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sportschick068 03-13-2013 05:34 PM

Opinions on OTTB?
I unfortunately just gave my young mare to my uncle. She had conformational problems that weren't going to fix as she got older (she's only 3 and a draft cross) and would thus make her unable to jump competitively like I was hoping when I bought her as a baby :( Hard decision but I figured it would be better to give her to family for free rather than a stranger at a price and who's to say she wouldn't end up in crummy circumstances eventually? At least I know where she will live out her years and be a great trail horse (plus I can visit her).


I'm considering a retrained OTTB for my next horse. I've looked at a couple rescues with Thoroughbreds that have already started their new careers. I was just wondering what people's opinions are of retrained OTTBs?


Speed Racer 03-15-2013 10:33 AM

TBs are very athletic and can be used for a variety of disciplines once they've been let down and retrained. I have an ex-racing TB. He's my trail/foxhunting/hunter pace horse.

Be very careful with a rescue horse, though. The TBs that go to rescues are generally there for a reason. You might be better off finding an animal that's just come off the track and sending him/her to training. That's what I did with my boy. I got him free from his trainer, and sent him to be retrained with a professional I know and trust.

jfottb 03-15-2013 02:18 PM

In my opinion...
In my opinion OTTBs are the best. I've ridden several, started several, and now own one. OTTBs that made it on the track usually mean they are extremely athletic and will generally excel in any discipline you put them in.

You have to be careful though, a lot of them will come with health issues and injuries, whether it be something you can fix or not. One that I was starting for someone came off with chronic back issues, they spent more trying to fix his back than the actual horse itself. Another one that I started was dead lame for nearly a year after they bought him and again dumped a ton of money into vet bills for him, but both horses turned out the be some of the best show jumpers I've ever sat on. I just got my girl 6 months ago from someone who started her when she came off the track 3 years ago. Luckily, she had no injuries, at least non major. Except she still struggles with ulcer problems today, like many, many OTTBs do. One of the risks with that is repetitive colic. Another problem I have with her is that she is only 7 and gets tender joints sometimes. So, she gets regular joint injections, Legends injections, and is on a heavy duty joint supplement. But has long as I keep up with her joint care I don't experience any problems, even during the winter.

So I highly recommend an OTTB, as long as you know what to look for it one. As long as you understand that they are trained a little different, even on the ground, and you can handle the typical TB moods and flightiness. Even if you don't at least have someone around who does.

sxybeemr 03-15-2013 02:42 PM

I had an OTTB about 10 years ago and I can say he was the best horse ever! Jimmy was a 9 year old gelding when I got him. He was very smart and he had the biggest heart but Jimmy was a hot horse. During the time I had him, I don't think he ever refused to jump a fence with me on his back. He could jump 5' + and was also good at basic dressage. He was a great horse and loved his job! Some people like the OTTB, some people hate them. I currently do not own a horse but planning on getting back into it within the next year. My father had standardbreds that he sold a few years back and I am trying to get my heart horse back from her current owners if they want to retire her from racing... If it does not work out with my heart horse, I will absolutely consider buying an OTTB again. They are awesome but that's just my personal opinion. Good luck with the horse shopping! :wink:

Sis 03-17-2013 07:03 PM

I have owned 3 OTTB's, and ridden lots of others. Personally, I love them! But each horse is completely's ridiculous when people say "all OTTB's are hot", "all Thoroughbreds are hard keepers", and other generalizations. Definitely consider getting a Thoroughbred straight off the track, as like other people have said, a lot of the rescues have had serious injuries that will make them lame and unsuitable for competitive jumping.
Look at lots of different horses before choosing one!! Right now I have an OTTB who is 16.2 hands, really light boned and lightly muscled. He's also extremely hot, and a beautiful mover...although he sucks at jumping. :P My OTTB mare is 15 hands, built almost like a Quarter Horse (stocky and muscular, shorter legs). She's a good jumper, but isn't a flashy mover at all...she's more suited for barrel racing and stuff like that. My third Thoroughbred is a 4yo, and she never raced. She's about 15 hands, and is a phenomenal jumper! But she's a lot to handle.
Each horse is completely unique. All OTTB's are not good jumpers... so choose yours by his personal talent. I'm sure you can find one who's sound and retrained already that is exactly what you're looking for, if you take your time.

