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View Full Version : OTTB Stereotypes: What to do???



Skittles 4U
Apr. 19, 2010, 07:36 PM
Current or previous sellers, owners and/or adoptees of Off the Track Thoroughbreds:

Why is it that so many OTTB are stereotyped as being "nuts"?

What should buyers, or just horse people in general, know or expect (either to know or as in the horse's behavior) BEFORE they get a OTTB?

In your personal experince, do TB who have never seen a track end up trying to combat the same stereotype?

What other stereotypes of OTTB have you heard and have you ever tried to speak up against it?

How should you or would you go about educating someone who is already against the idea of OTTBs?

kookicat
Apr. 19, 2010, 07:44 PM
Because people with no business owning a OTTB 'rescue' them and they can't handle them. At all.

Until it stops, the stereotype won't go away.

OneMoreForTheRoad
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:01 PM
Current or previous sellers, owners and/or adoptees of Off the Track Thoroughbreds:

Why is it that so many OTTB are stereotyped as being "nuts"?

What should buyers, or just horse people in general, know or expect (either to know or as in the horse's behavior) BEFORE they get a OTTB?

In your personal experince, do TB who have never seen a track end up trying to combat the same stereotype?

What other stereotypes of OTTB have you heard and have you ever tried to speak up against it?

How should you or would you go about educating someone who is already against the idea of OTTBs?

OTTB's are stereotyped as being "nuts" for exactly the reason that kookicat said, because people who can't handle them some how end up with them.

People should first and foremost have a KNOWLEDGEABLE trainer helping them with the OTTB, unless they themselves are a professional. Also they should do some research so that they know common practices at the track, because thats what the horse is used to. I had to show my OTTB's how to use an automatic waterer because they didn't understand what it was.

Most people will automatically think that every thoroughbred has been on the track so yes, even thoroughbreds who have never been on a track have to combat the same stereotype as all the OTTBs.

I find that eventers are the most welcoming to OTTB's because we work with them the most, and since I rarely venture out of eventing land I haven't heard of anything else.

And if someone was against OTTB's all together I would probably send them to talk to Stuart Pittman. :yes:

Bobthehorse
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:18 PM
The same reason every breed of animal gets stereotyped: because of the rampant idiocy of the people who own them. Unfortunately, it seems there are never ending masses of irresponsible, unknowledgeable animal owners out there perpetuating bad stereotypes by mishandling their animals. And since bad news seems to be louder than good news, no matter how many good owners are out there, it doesnt seem to change the fact that most people only end up hearing the bad.

lizathenag
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:22 PM
How should you or would you go about educating someone who is already against the idea of OTTBs?

Save your breath to cool your soup. I mention when any one raves about my wonderful boy that I took him off the track at age 6.

Outyougo
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:35 PM
Not every rider will get along with a T'bred

Not every rider will get on with a D-Blood

Why bother to open a closed mind--someone else likely will love an OTTB

Better though is NRTB never been to Track TB! I have two love then but that TB is close to the surface on demand!

as another poster noted

Ride a thoroughbred anything else is just a horse

Wee Dee Trrr
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:44 PM
I prove the stereotype wrong every time I ride my OTTB. He's the calmest, quietest TB I've ever seen. Although I have also owned the "stereotype" as well.... but even he could trail ride and walk on the buckle. ;)

LOOOOOVE my OTTBs.

accidental cowgirl
Apr. 19, 2010, 08:56 PM
I ride hunters and jumpers, and we have about 5 OTTBs in our barn, including my retired hunter. I agree the stereotypes are annoying. People rarely realize that being on the track can have some benefits. While off track horses are usually forward and obviously need lots of retraining, they also IMO are often quite good about being around lots of activity, working around other horses, bathing, hosing, trailering, etc, and most have a good work ethic because they're used to having something to do and seem to enjoy having a job.

ivy62
Apr. 19, 2010, 09:03 PM
Everyone thought my OTTB was an Appendix! He has a great personality..People do not understand how they are trained, so you have to know that to retrain them...I would not trade mine for all the tea in China. We certainly have had our issues most being from a physical injury or Lyme but when we are on it is great!
Gotta love the look of Eagles and the heart of a Tb is hard to replace....

Ajierene
Apr. 19, 2010, 09:19 PM
Not every rider will get on with a D-Blood

Why bother to open a closed mind--someone else likely will love an OTTB

Yes, it is horrible to stereotype thoroughbred and people who do that are just close minded. But stereotyping warmbloods is just fine....

