Yes, get rid of the tom thumb! I like D rings, it's likely he used one on the track and can help with turning issues some fresh OTTBs have. Take your time, find his comfort zone. There's lots of OTTB training threads here.
Originally Posted by Corporal
The biggest surpises I had when I owned an OTTB were:
1) breaking lead ropes--couldn't stay tied
sounds like you don't have this problem
2) the gaits.
TB's cannot pick up speed quickly, corner easily or stop quickly bc of their build. You'll never get one to do a good slide stop for you.
Keep this in mind when you walk courses and count strides and turns.
I dont' know if this is just personal experience with one horse, but it's not typical of OTTBs at all. True that most OTTBs do not know how to tie outside the stall, they WILL tie inside the stall (like they do at the track). It is helpful to clip the snap to the SIDE of the halter, not underneath it. This is how it's done at the track, and putting it underneath can cause them to react.
OTTB's are KNOWN for their speed, and their ability to take off quickly, they will be gone before you realize they are out from under you. They have the agility of a cat. Most probably can't do a sliding stop, but that is because of their build, and I don't know what sliding stops have to do with counting strides and jump courses?