Would A Thoroughbred Work? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-09-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Would A Thoroughbred Work?

My friend is currently looking for a horse, and I've been doing most of the internet searching. Even though I seriously was excluding Thoroughbreds from my search, I ran across one that sounds great, training-wise.

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The reason I wasn't looking for TB's is for 2 main reasons. We have never owned any, and all the ones I have met or heard of have been "spirited" and crazy, and very weak. They were also all very accident-prone!

Second, our horses live on 24/7/365 turnout. They need to be able to live off 100% grass and be able to live through the worst storm without a blanket or stall. Also, we would like a barefoot horse, though that is not a killer. We do have good grass, so I don't think that would be too much of an issue for any horse, but they are on just regular round bales in the winter. I live in Pennsylvania, so we don't exactly get blizzards, but it can and does get in the 10's in January early mornings, and sometimes it sleets and then freezes, and when we come out in the morning, our horse's manes and whiskers are covered in ice. They do have a 3-sided shelter though.

So anyways, since I have zero experience with Thoroughbreds, I would like some opinions on, if we bought this mare, could she live outside, unblanketed, on just grass, and preferably barefoot? We do have some shaley soil, but most of our trails are pretty soft, not climbing up boulders or mountains!

The horse would probably be in moderate work, by the way. She is thinking about starting eventing, and they are ridden about 5-6 days a week in the summer, 4-5 in the spring and fall, and probably 2-4 in the winter, though then it would only be little trail rides and rides through snow, and possibly a weekly lesson in an indoor arena. She also might do some small competitive trail rides or endurance rides, so do you think this mare could do that? They would be small, probably no more than 25 miles, usually around 15.

Ok, I've blabbed long enough. There you go, answer! And tell me what you think of the horse, if you want!

Last Note: My friend is probably an intermediate rider. She doesn't need or want a half-dead push-button pony, but she would like a horse she can hop on bareback and just ride in a halter and leadrope.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-09-2012, 09:38 PM
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The answer to your question is....

It depends.

Sorry. I have kept some TBs out 24/7 with access to shelter; they need supplementation with grain in the winter, but MOST do fine.

I have had some TBs that were sweet, trustworthy deadheads, and a couple that made wonderful beginner horses.

I've also had ones that conformed to the stereotype of hot, flighty, hardkeepers with flat, bad feet.

I've known TBs that couldn't go barefoot, had to be shod to be sound, had to be up in a stall for half the day in order to keep shoes on, and were very hard keepers, requiring big feedings of concentrates 2X a day. Keeping them unblanketed through a PA winter might be okay, or must result in a big grain bill and trouble keeping weight on as the horse will shiver it off.

It just depends on the individual horse.

Go see this mare. From the photos she looks like a nice girl.

Ask the current owner A LOT of questions about how they keep her and what her current routine is to see if she'll fit with your program. Really take a good look at her feet, maybe even get a farrier to look at her to see if her thinks she'll tolerate either 24/4 turnout OR barefoot.

I had a wonderful TB (Big bay in my photo album) that a job change and financial pressure forced me to board in a pasture board situation and I was terrifed that he wouldn't maintain weight, wouldn't keep shoes on etc., and to my surprise and relief he did just fine.

Make the decision on the individual horse, not the breed.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-09-2012, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks! I'll show her to my mom then, and hopefully she does work out!
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 06:56 AM
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I have a TB who is pasture boarder 24/7.
He does however require blankets during winter - as Maura said, he'd shiver his weight off. I've seen plenty of TB's go through winter without a blanket over here in New Zealand where it snows and blows.

Thoroughbreds are generally quite sensitive to the conditions and aids, but every horse is different.

Go and look at her, she looks like a very nice horse! Just ask as many questions as you can, and discuss what your plans would be for her in the future (turnout etc)

Goodluck :)
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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The TBs around my area are used for polo and ranch work. All the polo TBs are used on cattle during their off season (if they don't travel) and are used during season for a change of pace.

All are kept out year round and do not get blanketed. During the season those are shod, and they go barefoot the rest of the year. The regular ranch TBs are mostly barefoot. Though, like any group of horses of any breed. some need shoes, or their owners prefer to have them shod.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 07:40 AM
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To be honest I'm not convinced there is a horse of ANY breed that could hold up to 5-6 days a week of the work required of an eventer WITHOUT supplemental feeding.

Trojan 09.11.02 - 26.10.10 // Kody 01.09.89-25.06.12 // Rex 05.11.95-21.12.12
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 07:54 AM
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My horse is a tb and he has 24/7 turnout but is not going to make it on a round bale alone in the winter. He isn't a hard keeper either. They drop weight easily and must be fed extra.
I have blanketed mine n the past in winter as well as let him be. They fare a little better with a blanket. Then again I feed extra in the winter.
I'd keep looking because of this reason.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 08:00 AM
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I also live in PA and own a TB who I do eventing with. He works about 6 days a week and he gets plenty of grass, but he definitely does need supplemental feeding to keep his weight up. Most horses, unless you have an easy keeper who simply looks and grain and gets fat, would need supplemental feed (hay or grain) with steady work.

I blanket mine starting in late October through March. He does have enough of a winter coat to keep him warm in the winter, but as I ride him 4-5 days a week in the winter and he sweats, I give him the everything but the head and legs body clip so he isn't exposed to cold air with dense, wet and sweaty hair and get chills.

TB's are great horses, and if you found one that is hardy, sensible and sound, you can't get better as they make great eventing horses. Keep in mind that TB's are not used very frequently in endurance riding and other horses are more suitable for that kind of work.

On the mare you have posted the link to:

"Needs work in a small area on lead to the right, but in a big arena picks it up every time."

To me the sounds like a soundness issue, she can pick up her right lead in large arenas but not in small arenas? If your friend did go to look at her, liked her and considers buying her, make sure she does a full vet check with x-rays.

Good luck!
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! And sorry, what I meant by 5-6 days a week is that we ride 5-6 days a week, but not all of them are hard rides. We would only be having like hour long jumping lessons, or trail rides, or bareback rides, not really tough work.

4everiding- I guess it could be a soundness issue, but my mare was the same way. She was absolutely terrible on her right lead because no one had bothered to teach her her leads, and we just worked on it. But she will easily pick it up out in a field or on a XC course, but it's a lot harder to get in the arena, though she is getting tons better.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-10-2012, 09:02 AM
Green Broke
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Still sounds like too much to ask a horse without supplemental feeding.

Trojan 09.11.02 - 26.10.10 // Kody 01.09.89-25.06.12 // Rex 05.11.95-21.12.12
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