A few of the reasons thoroughbreds are stereotyped:

1-temperment is not important to a stellar racehorse, so there are quite a few tempermental thoroughbreds out there.

2-a really fit racehorse can be easily excitable and someone that is not aware of how fitness/extra energy can effect a horse may be taken aback by this.

3-some horses that come off the track have been handled wrong and have 'issues' that the average amateur cannot handle, but the unscrupulous trainer hands them off to an amateur just to get the horse out of his barn. (Before anyone looses their senses, I'm talking about bad trainers, not good trainers).

There are more reason, but that should be enough.

I can go into quarter horse stereotypes, warmblood stereotypes, Appaloosa stereotypes, etc. Just let it roll. Someone that is going to buy into the stereotype is not someone you want owning your horse anyway.

skip916
Apr. 19, 2010, 09:38 PM
i've decided that people who truly believe those stereotypes are seriously uneducated and it is perhaps better for the breed that they DON'T own one. it's their loss, and it saves a potentially wonderful horse from being mishandled by someone who has no idea how to retrain for their discipline after the racing career is over.

in my personal experience, my ottb is the most level headed, sane and UN-spooky horse under saddle that i have ever owned. her ground manners while being tacked and mounted left a few things to be desired but teaching race horses to stand quietly for tacking and mounting is simply not something that is important at the track. her athleticism and work ethic outweigh ANY issues that i may have had.

i also think people sometimes don't realize that these horses have had a j-o-b for basically their entire lives and they have lived with a regimen/schedule throughout their career. they tend to thrive with something to do and once they have transitioned from racing to riding/eventing/etc. they like to have work to do and mine enjoys human attention as well- which they are used to having! they are bred to be athletic and have been fit for their entire career- which seems to sometimes be misconstrued as "wild/crazy/forward/enter stereotype here". they are ATHLETES plain and simple. you don't keep nba basketball players locked in their closets to be still and quiet when they aren't playing- so who could expect an ottb to be still and quiet when kept in a stall all day and then lazy when under saddle.

i will probably never own anything other than an ottb, and i have no issue with saying they probably aren't for everyone, just like lazy heavy warmblood types and draft crosses arent my thing. i can appreciate them and ride them, i just don't want one.

so i'm stepping off my soapbox now. thanks.

ksbadger
Apr. 19, 2010, 09:45 PM
One of the big misconceptions is that OTTBs like the countryside & wide open spaces. Quite a lot from Mid West tracks live in a definitely urban environment. You could drive a 600 hp diesel tractor past my wife's OTTB mare & she wouldn't bat an eyelid but trees - or more specifically the wind in the trees - wow THAT was scary and don't mention butterflies. Eventually she became quite the country girl & dependable hunter that knew exactly where that lost hound was but the learning period was definitely challenging.

The other problem is caused by all those who buy an OTTB as the cheapest horse around without looking at the hair trigger responses, incredible stamina and sheer power which each one is endowed with - just not suitable for the average new (or worse, young) rider.

judybigredpony
Apr. 19, 2010, 10:02 PM
Its a myth and misconception perpetuated by trainers who wish to sell over priced WB's to their clients whom they choose not to teach to actually ride a horse. But pilot a robot around.
Having to actually ride a real athlete who may have some energy and a brain is time consuming and frustrating.
Better to create and Urban Legend that judges won't pin TB's, they are nuts, unsound, to hard to ride/train.
Gee whiz what did we all ride or covet to ride before the WB invasion....OTTB:yes:

If you put a 7-13 year old people kid in a 12x12 box 23 hours a day feed it tons of Red bull, allow him/her to race around an oval 1X day and occasionally have an all out blow out in front of a huge stadium fulll of noise. What precentage will come home with out some residual issues for a breif period??

I currently have 20 yes count them 20 Tb's and OTTB's some for sale some for my own pleasure some paying boarders.
Not a bleeding heart rescue, sell alot and get plenty of WB owners converting back.

SkipChange
Apr. 19, 2010, 10:10 PM
I don't really care about the temperament stereotypes. The only thing I really generalize about them is: get a really good Pre-Purchase exam. As you should with all horses, I've just known a lot of ones with soundness issues--as well as a lot without that had long, successful careers.

