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up's and down's of OTTB

This is a discussion on up's and down's of OTTB within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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    12-18-2010, 12:52 AM
Ups and downs of OTTB

OTTB stand for 'off the track Thoroughbred'. Off the track Thoroughbreds are ex-race horses.Thoroughbreds are used mainly for racing, but are also bred for other riding disciplines, such as show jumping, combined training, dressage, polo, and fox hunting

"Human safety is first.
Horse safety is second.
Everything else is third."

So, you have decided that adopting (in some cases rescuing) an off-the-track-thoroughbred (commonly referred to as an OTTB) is the right choice for you. Some things to consider before heading out with your trailer are the time and energy your new horse will need; not only will you need to form a bond with your new horse, but you will also be re-training your horse, from the ground up. It is a myth to think that race horses of any breed are given minimal training, when in fact they are trained for a very specific purpose, and that is to go very fast for a short distance and then stop. Often these horse have no manners and have not seen a pasture or paddock since they were weanlings. It's a daunting task, and some horses are more difficult than others. This is why, no matter how sad or dismal a horses situation looks, you can't let your emotions be the thing that guides your decision to buy and OTTB or not, because you will end up with a horse that you can not control or who needs more care than you can give.

The safest way to lead a horse is with a halter and lead rope. Don't hook your fingers through the halter straps, rings or the bit. If the horse pulls away, your fingers could be caught, injuring them or catching your hand so that you are dragged.
Never stand directly behind a horse. If you are grooming its tail, stand to one side and pull the tail gently over.

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    12-19-2010, 09:44 PM
I personally love OTTB's. I currently own one, and have worked with others in the past. In my experience things to look for when buying is like the other posters have said is legs. Most OTTB's are retired because they are to slow, others because they have been injured. Even if they have been retired because they were to slow does not mean they have not been injured on the track or have joint problems. Not all of them will have leg problems, my guy was retired at 6, I had him xrayed this year, he is now 9, and he is still clean legged. The ups are that they will try as hard as they can for you all day long, they have the biggest hearts. They really do have the biggest try in them. Many are characters and have big personalities.

Here is Homer. 9yr old OTTB, raced until he was 6.


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