The Horse Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Can't wait to have my first horse
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am new to riding (3 months in ) and I go twice a week for training. I am thinking about getting OTTB horse I am learning jumping. There are some OTTBs that are advertised on reliable websites like (newvocations) ad they mention that they are Sound and that they can have a second career as jumpers.
Of course if I do I will take someone with me to look at the horse and the vet.

My trainer has trained Ottbs before as 2 of her school horses are Ottb.


Do you think its a good idea that I get OTTB or should I find a horse that already been trained before ?


Thank you in advance I appreciate all your responses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
I think you might actually need to take a few steps back here. You are, in fact, new to riding, and I wouldn't recommend that you buy anything with only three months of experience. At this point, you should still be riding under the guidance of your trainer in lessons. When you can ride independently and safely, you could start looking for a half lease or a lease if you want to move up from just lessons (though you should continue taking lessons, and you should find your lease horse with the guidance of your trainer). Buying shouldn't be on your radar at the moment.

Perhaps, in at least a year or two, buying will be more suitable. At that point, there is nothing wrong with an OTTB that is sound, sane, and suits your needs. BUT - you will want a trained horse, regardless of the breed. A green or unstarted horse should be left to people who are much more experienced and capable of training up a horse. Especially an OTTB, that may or may not come with a lot of physical and mental baggage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
My immediate response is no. even people who have had horses for a while often don't want to get OTTB's because of all of their health issues, requiring lots of feed and shoes, and often being high-strung. I recommend not doing an OTTB unless you are buying one that is older and already trained to jump, not one fresh off the track. Even then, not a great idea. Buying an OTTB fresh off the track, even though you are working with a trainer will likely be mostly frustrating for you because instead of progressing your riding you have to focus on training them or not be able to ride at all and have your trainer work with them. I would compare most fresh OTTB's to green horses and I don't know if you've heard the saying yet, but green and green make black and blue. (a green horse and a green rider will only end in accidents and frustration)

Honestly since you have only been riding for 3 months I would suggest either leasing or if you are set on buying a horse, get a 'step up horse' (they are more responsive than lesson horses but still easy to learn on). This will stop you from getting frustrated and overwhelmed, leasing or buying a horse that is easy for you to handle will allow you to focus on your riding instead of training your horse. You will learn a lot more this way, trust me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
Do you think its a good idea that I get OTTB ?
I would say "no". Lots of good points made by @Aprilswissmiss and @05_ag_girl I would be very surprised if a place like New Vocations would place one of their horses with a rider with only 3 months of experience.

Thoroughbreds are the ultimate sport horse. Highly athletic, quick in body and mind, and responsive. They are great horses.

I realize you are really excited about getting a new horse, I think the enthusiasm is great! I think it's great you have a trainer too!

I think the suggestion of leasing is really smart. That gives you the ability to get the feel of horse ownership without the full commitment.

Good luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,074 Posts
I also think you will end up frustrated if you buy an OTTB as a new rider.
When a TB is advertised as sound, they don't mean you will have a horse that is guaranteed to hold up to riding and jumping. What they mean is that they can't see any lameness at the time. Most TBs require a lot of experience to keep tuned up and sound. They are mass-produced, and like any overbred animal are rife with health problems. Most have fragile, small hooves that require a lot of extra maintenance that other horses don't need. For example, this last winter I spent a lot of time dealing with two hoof abscesses on my TB. They have digestive issues from their time at the track eating too much grain, and that also requires expensive treatment to get them healthy.
In my opinion, people who are new to horses should get a horse that is easier to manage and keep healthy, until they learn a lot more about horse health and management.
 

·
Registered
Can't wait to have my first horse
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you might actually need to take a few steps back here. You are, in fact, new to riding, and I wouldn't recommend that you buy anything with only three months of experience. At this point, you should still be riding under the guidance of your trainer in lessons. When you can ride independently and safely, you could start looking for a half lease or a lease if you want to move up from just lessons (though you should continue taking lessons, and you should find your lease horse with the guidance of your trainer). Buying shouldn't be on your radar at the moment.

Perhaps, in at least a year or two, buying will be more suitable. At that point, there is nothing wrong with an OTTB that is sound, sane, and suits your needs. BUT - you will want a trained horse, regardless of the breed. A green or unstarted horse should be left to people who are much more experienced and capable of training up a horse. Especially an OTTB, that may or may not come with a lot of physical and mental baggage.
Thank you so much for your response, Also I will always keep taking lessons even when I can ride alone :) that's my plan:)
I really appreciate your advice
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,154 Posts
I'll be different....
Can you have a OTTB for a first horse? YES!
Should it be newly off the track and untrained to ride as a safe riding companion? NO!

