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post #21 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 08:36 AM
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:) I know! LOL. I love their big, tall, lean build!
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post #22 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MysticL View Post
And that's NOT to say you didn't give Hugo time! I wrote that SOOOO badly sorry!
No offense taken what so ever! He had 32 starts on the track, first raced as a 2 year old, retired as an early 7 year old. Was spelled for 6 months in the middle I have just discovered, due to ligament troubles, and then started racing again. I had him for only a few months before I started really noticing issues with his hind end. Gave him nearly 2 years spelling in the paddock, with multiple treatments. Then once he got the all clear from the vet to start VERY light work, thats what we did. Butt loads of walking. And then he went and tore his suspensory being an idiot in the paddock.
I will never get another ottb, I've had enough of them, and I just don't want to go down that path again. I am happy to stick with my warmbloods!

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #23 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 08:51 AM
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32 starts is a lot :( Mine has only had 4 and was retired by the time he was 4 years old and has settled right in like he was never on the track. Although he was lame for a week this month with absolutely no reason. There was no swelling or heat but was hobbling around like a broken man. I love OTTBs but i admit I got lucky with this one. I looked at a few and this one I just got a feeling about. He is calm, level headed, a total lover, allows anything to be done to him etc. at 16.3hh even the kids handle him. He has become the favourite in our barn with most people. Initially he was nappy. He would be stubborn about walking in hand to the gate and once I was on he would not want to hack out. All that has literally changed in the last month. Now I can't keep up with him because he knows he is going out and is so excited! In saddle...well a dream. They aren't all like that :(

My heart aches for you losing Hugo, I can only imagine you put in so much love and dedication. Im sure you gave him a happy retirement :)
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post #24 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 08:55 AM
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Yes Hugo was like that, from day one he didn't give me even a hint of trouble. He was the easiest horse I've had, and I've had a lot of horses! The first day I rode him, his back came up for a few seconds when I put my leg on, then he relaxed and he was trotting happily up and down the driveway, with not a care in the world. He was always worked in a fixed ring, thick, french link snaffle, in with other horses, on his own etc. not a problem at all. He picked the work up so quickly, I always had to be careful not to push too hard as he would just keep offering even if he was struggling.
I really hope my hanoverian yearling ends up similar to Hugo, he really was a one in a million
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~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #25 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 09:02 AM
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They just give and give and love to please and sometimes you have to really stop and take a step back. I find mine to be SO receptive to my legs, hands and sounds. When I ask him to slow down or stop he will immediately. It's been like going from driving a small 1 litre vehicle to driving a Ferrari off the showroom floor! lol!
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post #26 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 10:07 AM
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TB horseracing has several issues. The biggest problem IMO is the poor breeding practices. Racing Thoroughbreds have been bred for speed for so long now that their bone, joints, and feet are only marginal at best to handle their weight and the stress they are subjected to. This is no secret, and there is no need to hide it under the rug. Horses like Big Brown (and I just use him as an example as he is well known) that are genetically unsound should never be used as breeding stock. But he was fast, and he is. As a former breeder for many years, I consider that irresponsbile breeding. Money talks, though, and so the poor breeding practices continue.

Under public pressure and in light of declining attendance and revenues, the JC has caved and has made quite a few changes to make racing safer. No discipline is perfectly safe, but there have been some large strides made in the TB racing industry in recent years.

Despite the rhetoric from the industry and the "studies" they tout, I still don't accept that juvenile racing is prudent, but I don't see that changing in the near future.

There are few spectator sports more exciting than horse racing. I have been a fan all my life, and have had the pleasure of seeing some great horses, including Secretariat at the Preakness, Smarty Jones at the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbies, and many others. However I find it very sad that greed has trumped prudence and soundness in the breed has become such a serious issue. There is an inherent danger in overspecialization when it is at the expense of soundness, and I find the theory of breeding and nursing a horse through 3 years of racing and quickly retiring it to stud before it breaks down to be a poor practice.

In summary, much has been done to improve safety, but until owners and breeders began reintroducing soundness and hardiness and stop the insanity of breeding horses with extensive family histories of physical problems, there will be a cloud over the industry. I find that that very sad...
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post #27 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 10:19 AM
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Like any sport it has good players and bad players. I met both kinds when I had a racehorse :/ It wasn't worth it to me to be around/watch the bad I chose a new horse discipline to go towards :)

I still love watching horse racing,but I doubt I will would another race horse. Because of the people. Not the horses.
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post #28 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 10:34 AM
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Like most everyone, I'm on the fence about it. And I'll be the first to admit that what I think I know, I learned on TV or from other media. There's pro's and cons obviously. As far as starting out to early, I agree. But that arguement is valid in pretty much any demanding sport we have. The only thing that I'm curious about/don't agree with right now is the excessive use of crops (remember, I've only seen racing on TV, so I realize that practice may not be the norm). As for the keeping them stalled most of the time (again, second hand info), I personally don't think it's healthy, BUT I know plenty of riders that do the same with their performance horses.

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #29 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MysticL View Post
It's a controversial topic in my opinion. Some love it, others detest it, some tolerate it but have no real feeling for it like Kayty said.

My reasons to love it:
* I live a few miles from the training grounds and have always been quite close to the industry - there is nothing more glorious than driving down, parking and watching the morning gallops and training. Especially at this time of year when the trees are starting to turn, there is a crisp nip in the air and you hear those hooves coming past, mist out their nostrils. It's exhillerating
* I own an OTTB - he is the best horse I have ever ridden much less had the pleasure of owning - without the racing industry he wouldnt be mine.

My reasons to dislike it (hate is a strong word!):
* I disagree with how MOST yards are run (I say most because Im not going to generalise) - to me a horse is not made to spend 90% or more of it's life in a box
* I strongly disagree with the age that racehorses are started at and the long term effects it can have on their legs and bodies and health.
* I have experienced a horse "breaking down" in a race and snapping it's hind leg clean in half. I was there when the vet pulled the trigger - It's heartbreaking and could have been avoided.

I could go on but the point I have come to realise is this...Racing is NOT the only industry that can be picked on for doing things the wrong way. But because it is such a BIG industry and in the spot light all the time and such a large money making industry it get noticed more than the others. If a race horse breaks down it makes the news. If a horse has a heart attack in lets say showjumping for example it is discussed amongst horse people and on forums. If a jockey mistreats his horse it makes news and he is suspended. But I have seen that happen in eventing and at the shows I attend to an even worse degree when people lose their tempers. However the jockey gets noticed because more often that not the race is on TV and the shows are not. The racing industry takes a lot of flack because of the status it has.

I love all equine sports, but I have to admit when I see a horse run like that my negative thoughts disappear for a moment and my heart skips a beat.
Excellent and well balanced post. I agree with all of your points.
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post #30 of 46 Old 03-16-2012, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MysticL View Post
...This is why I often battle to understand why people taking OTTBs home say they give them months off "to get all the drugs out their system".
I suspect they are referring to steroids. I gather the use has diminished in recent years, but it was legal just a few years back. I don't read much about racing, so I'm not familiar with the details.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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