OTTB's are the best, in my opinion! :D

feistymomma 03-22-2013 10:16 AM

I also have an OTTB and love him. He is very laid back while riding, and is actually pretty lazy. He is trained for jumping, dressage etc.. but would prefer to walk and trot around. I am planning on getting another in a few years. I have always had QH's but am in love with OTTB! I would go through a thoroughbred rescue myself and adopt. You can usually get them for a descent adoption fee and a lot of the times have begun to be re trained.
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sportschick068 03-22-2013 10:40 AM

Well the thoroughbred rescue I'm looking at is Midatlantic horse rescue. The horses aren't immediately off the track. I would of course have a vet check done before purchasing one but they all seem like nice horses. She says if there are soundness issues and that if something were to come up after purchasing that would prevent the horse from doing the job you bought them for then they would take the horse back.

I've been around horses since I was in second grade and I'm now almost 23 so it isn't a new concept. The two kinds of horses I've owned though is a QH (who I've had for about 13 years now and is old as dirt lol. Stubborn as a mule) and a draft cross who I recently gave to my uncle. I trained her from an 8 month old til two weeks ago as a 3 year old.

I just want an athletic horse and it sounds like an OTTB is a good choice if I manage to find a fairly level headed one.

How is their training different in saddle and on the ground?
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PrincessBillieB 03-26-2013 04:08 AM

Looooove my OTTB
I absolutely love my OTTB! She proves wrong every negative stereotype of them that I have heard! She is sweet, loving, not hot in the slightest, and a practically bombproof trail horse!!! Not to mention expertly put together and strikingly beautiful! She is everything a horse should be!!! And don't be scared of from a rescue. Their primary concern is placing horses in the correct homes so they are usually pretty honest about any injuries or issues if they know about them. My OTTB was the best 400 bucks I ever spent!!!

kailynfranz1231 03-27-2013 02:47 PM

Honestly this totally depends on the horse. I think that there is a lot to be said about the way that the horse was treated on the track. I have worked with a couple of OTTBs that I absolutely could not stand (poor conformation, not a good work ethic etc.) I think the work ethic is the most important thing to look into. Some horses are pulled off the track just because they have a poor work ethic. However I have worked with some other ottbs that are seriously some of the most phenomenal horses ive seen. It is a total toss up and kind of a risky industry to be involved in. just make sure that you have a full track record on the horse and a full medical history. (these horses are also often drugged when they are shown off the track so have a vet draw blood in the pre purchase)

sportschick068 04-13-2013 11:41 AM

Ok, new situation but still sort of an OTTB!

I have been trying to take it easy with the horse shopping so my bank account could have a break and replenish. I of course frequently look at that rescue site but haven't pursued anything. Well, out of the blue, an old friend messaged me on facebook saying that she has a Thoroughbred she is willing to have me check out. I used to ride with her daughter as a kid.

The TB is a gelding who was bred to race but supposedly failed the preliminary race tests or whatever - he didn't have the drive. She got him as a yearling to be her daughters eventing horse but she decided to keep with dressage on her other horse. He's now 5 years old with minimal training. They said he's lazy but when I've ridden him at the walk/trot he had pep in his step. He's been pretty mellow but yesterday I discovered that he seems to have some separation anxiety. The other horses were originally in the ring which is right across from his stall but the owners decided to open the gate and just let the horses run out and free on the property. That made the TB gelding spazz out. I tried getting him to calm down but after probably like an hour, he had only calmed down a smidge. It was weird considering how mellow he's been this last week that I've been with him.

Is it normal for a TB to get that bonkers? Or is that expected of many horses when their buddies are running free around them (horses at the barn I board at typically change for the better and calm down so I never see any of them act like this)? Are TBs extra hard to train? I will have help at my barn in bringing him along if I do decide to buy him but we will see.

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