Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
My OTTB has to be pushed on constantly in canter, I am amazed that he won as much money as he did. I always have to ride with a whip as he is a big lazy mule. So they are not all hot and crazy, it very much depends on the horse.
From my experience, some things the OTTB will likely not know:
How to stand still while being mounted
Standing in a cross tie
How to be ridden at the same time as other horses without getting too excited
How to be lead without prancing, running ahead etc
Obviously then there are the big differences in riding styles
Some things they will be great at:
With the farrier, vet and dentist
Being hosed down or given a bath
Creating a bond, as they are not used to one on one attention from one constant person
None of the things you will have to work on are the fault of the OTTB, as they are doing what they have been asked to do for years and it takes a while to unlearn that. It can be frustrating at times, but it pays to remember that.
I love watching my OTTB when he gets turned out to pasture, he has not raced for a year now, but he still treats the field like it is a whole new and exciting world. In the paddocks he always looks at me, but when he is in the field and I call him, he will move his head but not lift it from the grass, as while he follows me around like a dog most of the time, the 'new' tasty goodness is better than me. :)