Looking into buying an OTTB... am I crazy?
 
 

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Looking into buying an OTTB... am I crazy?

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  • Looking at an ottb
  • Ottb being wild

 
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    09-15-2010, 10:41 PM
  #1
Foal
Red face Looking into buying an OTTB... am I crazy?

Not sure if this is where I should put this, but oh well. -shrugs-

Anyway, I am looking into buying a horse and I keep coming back to these off track thoroughbreds. I have been told to stay far away from a few friends, but I know of a few OTTBs who were amazing! They just simply haven't seen one with proper handling and training after their racing life! Anyway, I have been looking at a few on this website. I like Red Rok Spirit, Bankers Reserve, Poison Ivy, and my least favorite is Mr. Painter. I have absolutely no idea about conformation except I'm not a fan of Painter's neck and withers. I was wondering if I could get some pointers on the confo of some of those horses. Who do you think has the best? A friend said she thought Bankers Reserve was really downhill. He is only 4, so he could still grow a bit, right?

And does anyone else think I'm crazy for considering it? I have been riding for 8 years and I have had experience working with some horses with issues and previous abuse. I helped one horse get through a lot of his fear after he was abused. I do have much more experienced people and trainers that would help me every step of the way as well. Just wondering if anyone had any other thoughts.


Thanks!
     
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    09-15-2010, 10:49 PM
  #2
Weanling
I have had two ottb's. They've got tempermental personalities. But nothing bad . They're just a little more sensitve.. but like all horse breeds, every horse is different/ so I wouldn't judge a horse by a breed. They're generally verrrry talented . They're quick to improve and I would reccomend it with the proper skill level and training ability.
     
    09-15-2010, 11:20 PM
  #3
Started
You didn't actually mention your training abilities. I know you said you helped an abused horse overcome his fear issues, but so have I....and I am not by any stretch of the imagination a trainer, nor do I have the abilities to reteach an OTTB. An OTTB is not trained as other horses are. Just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you get in over your head.
     
    09-15-2010, 11:27 PM
  #4
Foal
This is true. Well, the same horse that had the fear issues needed some more indepth training. I worked with him on slowing down, bending and flexing, collecting, extending, balancing himself, etc...

I have never saddle broke a horse. I worked with a 3y/o Perch X TB gelding who was a wack job that hadn't been worked with very much at all. I pretty much had to start from scratch with him. I worked with him getting use to standing in cross ties, leading, basic ground manners, picking up feet, lunging, and desensitizing to fly spray, towels, etc..

I have worked with some OTTBs, but not really retraining. The horses I have worked with that were OTTBs had already started retraining. They didn't have the "run run run" mentality anymore, but other than that, they didn't know squat. Worked on bending and felxing, collecting, and just slowing down. All of that was under the supervision of an instructor though.

I guess I'm thinking that this would make a challenging project as long as I chose a quiet horse that I got along with. And as I said, I would definitley not be doing much without supervision and instruction for quite a while. I would rather choose a horse that had started some retraining and not taking one fresh off the track. I really doubt I would wind up doing that.
     
    09-15-2010, 11:33 PM
  #5
Foal
I have a OTTB mare she raced a long time ago! I didn't train her after, but I can say now she has quit a few problems that started to show up once she was moved. I "think" they could be rooted back to her race life. She is VERY heard bound, anxious, and very rude when left for a period of time without being handled. On a positive note she is a great horse when it comes to riding, I just recommend making sure you get someone with experience to make sure to train the horse right, right from the start because you don't want to end up like me and working on it endlessly. Oh and she also had injuries from being raced so I don't mean to state the obvious but get a vet check for sure!

Good Luck and I hope you find the perfect horse!
     
    09-16-2010, 12:01 AM
  #6
Foal
Oh, I would definitely be getting a vet check! Without a doubt! :)

I'm not even sure why I am so drawn to these guys. Something about it just feels like it could be the right thing. Of course I'll know for sure once I start looking. I am going to be VERY picky with my descision. OTTB or not!
     
    09-16-2010, 07:15 AM
  #7
Banned
Reschooling or reclaiming an OTTB is not quite the same as green breaking another horse or even working with an abused horse. You need to undo or overwrite a lot of their previous training, which wasn't abusive and that a lot of them enjoyed. A lot of the very specific things an OTTB has learned to do is the opposite of what we want a well broke riding horse to do, such as leaning down on the rider's hands, and interrpreting increased contact as a signal to go faster. Many horses off the track are extremely cold backed, and that presents a special challenge if you're going to be working with the horse on your own.

If you're committed to doing this, I would spend some time watching race horses work in the mornings so you get an understanding of how they actually are trained and find someone near you that has experience reclaiming race horses.
     
    09-16-2010, 07:53 AM
  #8
Weanling
There's a thread in the Horse Breeds section about this topic (things to consider when re-training an OTTB). Maybe it would be helpful.
     
    09-16-2010, 04:22 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
Reschooling or reclaiming an OTTB is not quite the same as green breaking another horse or even working with an abused horse. You need to undo or overwrite a lot of their previous training, which wasn't abusive and that a lot of them enjoyed. A lot of the very specific things an OTTB has learned to do is the opposite of what we want a well broke riding horse to do, such as leaning down on the rider's hands, and interrpreting increased contact as a signal to go faster. Many horses off the track are extremely cold backed, and that presents a special challenge if you're going to be working with the horse on your own.

If you're committed to doing this, I would spend some time watching race horses work in the mornings so you get an understanding of how they actually are trained and find someone near you that has experience reclaiming race horses.
Oh, I definitely wouldn't expect it to be the same as training a greenie. That much I am prepared for! If I remember correctly (it's been a while), one of the horses I worked with in lessons was really heavy on the bit and we had to work towards fixing that issue. She was an OTTB too.

I would definitely be committed to it and have someone with experience helping me. No way I could go at it alone! I didn't even think about them being cold backed, even though it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the imput! Its good to know exactly what I would be getting into. I really appreciate it!


And thank you, ilyTango! That thread was really interesting! Definitely gave me some things to look at!
     
    09-16-2010, 07:47 PM
  #10
Started
I have a 3 year old ottb - he was never raced, but he was trained for the track.

He is the sweetest, calmest horse. I can leave him in a field for a week and then take him out and go for a 3 hour ride down roads/trails and he never puts a foot wrong (just did that on Tuesday haha). Just look for one with a good disposition.

All OTTB's are different, but with time and patience they can make fantastic horses. I've had 2 now, they're addicting.
     

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