Lori B
Apr. 19, 2010, 10:25 PM
I am not enormously experienced, but I have met / ridden / worked with enough completely reasonable OTTBs that I never gave the stereotype a second thought. My first horse, whom I own now, was a 5 yr. old OTTB mare when I met her, and has been sensible and safe to handle for an amateur taking regular lessons most of that time. (extended stall rest was tough)

Anyone who can't absorb the information that all animals vary in their temperament is too dumb to help. There are hot stupid dangerous 15 year old QH geldings. There are bambi-like 4 yr. old OTTBs. Your mileage will vary.

carleigh012
Apr. 19, 2010, 10:40 PM
in my personal experience, my ottb is the most level headed, sane and UN-spooky horse under saddle that i have ever owned. her ground manners while being tacked and mounted left a few things to be desired but teaching race horses to stand quietly for tacking and mounting is simply not something that is important at the track. her athleticism and work ethic outweigh ANY issues that i may have had.

i also think people sometimes don't realize that these horses have had a j-o-b for basically their entire lives and they have lived with a regimen/schedule throughout their career. they tend to thrive with something to do and once they have transitioned from racing to riding/eventing/etc. they like to have work to do and mine enjoys human attention as well- which they are used to having! they are bred to be athletic and have been fit for their entire career- which seems to sometimes be misconstrued as "wild/crazy/forward/enter stereotype here". they are ATHLETES plain and simple. you don't keep nba basketball players locked in their closets to be still and quiet when they aren't playing- so who could expect an ottb to be still and quiet when kept in a stall all day and then lazy when under saddle.

great point and completely true. nicely said :)

Petstorejunkie
Apr. 20, 2010, 12:15 AM
What do I do to help undo the stereotypes?
I play with my OTTB. He's the barn hand's favorite horse at the farm, and he's not shy about telling people that. He ground ties, he's unflappable to anything, we can ride without tack, hop on bareback 30 seconds off the trailer...
But they ARE sensitive, every last one of them, and if you aren't sensitive enough to pick up on it, they become hypersensitive and get labeled psycho.
Frankly, there's a reason the quarterhorse was invented :lol:

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Apr. 20, 2010, 01:42 AM
Well, I dunno. When I got my boy 12 years ago, he was green, I was clueless.

He is probably the least spookiest horse at our barn, albeit still very sensitive, and incredibly intelligent. I ride outdoors. At night. Bareback. With coyotes in the surrounding brush. This is the boy I rode at a schooling show to a score of 69% in an outdoor ring in Training 3 some years back, with a helicopter hovering just outside the ring.

His pasture buddy is not quite as smart, not quite as sensitive, still very laid back, but not quite as unflappable. Was gelded at 12. His owner is developmentally challenged, and he takes care of her like nobody's business. He just knows. This is the sweetheart who, when my horse had a reaction to a strangles vaccine a few years ago, Would.Not.Leave.Him.Even.To.Eat. Can't top a buddy like that!

Anyone who stereotypes any breed of horse is missing out on a potentially fabulous individual. Their loss.

LKF
Apr. 20, 2010, 06:43 AM
I live in 2 worlds - the track and the show community.

The fact that green or novice owners browse through ads and find a pretty TB for sale on the cheap can be quite attractive. In some situations, the relationship may work for them, but most often it doesn't and they find themselves in over their heads simply because they're not educated.
The myths about TBs is something I deal with in the show community. It's frustrating to hear, "TBs have bad feet", "TBs are hard keepers", "TBs are nervous and difficult to ride". For those myths, I have an honest and obvious answer to each one.
After reading some responses posted here, it certainly makes me feel good to see those of you who appreciate and understand TBs.

graytbmare
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:18 AM
Maybe its a good thing, save all the tbs for us "crazy" people who love them :lol:

retreadeventer
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:55 AM
Economics and the powerful attraction of a "good deal".
At the track, a horse who cannot run is reallyl not worth begging a stall for. Many unable or unready horses are sold for pocket change simply because they take up space that is much more valuable than they are.
When people first get into the horse world the costs are astonishing; quite possibly the most expensive hobby they have ever been in or associated with. The good looking horse with the beautiful face and appeal -- the fit racing thoroughbred -- presented at a bargain price -- is irresistable. It goes downhill from there.
http://jmacneill.tripod.com/newTB.html - I wrote this about 10 years ago. Still useful.

Just today I got an email from someone replying to my off track freebie placement horses, and she said, "I just got rid of one I got one off the track for my 11 year old daughter and it was a lunatic and I want a cheap quiet horse".

