So about 3 months ago I bought a 13 year old OTTB. He's been off the track for around 5 years now. He raced for around 6. He was pastured during those 5 years and really not messed with until about 2 months before I bought him.
When I purchased him, he wasn't in great condition. He was quite underweight. The barn owners (He was being boarded and I just kept him at the same place) told us after we bought him that he had come here full of worms.
After fattening him up, putting him on joint supplements, and having some chiropractic work done, he is not the same horse I bought. He not...hot, but he's very...thoroughbred. Before he was very calm and sweet. Stood still, let me do whatever. Now he is really...antsy. He's aware of everything, his head is always way up in the air. He dances around in the crossties, kicks out his back legs when I try to pick his hooves. I can hardly lead him around because he pushes into me, steps on my feet, and pretty much walks me around the property. Do you think its because he just didn't have the energy before?
Jett (his name) is also pretty smart. Whenever I put the mounting block next to him, he moves away. The barn owners suggested holding a lunge whip against his side. I tried it, and as soon as it touched him he jumped about a foot in the air, spooked, tripped over the mounting block, and took off galloping around the arena.
I have now discovered I can get on him by mounting from the right side. I have only ridden him once since he saw the chiropractor. He didn't seem like he really wanted to take off, but he wanted to break into a canter whenever we trotted. He also threw in a couple bucks at the canter.
One more thing I'm a bit concerned about is that he bolts on sand arenas. I don't know if he is reminded of the track, or that if he feet sink, but if we canter on sand, he's off. Like full on gallop, off.
I will say I am not afraid of him at all. I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing, but I feel like sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt. I'm only 13, and honestly I do love this horse with all my heart. He is my whole life, and it breaks me to think about selling him, but I think he should go to a home where he will be trained to his full potential. He will make someone an amazing hunter or show jumper, he loves to jump. I just don't think I have the knowledge or experience to continue his training. Well, I know I don't. My parents have already told me we just can't afford a trainer for him.And I think he might be just too big and too strong for me.
I feel really terrible...I don't want to give up just because it will be a lot of work to retrain him. I hear everyone's stories about how their horse was awful when they first got him, but then after bonding and hard work it all paid off...I want that, I do. I know a lot of girls my age would kill to have a horse of their own, and I know I'm extremely lucky. I just feel so guilty, like I'm just throwing him away and getting a new horse because he wasn't good enough. But right now...I fear for my safety, Jett's, and the other riders and horses in the arena.
I'd just like some opinions before I make the official decision to sell him...Thanks so much if you read all of it, I'm sorry if it was long.