Advice for new Thoroughbred owner? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-07-2020, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for new Thoroughbred owner?

Just wondering if anyone has any advice for a new thoroughbred owner. She's a 10 year old mare, the previous owner thinks she may have a little bit of Arabian in her.

Anything on the weight they can carry, behaviours, etc. would be awesome! Thanks :)
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 07:55 AM
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Hi & welcome to the forum!

Bit of an open question that one. TB's are horses, so expect it to BE a horse, is the basic answer. TB's can be 'hotter' & more reactive than some breeds/types. TB's are often taller & less stocky than some breeds. TB's often have a thinner, lighter coat than some breeds. They're all the differences I can think of at the mo, that might be different from other horses.

How much can a TB carry? How much can/should ANY horse carry is a bit of a hot topic, and there are many, many factors - how the person rides & how long/hard the riding, the build of the horse, how fit or otherwise is the horse, etc, not just about weight. But as a very basic 'rule of thumb', most tend to agree on the '2% rule' - that is, a horse should not generally be made to carry more than around 2% of it's bodyweight.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 08:13 AM
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I work with OTTB's and they have taught me a lot.

You have to be soft and patient with TB's, but when you explain something fairly and kindly, they'll learn it immediately. They have wonderful memories, and are fantastic students when you spend the time with them.

You have to be soft, soft, soft with them. Once you start getting forceful like you can with a qh or a wb they fight back. (This is something you should take into account for any horse, really, but just a factor if you're coming off a deader breed).

Watch out for their feet. Unfortunately TB breeders very rarely take into account conformation if the horse is a good runner on the track. They can have weak, soft, and badly flat feet.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 08:40 AM
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I forgot to ask, OP, is your horse off the track or otherwise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
They can have weak, soft, and badly flat feet.
Yep, OTTB's are sadly renowned for bad feet. You don't want to see Pharlap's(famous Aussie horse, was in the museum) feets, if you know anything about feets!

But I believe this is vastly more about 'nurture over nature' - it's not the breeding so much as environmental factors, when talking racehorses(for eg). Horses that grow up & live in 'cushy' paddocks or stalls, often with little exercise(aside from actual training), live on 'high octane fuel', run hard & shod way before maturity...

Unless we take a heap of horses from many breeds, treat them all the same way, and then conclude that genetics is playing a big part in TB's feet(for eg), I don't think we should assume it is. **That is not to say I believe genetics plays NO part BTW. Other types of horse hooves may be more likely to suffer in other ways(than say, becoming the 'splat footed, crushed heels common to TB types), but with unhealthy management, regardless the breed/type it will still likely suffer.

And, given good management, diet, etc, TB's, like any other breed, can indeed develop tough, strong hooves.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I forgot to ask, OP, is your horse off the track or otherwise?



Yep, OTTB's are sadly renowned for bad feet. You don't want to see Pharlap's(famous Aussie horse, was in the museum) feets, if you know anything about feets!

But I believe this is vastly more about 'nurture over nature' - it's not the breeding so much as environmental factors, when talking racehorses(for eg). Horses that grow up & live in 'cushy' paddocks or stalls, often with little exercise(aside from actual training), live on 'high octane fuel', run hard & shod way before maturity...

Unless we take a heap of horses from many breeds, treat them all the same way, and then conclude that genetics is playing a big part in TB's feet(for eg), I don't think we should assume it is. **That is not to say I believe genetics plays NO part BTW. Other types of horse hooves may be more likely to suffer in other ways(than say, becoming the 'splat footed, crushed heels common to TB types), but with unhealthy management, regardless the breed/type it will still likely suffer.

And, given good management, diet, etc, TB's, like any other breed, can indeed develop tough, strong hooves.
I highly disagree. Even after 8-10 years on pasture exclusively corrective shoeing, proper nutrition and care we have OTTB's who are completely unsalvageable from the foot issues. One of them never went to the track, either, and her feet are still pancakes. Never been stalled continuously since birth. Has a Journeyman farrier caring for her continuously.
They're all from the same lineage, too. Funny how coincidental that would be...

Genetics play a big role, just as some humans can grow healthy and strong fingernails while others have brittle and soft nails/hair. It's just how things work out in the genetic pool, sometimes.

I have more issues with TB feet than other breeds, typically. I
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 11:09 AM
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My OTTB is barefoot. Not ALL OTTB's require shoes. Good farrier work & if they have decent feet to begin with is key, plus diet of course. All come into play. Shoes aren't the end of the world, either. It doesn't mean they will need them forever - some require shoes for maybe a year, then they may become barefoot. All depends.

Some horses require shoes, some do not. Depends on the individual horse.
My horse is barefoot & has no issues. I only put trail boots on her when we go on trails in case there are rocky areas, she can be a teensy bit sensitive, but that's not a huge deal.

As for weight, a common misconception is that OTTB's are hard keepers. No, not necessarily. A lot of off the track horses may have developed ulcers on the track, but even so - forage is a STAPLE to their diet, and can help prevent ulcers. Grass, hay, etc. My mare is more 'ulcer prone' & I always make sure she has forage 24/7. Also helps with weight. For ulcer prevention, I use marshmallow root. Works wonders.

Now, ALL horses are individuals. OTTB's can have some 'baggage' both physically & emotionally (so can other horses of course, but we are talking OTTB's here).

Lots of patience, that's one of the things I've learned from working with & riding many OTTB's. If you respect them, they will respect you. They can be sensitive of course. A lot of OTTB's I've worked with (including my own horse) have anxiety issues. Encouragement & reassurance is super important. I always encourage my mare, lots of praise too, & reassurance. Staying calm is also important.

I am a sucker for OTTB's!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I forgot to ask, OP, is your horse off the track or otherwise?
Sorry forgot to mention that she is NOT an ottb!
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeBunny View Post
She's a 10 year old mare, the previous owner thinks she may have a little bit of Arabian in her.
Considering Thoroughbreds started out as Arabian crosses, it's to be expected that she has a "little bit of Arabian" in her.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 04:17 PM
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I noticed that TBs at my yard are much more prone to sudden hives. One minute they are grazing happily, the next their skin starts swelling in big welts. None of the other horses got like that in the four years Iíve been there. Could be a coincidence.

Another thing I noticed is that they seem to be more prone to colic compared to our other horses (mainly farm mongrels). Could also be a coincidence.

Also, I second the feet issues. Only TBs are shod at my yard. This isnít exactly a representative sample but it seems consistent. Could also be a coincidence.

All in all, I spent much, much more time holding other peoples TBs for the vet than my own horse (a mongrel).

Regardless, TBs are my favorite breed and no other comes close in my eyes :) I didnít buy a TB because I suck at riding and Iím a coward but I regretted not buying that particular mare - she is still amazing four years later and breathtakingly beautiful. She is the only horse that made me feel completely safe ever. With her I felt confident going out on trails on our own, cantering and jumping fallen branches... I never did that with any other horse. Great horse, I miss riding her.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-08-2020, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
I highly disagree. Even after 8-10 years on pasture exclusively corrective shoeing, proper nutrition and care we have OTTB's who are completely unsalvageable
Never in the least said already damaged feet could always be fixed. Mind you, 'corrective shoeing' & always being on pasture can well cause/perpetuate issues too tho.
Quote:
They're all from the same lineage, too. Funny how coincidental that would be...
Also - with stars for emphasis - said doesn't mean genetics have no part. Tho my whole point was, just because you have a family of them, looked after in similar manner with similar probs doesn't make it genetic. People assume all sorts about genetics, from similar management.
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