There you go.

lila
Apr. 20, 2010, 09:27 AM
The biggest mistake people make is to assume an OTTB is a good beginner's horse because it's "already broken in and used to crowds and noise and stuff". You don't have to school it or train it because it's been there and done that, not so? Therefore, they reason, if the horse freaks out, it's because he's insane, and not because he's reacting instinctively to an unfamiliar situation. THIS, I believe, is what creates the stereotype in people's minds.

My OTTB does not have a "nervous", "spooky" or "jumpy" temperament and isn't "hot" either. In fact, he is a level-headed, brave horse, that likes to work with his human, once he understands what you want. He is, however, the "youngest" horse in mind I have ever owned. Everything is new to him. It's like working with a foal, almost. He has a fast, huge stride, and it can be a bit intimidating sometimes. He is also bred to be fast and light, therefore he moves quickly, reacts quickly, and if the speed freaks you out, then the TB is not for you.

When I got my OTTB, he wasn't used to being outside in a paddock. Everytime I let him loose in the paddock, he would gallop away, only to return a few minutes later, all friendliness and curiosity, almost as if expecting to be taken into his stable again.

He didn't lead well in a halter but would happily walk with you if you scrathed his ears.

He didn't eat carrots or apples. It took me forever to convince him that carrots are good.

He didn't know what a jump or a bulldozer was, and why should he? So I had to introduce him to these things, give him time to look at them, smell them, explore them, and realise he was ok.

He wasn't used to standing at a mounting block, waiting for a rider to mount. He wasn't used to having to stand still for a bit after the rider mounts. Usually the jockey is just thrown onto his back and of you go! He wasn't used to walking ANYWHERE and didn't know the canter aid. He only knew that when the human sits on your back, you must run fast. And when other horses run, you must run even faster.

A little patience goes a long way with the TB.

Mukluk
Apr. 20, 2010, 09:42 AM
When I got my OTTB she had left the track but had only been ridden 12 or 13 times since then and only at a walk and trot. The seller suggested 30 days of training which I was definitely considering but my friend thought I could do it myself. I just started riding her and we got on well together... it never seemed that she needed the 30 days. She has done huge group trail rides, team sorting, was stellar at the Antelope Island Buffalo round up, and doing well in her flat work and low jumps. Hoping to start her in eventing this summer. She is just a wonderful, sane, smart girl. I love my OTTB!

Xctrygirl
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
I am coming in a bit late but here's what I can offer as someone who has "been there, done that" a lot with regards to being on the track, re-training ottb's and owning only Tb's since 1985.

As much as the stereotypes exist, I don't believe them to have increased dramatically in the 25 years I have heard about them. There hasn't been a new stereotype, "Oh my ottb can only turn left!!" or any new nonsense since it started eons ago.

I agree with folks here that those who prescribe to the stereotypes are most likely the ones lacking in education. These folks are failing to blink long enough to realize that life with horses is a whole lot easier when you walk into the barn daily without expectations. Acceptance of what comes daily (ie. moods, tempers, etc) will allow for far more progress with any breed of horse.

At all the track barns I have worked in I saw the uncommon stuff. We had patience, we did teach standing to mount and walking under control. My track rides all got used to long legs and leg pressure because that's how I rode, and I wasn't the only one doing this at the tracks. Hell when I was stuck riding in the shedrows during rain, I practiced leg yielding. At John Shierff's barn they use KK snaffles, at most barns we pretty much stayed with regular snaffles. The worst bit I ever used was a cage bit, and its still nowhere near the poll pressure of a 3 ring pessoa.

The thing to do with stereotypes is the same thing we need to do with societal stereotypes, stop furthering them in your own life and it will start to effect the world around you.

If you don't like the Tb stereotypes, make sure you don't stereotype anything else. Be it a "Dumb-blood" or "Fancy hunter rider" or "Crazy barrel race." The hardest part about stereotypes is acknowledging we all do it, and starting to take ownership of our own fault in furthering it. If you can start removing it from your own life, that will in its own way start to remove it from the world around us.

I used to think a lot of false things about hunters. Then I trained with a very good hunter trainer to improve my jumping. Boy lemme tell you. Riding 8-10 fences perfectly with changes, not easy. IS it as hard as eventing? Yes, I think the difficulties of each are comparable. So I don't diss hunters anymore.
But I took the step to educate myself. Thats what most people need to do to stop this. And until you step outside your own circle and try what you're criticizing, growth won't come.

~Emily

LexInVA
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:38 AM
I get stereotyped all the time. People think I'm white and nerdy.

scubed
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:39 AM
See my signature.