You as a green rider with very limited experience and knowledge should not buy a horse who was trained to run like the wind, had little discipline and now has a brand new career of "riding horse" is not a successful fit for you, truly not.
Instead, absolutely a older OTTB horse, coming into their teen years up to about 20 is where my focus would be.
Temperament will be set, life and training experiences have settled the mind, and the horse knows and can teach you.
You though are rushing to buy and you really need a bit more time taking lessons before you start thinking of ownership and all that comes with having a horse dependent on your riding, care and knowledge to be safe, happy and fun a riding companion found for years of future activity together.

Everyone makes comments on all these ailments they think are so abundant... To bust your bubbles.....this is animal specific. Just like ailments can be found in any horse of any breed or a grade/mutt... animal specific is a true and fairer comment.
My first horse was a OTTB, 15 years old, never sick, never hurt nor a ton of vet bills following us. He did wear shoes because I had to ride paved roads to access trails and to protect his hooves from wearing down so much he would be lame we shod all 4.. When the farrier removed the shoe, so sharp a edge he actually shaved his face that shoe did exactly what it was meant to do...protect the feet!
My horse would also ride in a ring, show and jump courses...but we did trails and loved every moment we spent together!

What everyone made comment to is accurate, to a point....
However, each horse is a individual and when looking for a animal trying many different breeds, colors and types of horses to find one that matches your abilities, what it is you wish to do with the animal specific is far more important to match than looking at a piece of paper you don't ride and probably won't look at again till you decide you need a different horse..
All those who mentioned ailments in OTTB, can tell you I've seen all that and a lot more in Quarters, Appaloosa, Paints, Arabians, Appendix and more including grade/mutts ....all horses can have issues or none.
A roll of the dice and hope you get a trouble-free animal.

Yes, you can have a OTTB....
Till though you have more training on you, more knowledge of how to do, how to handle a horse of your own, confidence in you and responsibility to give up much to take care of that animal....
When you can honestly check each of those and not only make the choice to put animal in front of most everything else you do, can afford said animal and its care expected and figure a way to handle the unexpected...till you can check all those boxes, no you're not ready.
When you can check those boxes.....
I will be one of the first to welcome you to horse ownership!!!!
🐴..... jmo...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,792 Posts
I had ideas of what my daughter (11 at the time) should have as a first horse. Those ideas went out the window when she got an Arab and they have done amazingly well together. I also had ideas about what kind of horse I should have as a mature rider who wanted something safe. Again, those ideas went out the window after I bought a QH who was supposed to be 100% safe and she threw me over and over again, eventually giving me a concussion. I sold her and bought a barely started 6 year old Appy and it has been nothing but love between us for the last 3.5 years now. My point: sometimes it's not about the breed, but about the individual horse.

That said, I don't think you should be buying a horse after 3 months of lessons. Why? Basically because you have only thus far ridden lesson horses, I assume. Having your own horse will be completely different. This horse will not be a lesson horse and will not patiently deal with all of your ineptitudes as a rider. This is not a personal jab (obviously, since I don't know you and have never seen you ride), this is just the reality. It takes YEARS if not DECADES to become a good rider. I don't think I'm there yet, and I have been riding since I was 5 (I'm 51). You may have great natural ability, but you will still make mistakes. It's best to make those mistakes on lesson horses than on your own personal horse because you can really mess up a horse. Think of it this way: every ride is either training or untraining a horse. It's a lesson horse's job to be forgiving and tolerate mistakes. It does tend to create a lot of bad habits, but that's another topic. You may be very successful on a lesson horse, but I have seen many people think they are great riders because the horse they have been riding is just a really tolerant, obedient, amazing horse that actually compensates for their bad riding. Put them on a horse that is not a school horse, and you have problems immediately. Those riders will blame the horse (why doesn't this horse let me put the bridle on the way my lesson horse did? why doesn't this horse listen to me?), but in fact, it's because they just haven't gotten to a place where they can be effective riders yet. That's fine, we all start somewhere.

You may find that you get tired of riding, that it was only really fun when you were riding a lesson horse that puts up with a lot, and you have not yet had enough experience in the saddle to know what kind of horse you LIKE to ride.

