Advice on emaciated TB needed from those with experience with them.
Today I found an ad in Craigs list for an OTTB and from the pics it REALLY needs help. Thoroughbred Horse needs a good home with tlc
I have been thinking of trying to swing board for a 2nd horse and picking the poor guy up. He may make a decent dressage horse in the future, he may not but my heart is really being tugged by this guy to the point that I've even been more serious about trying to sell Cinny in order to help the Gray.
I want HONEST opinions and advice. I DO have a trainer now to help me when the horse is fit. The guy says kids used to ride it around the yard...but he also said he himself just picked up the horse YESTERDAY, so it seems fishy. The trainer I will be working with has experience with OTTB rescues of this type. So the professional help is there for me.
As for getting the guy fit again..... what will it entail? Where he will be boarded he will have access to free choice brome all day as well as fed a couple flakes at night and in the morning. I'm assuming that he will need to be slowly introduced to having so much food available to him though so he doesn't founder, am I right? Also, I"m thinking he will need other groceries such as grains, probios, wormer, etc.
For those of you who have put weight back on a horse at this condition, how much did it cost you per month in groceries? What kind of bills am I looking at? I do NOT want to jump into this blindly.
I'm guessing that this horse will only be able to handle ground work until at least December at the soonest. I do understand he is not a horse I can just hop on and ride.
I am going to LOOK at him tomorrow or Sunday as he is still at the track here in Lincoln. The guy who has him and is trying to rehome him is a Jockey. I know I don't want to pay 500 for him, but I have a feeling if this guy isn't just trying to flip him for a profit I can probably get him talked way down.
Most horses are THAT thin for a reason and the reason is not that nobody fed them. The thinner a horse gets, the less and less and less energy it has.
Pack on a couple hundred pounds and you stand to get a free trip to the moon.
This will be an expensive rehab, even if all that's wrong with him is being skinny. I picked up a mare in that condition and it cost me a fortune just in good feed to bring her back to full flesh. If I had not been the original owner of the mare, I would not have done it.
If you are just determined to bring this guy home, offer him $250 or a visit from ACO if he doesn't want to see reason. And that price is to INCLUDE his JC papers so you can transfer him. No papers.....fishy fishy.
and as for papers. I will NEVER again buy a horse from someone without transfer papers. I did this once from a friend of the family.... he never could find the horse's papers and I wasn't worried about it because he was like a second father. After having the horse 5 years the man passed away. Guess what, the daughters found the papers and claimed I never paid for the horse and enlisted the help of the Sheriff and took her back and turned around and sold her again to someone else. NEVER NEVER NEVER again will I trust ANYBODY where it comes to horse ownership transfers.
He may be a perfect innocent in all this. Just didn't want to run anymore and somebody walked away from him. That doesn't excuse not feeding him or, probably, caring for his feet or teeth too. Feeding one up like that can cost you a couple hundred a month OVER the board fees plus any deworming, feet, teeth or other issues you might discover. At my age now, I would sell Cinny if that's what you want to do, and then go find a well trained horse that is not a rescue or project and is able to just have a leg thrown over him and go riding. There are too many well trained, nice horses out there going begging for homes (at cheap enough prices) to deal with something like this unless that's your particular thing and you don't care if you never ride him.
THAT is a nice horse. I've had many that have come to me in that state. First thing, straight to the vet. Then straight to the pasture. The best thing for them is really high quality grass, or if you don't have that, high quality hay.
Slow and steady, it will take about six months (and lots of $$$ in vets bills) to get him up to par providing there is nothing more serious going on.
Phase other feeds in gradually and gently, their digestive systems take a while to be able to cope with hard feeds. Senior feeds can be a good start. If I were you I would snatch him up, that is EXACTLY the type of horse I look out for. The grey mare in my avatar came to me in precisely his condition. Took six months but she came out 100% and is still going strong today back in Australia, 12 years later.
He will be stunning when he's healthy. It's unforgivable that someone would let a horse like that deteriorate to such a condition. What a sweet face too, he looks like an absolute darling. Wish I was closer, I'd snap him up without a second thought.
I boarded an OTTB not too long ago who also had weight issues. She was extremely prone to getting stressed out and could NOT be stalled or she would 1. Eat all the wood in sight, 2. Wouldn't eat her grain, 3. Pace until she was dripping.
The girl put her on a 14% feed, but of course that made her very hot. So she put her on a 12% pellet, 3 two quart scoops twice a day (gradually built up). She also began feeding her "Amplify" (the recommended daily dose on the box, can't remember). She got her a mineral block as well. She had free range Timothy hay, but was not grazing because she had jumped the fence and was healing.
She never did pick up weight. The girl finally move her to a bigger barn. I suspect she thought I wasn't feeding the horse according to her schedule.
She never had a blood panel drawn (though I suggested it about a dozen times before she finally left).
She was not a bad owner, just NOT prepared for how hard an OTTB would be.
Also, that mare was so fresh off the track she was raced the Saturday before this girl bought her.
For our malnourished horses we slowly build them up. Having constant grazing helps. We also put ours on rice bran and soaked beet pulp as well as getting them on a good worming schedule. Someone's that makes all the difference. So does the quality of hay. Never had trouble outing weight on a horse with consistent feeding/worming/grazing schedules.
Hope that gives ANY insight to you.
I also read that race horses will have a hard time picking up weight or get poor if they have a leg injury you may not be able to see. Said that they can be in pain but it won't be visible?
If it's because you can't bear to see him in that state and you have financial resources available to take care of him and nurse him back to health, do it.
If it's because you want a second dressage horse, don't do it.
People buy horses for all sorts of reasons, which is fine. Don't buy him for the wrong reason. This horse is a loooooong way off doing anything in a dressage arena.
I buy horses like this because for me, it's about the journey. Once they are going well enough that they are schooling competitively, I'm ready to sell them on and look for another project (with the odd exception over the years).
Buying a competitive horse is more about the destination - you want to get to a specific place and make certain achievements. There are no guarantees when you take on a horse like this. The grey girl I mentioned before spent the first six months under saddle bucking me off. Oddly enough she was one of the ones I kept for competitions as she ended up being so talented :lol: Are you willing to take that risk?
No one reason is better than another, but I do feel you need to be clear about why you buy a horse. Square pegs don't fit in round holes :wink:
Here's my question: Are you willing to spend the time and money necessary to end up with a horse that very may well take a lot of 'taming' before the real training can begin?
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