If you get the chance, take a look at one of the threads I have on my Thoroughbred filly Kenzie. She's quite literally been through hell, but is still the sweetest, gentlest, most forgiving young horse I've ever met. She's a total clutz and doesn't necessarily always think when she's scared, but I have yet to EVER see her purposely try to hurt me or anything else...yet IMO she has every right to because of the terrible things that have been done to her.
Thoroughbreds are not 'coexisters' (new word) horses. If you have a fault as a handler, a TB is going to find it. Not because they're that BAD of horses, but because they're that tuned in to you. Thorougbreds crave leadership, and if you can not provide that leadership they will become the leader themselves. But once you have established yourself as a capable leader, they'll go to the ends of the earth for you. You have to EARN a TB's respect. It isn't just assumed and given to you, as with some other breeds. That is what makes them special, and that is what gives them the drive that makes them such amazing sport horses.
On the feeding front, I have to agree that the TBs you work with are probably under exercised and over fed. I actually have an example for you. We have a chestnut TB mare named Shaniah. Already, she has three strikes against her. One, she's the infamous chestnut 'red head' of the horse world. Two, she's a thoroughbred. Three, she's a mare. And let me assure that she was a DEMON. She was off of the race track, mean as all get out, and HOT. She came to us with severe injuries from racing, so she had to be stalled for about 6 months...very limited hand walking even near the end. If you got close to her stall, she'd lunge and try to take off a chunk of your skin. If you talked to her, she's gnash her teeth and glare at you. If, heaven forbid, you tried to wrap her legs without first sedating her, she was completely ok with bashing your head in.
But for whatever crazy reason, we kept her. She had good breeding, she was fast, and she was pretty. For 8 months we dealt with her horrific personality, and we all hated her. Just when we were at our wits ends though, a vet came to us with a possible solution. She asked us what we were feeding her. She was getting alfalfa, senior feed, beet pulp, and crimped oats; all to help keep weight on her since like many TBs, she was a hard keeper. The vet's eyes widened and she answered 'take away the candy and soda every day and she'll be a new horse.' What she meant by that, is that we were feeding her TONS of carbs and sugars to keep weight on her, but we were also feeding her extremely hot nature and driving her crazy. By this time it was okayed for us to start turning her out more, so we tossed her into a pasture, took away the senior feed, BP, and oats, and replaced it with hay and a low-sugar high-fat feed.
I kid you not, less than two weeks later we were starting to think someone switched horses on us. Shaniah was by no means a a bomb proof kids pony, but she was no longer attacking her handlers, she was quiet when we wrapped her legs, and she was starting to prick her ears when we called her name. A decade later she's a main horse in our lesson program and she absolutely adores to be ridden, groomed, and loved on. All because we took time to realize she needed a different feeding plan and because we were able to offer her more space to run around. It wasn't her breed that made her crazy, it was the fact that she wasn't able to be a horse and yet we were pumping her up with junk we thought she had to have!
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.