So yes, if you can and really want to have a feeling of ownership, ask about a lease or half-lease. Expect to continue lessons your whole life (I just had one this morning!) and to still feel like you know nothing. Give it a while before you commit to buying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
hi!

it looks like you have not been riding for very long, which is of course fine, everyone is continuing to learn and even the pros had to start from zero and work their way up. it is good that u are taking 2 lessons a week, that will be helpful and so so soooo useful in progressing faster.

I do not think u should get an OTTB. OTTB's are GREAT horses, very athletic, responsive, and overall great horses to ride. But.... they do come from the track. A lot of OTTB's need retraining after they come from the track because they are just taught to GO. Most horses that come from the track are fresh and green (green means unexperienced), which could be dangerous for a newer rider to handle. they also tend to have less muscle mass, and come to the buyer skinny, so it would take a lot of time to build muscle.

I don't know how good you are, but I would personally lease before buying. I lease and it is wonderful. You get to experience different types of horses and figure out which types you like and which types you don't. You don't have to pay as much money, and its just a really good plan before buying.

Ive ridden for 6 years now, 1 year very seriously riding. Ive just now gotten ok at controlling the horse I ride, after riding him in lessons for a few weeks. I am a good rider (I think), I can gallop, canter, trot, walk with no stirrups, bareback, no hands, and with a saddle as well. I would say that my jumping is coming together nicely, my form is pretty good. even a person who has more experience like me has trouble controlling him at times.

so, in conclusion I would say to either be very careful and picky about which OTTB to buy, or lease, or buy a horse that has been there done that and can teach you a lot.

don't stress too much about buying rn, just enjoy riding :D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,154 Posts
Most horses that come from the track are fresh and green (green means unexperienced), which could be dangerous for a newer rider to handle. they also tend to have less muscle mass, and come to the buyer skinny, so it would take a lot of time to build muscle.
Sorry, frankie....you sort of have this backwards...
Green and inexperienced to be regular riding horses, they were trained to race.... perfect.
Horses fresh from the track have good if not great muscle mass for racing but no fat on the frame, so may appear skinny.
A truly fit racing horse may appear skinny to untrained eyes but are rarely that...they are racing fit versus riding fat and sometimes fit. More accuracy is this and how it is presented.
Did you not look at the pictures and videos everywhere of this years Kentucky Derby winner....there is a vast difference in what you make comment on..that horse is racing fit too, but built different than the one pictured below.

This below are pictures of the stallion in breeding condition named Secretariat...please notice the physique he has and muscle mass he shows yet, many years past his racing days....
Stallions in active breeding season are preferred to be a bit heavier as they fret and drop weight easily on busy days...and the second is him racing fit with his groom Eddie in attendance he always had all his life. The third picture is Ron Turcotte, his jockey up who he won the Triple Crown with astride and horse race fit.
Horse Liver Grass Terrestrial animal Working animal
Hair Horse Liver Grass Working animal
Clothing Horse Trousers Outerwear Working animal


Not every horse is "skinny" as you make comment but racing fit...
As is true of many horses, the conformation of the animal has much to do with how a horse appears in race-fit trim.
Thoroughbreds are supposed to have a show of ribs ripple when moving....actually all horses are supposed to is a quick way to see are they fat or not...

The last 2 are just because I love them of "Big Red"...
The last two pictures are Belmont Day which he won destroying the field and record books...
Even in these he is as race fit as a animal can be, muscles rippling as he raced for home...
Horse Working animal Horse tack Bridle Equestrian sport
Horse Cloud Water Horse tack Halter

Muscle mass....oh, that horse had muscle-mass and topline too...
🐴....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Sorry, frankie....you sort of have this backwards...
Green and inexperienced to be regular riding horses, they were trained to race.... perfect.
Horses fresh from the track have good if not great muscle mass for racing but no fat on the frame, so may appear skinny.
A truly fit racing horse may appear skinny to untrained eyes but are rarely that...they are racing fit versus riding fat and sometimes fit. More accuracy is this and how it is presented.
Did you not look at the pictures and videos everywhere of this years Kentucky Derby winner....there is a vast difference in what you make comment on..that horse is racing fit too, but built different than the one pictured below.

This below are pictures of the stallion in breeding condition named Secretariat...please notice the physique he has and muscle mass he shows yet, many years past his racing days....
Stallions in active breeding season are preferred to be a bit heavier as they fret and drop weight easily on busy days...and the second is him racing fit with his groom Eddie in attendance he always had all his life. The third picture is Ron Turcotte, his jockey up who he won the Triple Crown with astride and horse race fit.
View attachment 1128797 View attachment 1128798 View attachment 1128799

Not every horse is "skinny" as you make comment but racing fit...
As is true of many horses, the conformation of the animal has much to do with how a horse appears in race-fit trim.
Thoroughbreds are supposed to have a show of ribs ripple when moving....actually all horses are supposed to is a quick way to see are they fat or not...

