Thoroubred Stereotype - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Question Thoroubred Stereotype

I've been in the horse world for quite a few years. Now that I'm older, I'm curious as to why there are so many stereotypes against TBs. Of course I understand the stories of inexperienced people buying an OTTB and the horse turns out to be psycho or something like that. Or they ruin the horse by being inexperienced in training. But I've also heard amazing success stores of Thoroughbreds becoming great hunters, jumpers, eventers, etc. with the right kind of training. All the Thoroughbreds I've known have been rather mellow and easy to work with. But one thing I'm still trying to understand is why my trainer, and others, are against purchasing any TB, weither it was on the track or not. My trainer claims that the Thoroughbred's breeding history has made them delicate creatures and more prone to physical ailments than other horses. I can also understand that in a way, but doesn't every horse breed have something particular that they may be prone to?

I'm not looking or thinking of purchasing a TB. I'm just curious what you all think about this. What are your opinions, views, experiences?
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 03:28 AM
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I had all kinds of impressions of Thoroughbreds, mainly due to a good friend rescuing one and that mare turning out to be psycho. She spent two solid years on ground training and finally got her to the point she was safe to ride. I thought never a thoroughbred. Ever! Then, meeting some rescue folks, I got to know thoroughbreds better...

I even considered adopting one (and am doing so currently!). I asked in this forum for some opinions on OTTB Thoroughbreds and got some really great feedback. You might find the thread interesting.

Thinking of giving a rescue OTTB a forever home.

But getting past the sterotype, I know the horse I'm providing a home for is amazing. I haven't met one of the rescue people who haven't told me (who've worked with him) how special and wonderful he is... and I went from going to see a 'too good to be true' horse to falling in love with a perfect horse for me temperament and personality. I wanted a joyriding trail horse, not anyone hot or great moving, etc. I wanted big and lazy and very mellow and trusting... and that's what I'm getting.

Each horse is an individual. I just find it interesting that say like Pit Bulls, a lot of people have preconceived notions of them.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 03:36 AM
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Most people have preferences as to the type of horse they prefer whether its from experience or what they have heard or how they were raised. People often generalise with horse breeds like saying all arabs are hot headed and flighty or TBs are highly strung and high maintenance. My experience with TBs is that yes they can be hot or accident prone but then I have ridden some really quiet ones who made perfect beginners horses. Every horse is different so really needs to seen in the flesh before you make a judgement on them.
What would make me wary about buying an OTTB would be more about the horses health, they are raced at a young age which can cause a lot of damage even if it doesnt show until years later. It can take a lot of work to get a young TB fresh off the track to become a great riding horse but its done all the time. Unfortunately there tends to be large amounts of them for sale, at least here in NZ anyway that are too slow for the track and more often than not they probably end up at the pet food factory.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 03:57 AM
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I'm sorry, I've never had a good experience with a TB. I hate stereotyping horses, but I will absolutely not work with TBs. They just don't jive with my personality. Too thin, random spooking, hot temperament, etc. Yes, the "stereotypical" stuff, I'm sorry, but I don't like unpredictability in a horse, and that's always how I feel when I step on a TB. Maybe I just haven't met the right TB, but the rest have pretty much ruined me ever wanting one. :/

However, I'd take a 17hh Appendix any day of the week and clean up in HUS. ;)


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post #5 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 04:02 AM
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I almost exclusively rode TBs (with a few Arabians thrown in) from when I was a teenager til 1.5 years ago. Some were a bit spooky, a few were incredibly lazy, most were just plain awesome horses to lesson or trail on and loved working (they were all well-retrained by experienced people). I would have to say they're my favourite breed to ride. Personally, I've found them pretty easy to out-think on the whole, whereas the Arabians were much more independent in their thought and you had to give them a bit more of a "why" and not just a "what". Brock is a TBx, nothing like any TB I've known - a lot more difficult to out-think because he's so smart (and will do anything to get out of work unless he thinks it's his idea). The lady I agist with described him (perfectly) the other day as "plenty of quirks, and pretty arrogant". Chalk to my friend's (purebred) TB Star, who is all go, but so willing to please and eager to work.

I tend to think that most of the TBs I've known have had "child" brains (excitable, enthusiastic, impulsive), the Arabians "adult" brains (independent, likes to think things through) and Brock a "teenage boy" brain (arrogant, cruising for a bruising, tests boundaries, sex-obsessed and hates doing 'school-work' - hah!). Absolutely not scientific LOL, and you have to think about them in horse-brain terms, but just my experience of the "breed personality", although there's always plenty of variation!
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 05:26 AM
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I personally don't like them much.

I've owned a few and one was very well trained at what I wanted to do, and we'd do quite well in competition, but he just had a pretty bad personality, and a bad way of dealing with things. I felt that no matter how much training he had he'd always revert back to his track way of being in times of stress. He'd always jog and lean and bolt eventually and I did so much work with him. I've had other ones too and they all had their issues, I've seen some good ones and you hear about them all the time, and then I've seen so many bad ones that people either complain about or don't talk about, or make excuses for.

I find a problem with Thoroughbreds is that they're bred to be fast. That's it. They're (mostly) not bred for their personality or intelligence or health. Which means many of them are lacking in these areas. They're (generally) not bred to be show-jumpers or dressage horses or anything like that. That is simply not their purpose. While some do excel at these sports most do not. Many Thoroughbreds are used in these sports and they do alright, but not as good as a purpose bred horse would do, and often get stressed and injured in the process. Why would you buy a TB bred to be fast for dressage when you can buy a horse that is bred for dressage, and bred to have a good personality and be sound? The reasoning there (for most) is that TBs are cheap, and its true, they are.

I guess a purpose bred Thoroughbred for like eventing or something would be okay, because it wasn't messed up from the track and it was bred for temperament, health and with a purpose that was suitable. I probably still wouldn't buy one but I'd have no problem with them. Most aren't though, most "unraced" TBs are those who simply never made it to the track.

On top of that TBs don't tend to live for as long, they're more prone to injury or lameness (in my opinion) and they require more upkeep (feed and rugging) and often more hoof care.

There are many TBs out there that are good, and that people love and have done well on and I am sure many people will share their stories here. But there are many that aren't good in any way.

Each to their own, I just worry that many people jump into owning TBs without understanding them but just get them because they are the affordable option.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 07:10 AM
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I like them. Our polo ponies and ranch horses are TBs. They live outside year round. The polo ponies do ranch work in the mountains and on the flats in their off season. Not all of our TBs made it in polo, but they are each good for some job.

Some are off track. Some are ranch bred. They are from around the country, so not all from the northern Rockies. They all have good brains, but we wouldn't/couldn't keep them if they didn't. We select for confirmation and brains at the start.

I finished high school on racetracks with STBs and TBs. I don't mind the many that I've met and worked with.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-04-2012, 11:06 AM
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I love them. My last horse (which I leased) was a wonderful horse, we bonded really well and she performed well for me. She was an OTTB, and had the spookies, but she was fun to ride, and taught me alot. When it came time to buy a horse, I started looking for the perfect TB. I live close to a race track so it should have been an easy search. Every TB I tried had some type of issue that I couldn't accept. Most were from racing. So instead I found the perfect Morgan. Still adore the TB though.

My journal of my re-entry back to the horse world http://shelooksgoodonahorse.blogspot.com/
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