Project Horses and Retraining?
I am selling my large pony so she can go off to teach someone else and help them grow the way she did for me. I am looking for something I can learn more with and maybe get up to higher level jumping with. I am looking into a lot of thoroughbreds (there are so many for sale around me!) and one QH. haha Most of the TBs are OTTBs but have been started with retraining. I've also been looking at horses on canterusa.org and have even started considering some of the horses on there. But I'm not completely sure how to go about retraining an OTTB. I've been watching some of Clinton Anderson's retraining the OTTB (not into NH but I like him) and I've been around them all my life and have aided in training, retraining, and schooling, etc.
What are some things I need to think about when considering such a big project?
Look for disposition and soundness, good bone and feet, good movement and some muscle.
The disposition and soundness should be paramount. They come hand in hand with good bone and feet. There are conformation problems that lead to unsoundness like off-set knees, low pasterns, etc. You want straight legs, good joints with some size and the shorter the cannon bones are and the short to medium length pasterns, (low set knees and hocks) the fewer the problems are that come later.
You don't ride a horse's head, but you cannot place as well in any judged class (like hunters or dressage) with an ugly horse over a pretty one. So, unless you are going into speed events like barrels and poles or strictly jumpers, looks count.
The muscle thing comes from experience from the difference in cost of a really lean horse -- often a distance horse (route horse in TB terms that go a mile or farther) and thicker made horses that are often a lot easier keepers. It may also be part personal preference of not being as fond of two demensional horses as opposed to horses with a little more substance. That could also be one of the reasons why I grew to like OTQHs better the more of them that I retrained. There was a much greater market for them, also.
Buy something from the standpoint of what it will look like and be worth to resell. The purchase price of a project horse these days is the smallest part of the costs you will put into this horse. It will probably amount to less than $0.05 on the $1.00 of your eventual costs.
I like him a lot! He has nice withers and a kind eye. However, his cannon bones are pretty long. He also has a little bit of a steep shoulder. He looks like he has a good back, but his hindquarters are a little small. I like his pasterns, they are long enough to absorb shock well, but not to long, if anything maybe a tad bit to long but not by a lot. He looks a tiny bit camped under on his front legs, but it could be the pictures. I like his hind legs however, other than long cannon bones. However, he seems like a great horse, and I would not let his minor problems steer you away from him!
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