Buying an OTT? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By BlueSpark
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-17-2013, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Buying an OTT?

I bought a lovely OTTB from a friend a year ago and have had nothing but incredible love and happiness from her. I have encountered a couple health problems but nothing major and was to be expected from the amount of racing she did.

The only thing is that I didn't buy directly from the track here so I don't know how to go about it. It's a very large track.

So how to I go about buying a track thoroughbred or standardbred? And what's the cheapest means to go? I have a pasture I can turn them out onto for however long needed and the ability to retrain.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-17-2013, 11:23 PM
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I would contact local trainers personally.

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-18-2013, 12:41 PM
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The quickest and cheapest would be to go to the track, cash in hand, trailer hooked up, and just talk to people and ask if anyone has any horses for sale. You can get nice horses for next to nothing if you want to take it that day, stalls at the track are paid for by the day, every extra day is $$$. You have to have a good eye for horses, and REALLY know what you are looking for though, you won't get a test ride, the track vet may or may not be around to do a PPE, you probably won't even get to see the horse be ridden unless you go in the morning to specifically watch the morning works. People at the track are very busy and do not like to waste time, and definitely won't put up with indecisive people or tire kickers. You either want to buy the horse or you don't, and they want complete honesty if the horse isn't what you are looking for. They are usually very honest about the horses. You really take your chances buying this way though, it's very easy to end up with a lemon or something totally unsuitable, so it is definitely not for everyone!

If you aren't totally comfortable buying this way, then buying privately or going through an organization that restarts and rehomes might be the way to go. Then you'd be able to see more and actually ride the horse, and have more time to shop around and make a decision.

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-18-2013, 01:25 PM
Green Broke
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The quickest and cheapest would be to go to the track, cash in hand, trailer hooked up, and just talk to people and ask if anyone has any horses for sale.
be VERY, VERY careful with this approach. Many tracks, including the main track here in AB, do not allow people in the back, unless a trainer or owner will vouch for you. Even if you get into the back, most trainers are very busy, and don't want to talk. Its extremely easy to pick up an unsound, crazy horse, and you wont have time to figure that out until you've gotten them home.

If you want cheap, or 'rescue', go to an auction and pick one up. the track rejects often get run through auctions, and end up selling for slaughter.

If you really want to maximize your chances of ending up with a good minded, sound OTTB, go to a rescue or an owner that specializes in ottb's, like my BO. she has a couple of her own, home bred colts and fillies on the track every year, and the trainers she knows up there(friends with) let her know when there are horses that are too slow, don't want to run or need time off, so she ends up with a few good prospects every year that we retrain and rehome. The trainers also have their relationship with their client(my BO) and reputation to uphold, so they give her a good heath, soundness, vice and behavior run down, so she knows what she's getting into.
kctop72 and albertaeventer like this.

Last edited by BlueSpark; 09-18-2013 at 01:27 PM.
BlueSpark is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 09-18-2013, 01:47 PM
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Good point, Bluespark, I should have added that in there as well. Ideally you would have someone with you who has done this before as, who would know who to talk to and the proper way to go about it. Definitely not the way to go for the majority of people, I'd much prefer buying privately myself so I have a better idea of what I'm getting. It is an option though.

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-18-2013, 07:16 PM
Green Broke
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My mare came from the auctions. She's great but you don't know what you're getting. There are many trainers around that do sell horses on as pleasure horses, but often they already have "deals" with other people, and the best horses get sent on to them.

I'd also consider looking around online classifieds etc. Lots of people think it's great idea to buy an OTTB - they bring it home, ride it once or twice, realise it needs a lot of training and that all horses aren't naturally trail horses, then leave it in a paddock for six months or so and sell it. That way the horse is already "let down" a bit, and you'll probably be able to go out there, do some groundwork, maybe even ride.

My friend bought two OTTBs from the sales (mine and another), I bought mine for what he paid, but the other one he was going to keep as a broodmare. Decided not to, now he's selling it on for a $100 or so more than he paid, but she's been turned out over winter, had basic groundwork and ready to go on with. I think if you were looking for an OTTB something like this might be your best bet.

Standardbreds are even easier to come across. A lot of trainers are more "at home" style rather than the big TB ones, and are happier to sell or give their sweet natured standardbred away. There are also adoption organisations, often they free lease you the horse for six months or a year, then you can keep it for free if it works out.

If you're interested in something like this consider putting an add out with basic information, like -

Wanted: Off the Track Thoroughbred or Standardbred
Sound, good natured between (ages) and (heights)
To excellent, experienced home, price negotiable.

You might be surprised with what you get.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-18-2013, 09:30 PM
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For the OP with respect to Standardbreds, you can check out your local standardbred pleasure horse organization or check out the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. These are pretty good sources of either "homebred" or retired horses that need a home.

I know a lot of folks who buy horse straight from the track will be going around this time of year (fall) because trainers don't want to ship horses down south if they don't have too. That said you have to really know what you are doing. Its a lot like going to the auction. You can get a great horse that will carry you forever and a day or you could find a horse that will kill you. Its a fine art to know the difference between the two.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-24-2013, 02:44 PM
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Have you considered adopting one through the various agencies that rescue OTTB's? I got mine through Second Call Thoroughbred and Placement, but there are hundreds of them, and most will have horses straight from the track, but they get them checked out and vaccinated, etc. I met with a Trainer at the track before going through them and he was one of the shadiest people I ever met. Tried to give me a horse with a broken knee, who he then tried to convince me would be great at cross country when he healed. I dont even do cross country. I would never deal directly with a track.
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