreds. Now just so everyone know I’m not bashing the breed, these are my personal opnions and experiences, and yes I have known a few really great thoroughbreds, but they are not for me. The main reason is that due to breeding for speed and sacrificing other traits, such as temperament and certain conformation traits, they can have soundness/temperament issues more commonly than a lot of other breeds. Thoroughbreds that have raced are broken in and asked to run at full speed on bones that haven’t knit properly yet and muscles that are still developing, not to mention their mental immaturity for such demanding work. A young horse often doesn’t know when it is tired or under too much pressure, and will simply keep going until it causes itself damage. Because of this, many ex-racehorses will have soundness issues, fear issues, trust issues, or any number of other problems.
I have also found thoroughbreds to be extremely injury prone… I know that is a generalisation, and there are always exceptions. But one thoroughbred I know flipped over and broke his wither, got stuck in a fence, ripped his leg open… Another reared over its yard when playing and broke its pelvis, and too many to mention are always lame, in fences, etc. The hardiness has been bred out of them. They often have problem feet, being weak and brittle and often requiring shoes. A lot of them are super high maintenance, needing more feed than other breeds to maintain a healthy weight.
So personally, I will never buy a thoroughbred. I prefer the hardier breeds, Arabs, ASH, Quarter horses, ponies etc. But there are definitely good thoroughbreds out there, and many bad ones. Thoroughbreds are exactly what some people want, and I’m glad that they match each other so well, but I’ll stick with my low maintenance horses :]