I have ridden both OTTBs and non and I really love the work-ethic of the OTTB. I have had OTTBs that are super quiet and almost lazy, OTTBs that are hot, OTTBs that are a bit lazy, but spooky, OTTBs that are fiery, but never spook, OTTBs that I would trust with a 3 year old kid for pony rides and OTTBs that I didn't let anyone but myself and my trainer ride (for the sake of both the horse and the riders).

People who think they are all the same and fit a sterotype just haven't been around them enough

bigbaytb
Apr. 20, 2010, 10:44 AM
In 2005 I went to the track to purchase my first TB. My trainer wanted me to work with a green horse til my WB mare grew up. I wanted a resale project too. I ended up in a total love affair with the OTTB and will not resale, no matter the how many offers I receive!

His only nuttiness was the day we picked him up at the track. The handlers surprised him and he was rearing up and not going into our trailer. My trainer and I took over and he walked on no problem and never had an issue with him since. When I brought him to the barn where I was boarding, they would only let me initially turn him out in the indoor since they were afraid he'd run through the fences (aka crazy ottb). BO had me station people by all the open doors to make sure he didn't try to jump out when he "went crazy"...all he did was a couple happy bucks, rolled and came over to nuzzle me. :yes:

my "resale" project has turned out to be the "It" horse. He is taking me up through the levels of eventing, he foxhunts, I can trail ride by myself safely, he has been used as a lesson horse (less than a year from the track!), he was used to rescue horses in a flooding pasture because he was the only horse that was willing to go, he is even a husband horse on the hunt! He is huge and powerful and the sweetest natured horse you'd ever meet. My jump coach says that she would throw herself infront of the trailer if I ever tried to sell him.

While he may "suffer" through dressage, he loves everything else that we do and is a joy to ride! So screw those who cannot appreciate the OTTB!

jump4me
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:21 AM
I live in 2 worlds - the track and the show community.

The fact that green or novice owners browse through ads and find a pretty TB for sale on the cheap can be quite attractive. In some situations, the relationship may work for them, but most often it doesn't and they find themselves in over their heads simply because they're not educated.
The myths about TBs is something I deal with in the show community. It's frustrating to hear, "TBs have bad feet", "TBs are hard keepers", "TBs are nervous and difficult to ride". For those myths, I have an honest and obvious answer to each one.
After reading some responses posted here, it certainly makes me feel good to see those of you who appreciate and understand TBs.
took the words right out of my mouth, errr.. fingers.:yes:


When I was looking for my second horse, a woman at the barn where I worked at the time was also looking for a horse- I wanted a young and green horse with a bit of an edge; she wanted an older, dead-quiet, shuffle-around-the-arena type. And she Could. Not. Get. Past. the fact that I wanted a TB and was looking at the track. Yes, the track. Not even on Canter or some other OTTB let-down farm, at THE track. Couldn't believe that anyone could possibly want to own one of those things... they are hot, dangerous, too hard to ride and handle, spooky, flighty, nuts, etc etc etc. Whatever.:cool: So I went down to the track with trailer and check in tow, and brought my racehorse home. And what do you know, a few months later, I was jumping my OTTB -bareback, even- over a nice course of jumps, trail riding him alone and in company, taking him to shows, you name it. Sure there are days when he's high as a kite, days I won't get on him because he's too squirrley when the winds blowing too hard, but heck... I bet there's more than one horse of some "stereotypically quiet breed" out there somewhere who will do those same things once in a while. Horses are horses, after all.

Catalina
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:50 AM
One of my guys often gets mistaken for a WB or a ISH. I love the look on people's faces when I say thet he is an OTTB and if they don't believe me, just lift his lip :lol:.

Rosie
Apr. 20, 2010, 12:21 PM
Xctrygirl,
Possibly the most intelligent reply I've read regarding this subject. (which comes up over and over)
thanks for posting

netg
Apr. 20, 2010, 01:12 PM
Stereotypes exist for a reason. We breed certain traits into our animals, and there will be exceptions, but they make certain tendencies more likely.

"OTTB are crazy!" No, but... OTTB were bred to have explosive power and GO from a standstill. They have a high level of fitness and are raised for regular work. They have to react quickly to stimulus, to fit through holes, avoid falling horses, etc. So put them with an inexperienced, fearful rider who only gets on 3 times a week and doesn't give them an outlet for their energy - ta-da! a stereotype is born.