The last 2 are just because I love them of "Big Red"...
The last two pictures are Belmont Day which he won destroying the field and record books...
Even in these he is as race fit as a animal can be, muscles rippling as he raced for home...
View attachment 1128800 View attachment 1128801
Muscle mass....oh, that horse had muscle-mass and topline too...
🐴....
Hi. I didn't watch the Kentucky derby, I am against horse racing in general and I think it CAN BE cruel. of course there are exceptions.

im guessing the rider of the post is not going to get a triple crown winner.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,154 Posts
Your personal feeling are yours.. private.
No one like us can afford a Triple Crown winner, hence they get syndicated for many, many millions but it sure is sweet to dream. ;)
Secretariat though produced some incredible horses in the show ring for dressage, H/J and riding horses with his looks was a stamp he gave to many of them.
In reality, most horses sitting at Thoroughbred rescues and rehoming farms are there because they failed as racers, some broke-down, some refused to run and aren't worth anything to put in the breeding shed...so discarded.

I digress...
You missed the point I was making...
You made a comment about, "they also tend to have less muscle mass, and come to the buyer skinny, so it would take a lot of time to build muscle." is wrong.
Thoroughbreds have lots of muscle mass but it is long, lean muscle not bulky short as other breeds often resemble.
Till you truly understood the life of a racehorse, their conditioning and how they are ridden, and kept in fit performance shape then to make your comment is uninformed and not truthful of what and why a fresh from the track horse resembles.
You need to have a open mind to other ways of doing to understand what a competition horse in peak performance resembles.... not just racing on racetracks but endurance horses and other sports, the really good ones do not look like the horse standing in most peoples boarding barns. Horses in peak performance condition...there is a difference, a large one in appearances.
I just don't want the OP to think if she did go see OTTB on their letdown time they are being poorly cared for...they are transitioning from race-fit to riding fit is very different.
Have a great day....
🐴... jmo....
 
  • Like
Reactions: EliRose

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,918 Posts
New Vocations and any other reputable organization will not adopt out to anyone with less than a year of experience. NVs explicitly will not adopt out to first-time horse owners, unless they have many years professional working experience behind them. This is not because their horses are wild or difficult, but because they want to make sure their adopters know what care goes into owning a horse. NVs hates having to seize horses or have horses returned.

Also keep in mind, OTTBs are trained, they're just trained for a different discipline and have been handled by professionals their entire lives. My two year old colt is one of the easiest horses to handle at the training farm, but lord help you if a beginner tried to take hold of him!

Talk to your trainer about finding you an appropriate horse, the right horse may even be a fully retrained OTTB!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
I wouldn’t and I’ve been riding a while. OTTBs are fairly common in my area and the joke is that they are high maintenance. From what I have seen, they tend to need extra supplements and blankets in winter etc. The ones I have seen also have issues you have to work around, ear sensitivity from something or other done at the track or cribbing or stiffness from old track injuries etc. If you’ve ever seen racing, it looks pretty hard on the body and I’m not sure I would want a horse that is accustomed to the way they are handled at the track. In the sales ads they often say, never raced etc and that would be a plus but even then many of those horses are stalled from a young age.

My recommendation would be a quarter horse - generally easy going and fairly hardy. I know a few people who have found quarter horses and that path has seemed to be less stress than with the OTTB. Of course it comes down to the individual horse and the circumstance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I was riding for about 1 year + (hard to keep track) when I leased an 11 year old thoroughbred, the owner said he was perfect for me, he was not. Even being 5 years off the track and getting training is not going to make a thoroughbred a beginner-friendly horse. He was very expensive to keep, on special feed, supplements, shoeing, he constantly had gut issues, he was throwing shoes every 3 weeks, I could go on and on. Not only the cost, he was high strung, hard to ride and wanted to be the boss at all times.
So no, an ottb, at ANY age is not suited for you at all, fresh off the track or 10 years off the track.
You should get a years worth of riding lessons before you think about buying/ leasing (I recommend leasing before buying as you can always give the horse back, just make sure the contract has a clause in which you can terminate the lease if you feel endangered, or the horse is not right for you)
You brought up that your trainer has ottb lesson horses, while that’s fine (I learned to ride on an ottb) but it’s working because the trainer knows the horses and knows how to control them.
I ended up buying a little quarter horse and she is everything I ever wanted and more 🥰
Hold off, your time will come!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,154 Posts
Every horse is a individual, has good or bad to it...the trick is to find one who meshes with your personality, wants, needs and what you can handle physically and financially.

