He is very nice. The day I came back from vacation, I was gone for 10 days, before I took him out in the ring to find out he was lame, he was like hugging me with his head. He is such a sweetheart and a big baby! For being so big, he's normally like the last one to get grain, He lets little ponies a fraction of his size beat him up. Poor guy! =(
I wouldn't worry about his current omega herd status. Most OTTB's move up very quickly in the herd once they learn how to interact with other horses. Mine used the get the crap beat out of him. Two years later he's 2nd in command and challenging the top horse.
My Appy is like that right now; where he's at, a mini horse sends him to the opposite end of the pasture...
I've found putting a horse like this in with younger horses can help, because they develop that sense of 'herd leadership' and then can fare better in a normal herd. Right now, I can't do that with my boy, because all the other horses there are older.
Yeah he was never really getting beat up by the horses at this farm, he was just bossed around. He had a whole bunch of cuts from the last barn from horses there though. They are healing nicely now. =)) he's in a super big field with about 6-7 other horses right now. One of them is only a couple years old and other ones a lot older than him.
Congrats on the new horse, I've been involved with TB's for years.
Lets talk feet for a minute - TBs are notorious for flat feet, thin soles - BUT THIS CAN BE REMEDIED BY CORRECTIVE SHOEING.
You MUST have a knowledgeable Farrier who will promote BLOOD FLOW thorugh the hoof. NOTHING can improve if the farrier does not do his job correctly to allow the hoof to have bood flow.
The angles of the hoof has to be in accordance to the horses pasturns, shouldres and hips. The breaking point has to be correct, the frogs have to be open and the heels have to be permitted to grow.
If your Farrier says that your TB is just how he is and leaves it at that - FIND A NEW ONE!
My TB had horrible feet because the farrier we did have was not doing his job properly, not that he didn't know any better - it was because he only knew what he knew. My TB had long toes, no heels, thins soles and couldn't keep a shoe on him if his life depended on it...until I found my currect Farrier.
Now my TB has THICK soles, HEELS and a proper toe with correct angles and a fabulous breaking point. Plus, my TB keeps his shoes on which is a bonus.
Also - Full Cheek Snaffles should be used with the keepers. The Full Cheek was created to lay in the horses mouth at a certain angle, and this is only achieved with the keepers used. When you use the Full Cheek without the keepers, the bit rests in the horses mouth at an incorrect angle.
You have a beautiful horse, and congrats again - please get a thorough vet check done, and find a Farrier who will trim your horses feet to promote blood flow and proper growth.
I honestly have always thought that you were supposed to use bit keepers with the full cheek but no one at my barn uses the bit keepers and no one has ever said anything about it, so I was never positive. I will try to get some asap. Thanks!!
About his feet. Right now his hooves aren't even long enough to put shoes on. I have been putting turpentine on the every other day to help them grow. Farrier told me to. Once his hooves are long enough I WILL be getting shoes put on him. This farrier does most of the horses at this barn including other thoroughbreds and does a great job. The reason he was lame, and still is, is because he chipped the front of his left front hoof off so that is really sore now.
The next time the farrier comes out I am going to have him take a look and see what he thinks and how long until I can get shoes on Thunder.