Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I would seriously think about this prior to making your choice.
There have been many debates on here about OTTB (Of the track thoroughbreds ie. ex-racehorses) and their suitability to a range of riders.
You're going to run into a few problems, firstly that you don't know his history. Its one thing buying a schoolmasters OTTB but another buying a horse that you don't know much about, and, when in serious work, may have training or behavioural issues.
A second, and to me almost more serious problem, is going to be health related. OTTBs, in my experience, don't last as long as other breeds. I've known many who needed to be put down or retired in their early 20s where as other breeds have gone on strong. I wouldn't buy a 20 year old, although there can be many advantages to buying a older, been there done that schoolmaster, and I would not even consider owning a 20 year old OTTB. Besides lameness problems that can pop up especially with more regular work, they also tend to take a lot more in feed and need a fair amount of rugging. This upkeep isn't going to ever get easier, and the horse is going to be near impossible to sell.
I wouldn't recommend a TB as a suitable first horse, although that point is debatable, but a 20 year old rescue OTTB for a first horse...I don't think its a good idea.
It's a buyers market, you'll find something much more suitable around.