I disagree with both of the last posters saying all OTTB are no good for a beginner... That is just wrong.
I also disagree with they are needing more in supplements, blankets and assorted....
Have you not read threads here carefully and see how many animals are of various breed or mutts and have "need"...
I will agree with some of these horses are requiring more foods fed because they often have a faster metabolism than some other breeds or may work more than other similar animals but again, that is animal specific so a blanket statement made of one size not fit all. Fact.

Please, be really fair and honest that any animal must be evaluated as a individual looking to meet the riders needs and wants.
You don't ride papers, you ride a animal.
It starts with each animals specific personality..
Based on how it has been trained and taught, its life experiences and exposures and the skill of the rider is going to make a huge difference in what animal shall meet the needs, wants of the rider individual.
To make a statement that lumps all animals together because of their breeding is just wrong.

I would not discourage this person to look at OTTB, but would say that no matter what animal you must try the animal astride and handle them as much as you are permitted on the ground when making a decision of purchase or not.
Take your instructor/trainer with you or a very trusted experienced friend who can watch your interaction with the animals and help you to come to a decision...
Rarely is it you look at one animal and decide this is the one you want. Do try several animals...
Do not feel pressured by the seller to buy without thinking about it carefully.

Buying, purchasing the animal is the easy and cheapest part of horse ownership ...
This is a long-term commitment to a animal to meet their needs for health, that their needs are met with proper tack and amenities provided, daily care given and a change in your lifestyle take place to spend time with that animal who is dependent on you for their existence.
Ownership is a big change to make in our daily lives....a reorganization of finances and time willingly found to give...

Best of luck in your search in the future.
🐴.... jmo...
 

·
Registered
Can't wait to have my first horse
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'll be different....
Can you have a OTTB for a first horse? YES!
Should it be newly off the track and untrained to ride as a safe riding companion? NO!

You as a green rider with very limited experience and knowledge should not buy a horse who was trained to run like the wind, had little discipline and now has a brand new career of "riding horse" is not a successful fit for you, truly not.
Instead, absolutely a older OTTB horse, coming into their teen years up to about 20 is where my focus would be.
Temperament will be set, life and training experiences have settled the mind, and the horse knows and can teach you.
You though are rushing to buy and you really need a bit more time taking lessons before you start thinking of ownership and all that comes with having a horse dependent on your riding, care and knowledge to be safe, happy and fun a riding companion found for years of future activity together.

Everyone makes comments on all these ailments they think are so abundant... To bust your bubbles.....this is animal specific. Just like ailments can be found in any horse of any breed or a grade/mutt... animal specific is a true and fairer comment.
My first horse was a OTTB, 15 years old, never sick, never hurt nor a ton of vet bills following us. He did wear shoes because I had to ride paved roads to access trails and to protect his hooves from wearing down so much he would be lame we shod all 4.. When the farrier removed the shoe, so sharp a edge he actually shaved his face that shoe did exactly what it was meant to do...protect the feet!
My horse would also ride in a ring, show and jump courses...but we did trails and loved every moment we spent together!

What everyone made comment to is accurate, to a point....
However, each horse is a individual and when looking for a animal trying many different breeds, colors and types of horses to find one that matches your abilities, what it is you wish to do with the animal specific is far more important to match than looking at a piece of paper you don't ride and probably won't look at again till you decide you need a different horse..
All those who mentioned ailments in OTTB, can tell you I've seen all that and a lot more in Quarters, Appaloosa, Paints, Arabians, Appendix and more including grade/mutts ....all horses can have issues or none.
A roll of the dice and hope you get a trouble-free animal.

Yes, you can have a OTTB....
Till though you have more training on you, more knowledge of how to do, how to handle a horse of your own, confidence in you and responsibility to give up much to take care of that animal....
When you can honestly check each of those and not only make the choice to put animal in front of most everything else you do, can afford said animal and its care expected and figure a way to handle the unexpected...till you can check all those boxes, no you're not ready.
When you can check those boxes.....
I will be one of the first to welcome you to horse ownership!!!!
🐴..... jmo...
Thank you so much! that all make sense :)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top