This is my ex racer Carlos when we first got him OTT 5 years ago.
He tore his suspensory ligament and he was rehapped for about 6-9mos.
We bred him, and then gelded him. He and I have had a lovely last four years showing together.
His first year showing we went from Low Hunters to the High Futures and ended the season in the Baby Greens and did a couple of AA classes. I thought he was going to be an awesome Jumper horse because he liked going fast, but I made him concentrate on being steady and supple. Now we compete in the Amateur Owner and Modifieds. We rarely do a Jumper class, we stick to the Hunters and he's really blossomed into a nice Equitation horse. I've schooled him 4' but I think he is maxed out competition wise at 3'6". It is where he is most comfortable.
This last year we have dabbled in Model Hunters and Halter classes. The first show we did he was extremely successful. We won Reserve Champion in our regional system and we'll be headed to the State Championship show for Halter and English All Around in two days.
Anyways there were some hard times and still are. He's extremely moody and hates other horses, he really can't be living next to or be in touching range of other horses, he gets extremely offended and territorial. He has thin sensitive skin making any kind of skin condition an extreme catastrophe to his luscious coat. He needs a diligent program of rides/turnouts in order to keep from getting to up-and-up. He doesn't stand still. His feet are absolute garbage thanks to the awful breeding habits of racing farms. I'm constantly shelling out money on orthopedics for him since any amount of barefootedness ends up in his being unable to walk properly. (Though thankfully the ligament hasn't reared its ugly head since the initial issue). I've had 2 complete seasons showing him out of the 4 years he's been rideable because he was plagued with abcesses one entire summer.
As far as bits go I've used a Plain Snaffle, that didn't work he needed brakes so we switched to the Wire. He was unresponsive so we moved up to a Fishback. This was the bit of choice for a long time, but I decided we needed brakes and finesse and we went to a copper ported Pelham. This was THE bit, he absolutely loved it and I didn't constantly feel like my arms were being pulled of and I could go back to being Miss Soft Hands. After almost a year of the Pelham I went back to a Medium Copper Wire, and he pretty much loves this too. I think Copper and more training was the main thing with him. He just goes all butter mouth when he has the copper to suck on.
Anyways I like calling him my "540 Centavo Caballo" because he's chilean as I am also chilean and 540 Centavos was equivalent to 1 USD last time I was there. He has brought home many prizes and tri-color rosettes, and now buckles. And I'm very proud of him and he's the light of my life.