This is part of why I am writing this, to get realistic figures on what it may run me as well as thoughts and opinions.
Realistically, I'd say that it will take six months before he can enter a regular work regime, providing he recovers without any additional complications (ulcers, abcesses, ongoing parisite problems). I'd guess it will cost you at least $5,000 and possibly up to $10,000.
I know a boarding facility means more money, but at the same time there is a person who has already rehabilitated a few neglected OTTB's on hand for help that is willing to give time to this.
'Give' time? As in for free? For how long? How many times a week? Once he returns to full health I can tell you from experience that on average
it will take regular work, 4-5 days a week for several months before you get something that even resembles a horse ready to take out and do an introductory test. Is this person willing to donate
that amount of time? Perhaps for the first month, I don't know many people that would keep up that kind of deal for very long.
If it's not for free, you're going to find that this becomes exceedingly expensive very quickly.
As for Dressage, I have already resigned myself to working with the lesson horses at my new barn for the next 6 months no matter which horse I have...
If it's truly dressage that you want to pursue, this would be the way to go. There are no guarantees that this horse has the ability, or more importantly, the mind, for dressage or indeed any kind of competitive endeavour.
Bear in mind also, he's 8 or 9 and has raced a long time. These types are, as a general rule, much more difficult to retrain - they have been racing for a very long time. I don't like to pick them up unless they were finished racing by around 5. Not to say it can't be done, but another factor to consider.
If you want to put the dressage plans on hold for a year or two and turn your focus to learning how to re-train a horse (lots of fun I guarantee you
) Then go pick him up!! It is a very risky business but also very rewarding. Don't pick him up as a dressage prospect though, it will be a long time before you have any idea if that will be the case.