"They're hard to train!" My OTTB is SMART. Super smart. Again back to having to react quickly in a race. He learns very quickly... which is good as long as I ride him well. We WILL have bad habits develop in one ride due to my mistakes, I'm sure. Learning fast happens whether you're teaching them correct things... or teaching them bad habits. Put someone who makes a lot of mistakes on an OTTB, and that horse will quickly learn to misbehave because that is what it's being trained to do.

"They're sensitive!" Well, yeah. Mostly. OTTBs are bred to go from well protected fields to relatively safe stalls, and never asked to ride through mountains or deserts before they leave the track. Again, they have to react quickly to things. I've never had an instructor teach me equitation as well as my OTTB who lets me know if I'm in the wrong position by responding differently than I want. He is especially sensitive to his own mistakes - if he trips or messes up when he knows what I'm asking, he'll pin his ears and kick out. Then fix whatever he was doing wrong. This "sensitive" nature means he knows I adore him and that he can trust me... and does EVERYTHING he can to be good.

A stereotype you never hear as a negative, but which I've found to be extremely true with my guy, is loyalty and heart. They're bred to run to the best of their ability, use their hearts to win. That translates to them sometimes having injuries which wouldn't have been catastrophic for them result in euthanasia as they don't want to stop running even with injuries. Or, for a horse used for competition - it results in a horse who will give you everything it has to do its best. You *have* to be an advocate for your horse, because once that OTTB picks you as its person, it will stop being an advocate for itself to give everything it has for you!

magnolia73
Apr. 20, 2010, 01:36 PM
I think you get bad stereotypes because people get them as they are cheap and often don't have the means for proper care and training needed for such a horse. I think holsteiners and dutch warmbloods would have the same reputation if they sold for $1000 as 4 year olds. Would they turn out better if purchased by someone with
1. No budget for quality training
2. No ideas to treat for ulcers or how to provide the right diet
3. No regard for saddle fit
4. No concept that behavior issues can be physical issues
5. Not having any clue how TB's are trained


TB's that you see at nice barns with good training and proper care are rarely nut cases. They may have quirks, but so do a lot of horses. My OTTB shares a barn with some fancily bred horses. She's probably the quietest, sweetest horse on the property except maybe for the other OTTB mare and the older TB hunter. OK, and the draft cross. But she has been properly trained and restarted, is fed carefully, stays on a 5 week shoeing program, gets plenty of turn out.

I think training and environment go a long way to making a nice horse. More expensive horses get the halo of good training and environment pretty consistently. OTTB's end up with a crap shoot on that- at the track and after the track. I see too many examples of CANTER horses being restarted by good people and coming out really nice- and honestly giving them very few issues to think they are problematic.

I guess the most important thing is to set a good example and let people know your nice horse is an OTTB. I tell everyone my horse is one- and no one ever believes me- she MUST be a warmblood- she's so quiet.... meanwhile the well bred warmblood just bolted with his (very competent) rider. LOL.

The last thing I'm going to say- a TB was the last breed I wanted to buy. I thought they were hot, crazy, fast and nuts. Then I met CANTER people. And went on a trail ride.... and all TB horses were quiet and sane and well behaved. Even the one fresh off the track. Then I rode a few more nice ones. And it clicked- these were nice, well trained horses...

Whisper
Apr. 20, 2010, 02:41 PM
I'm not an owner, but I've part-leased several TB's and taken lessons or been able to ride for free on lots of them, some were formerly on the track or in race training, others weren't. The stereotypes I've seen have mostly been about TBs in general, rather than their track status.

If I were looking to buy a horse, I wouldn't want to get one straight off the track, but I wouldn't want *any* young horse who didn't have training/experience already over fences, and preferably XC. I did ride one 4 y/o pony (for free) for a while, but he was *very* sensible even though he was a bit green, and his owner was riding him at least a couple of days a week as well.

Anyway, I've posted here and on other forums quite frequently about the wonderful TBs I've been fortunate to be able to ride, and especially when people post that TBs won't ever put up with beginning riders or a lack of perfection in the aids, or that they're all spooky. Even in this thread, a few people have said that TBs are too powerful for a new/beginning rider. I don't think they're necessarily any less powerful when they've been off the track for a bit, grown up, and gotten some milage. I know a lot of TBs who are out there teaching beginners and toting people around their first XC happily.

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4753106&postcount=15
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4579028&postcount=126
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4816087&postcount=23
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4795195&postcount=45

Xctrygirl
Apr. 20, 2010, 03:32 PM
Xctrygirl,
Possibly the most intelligent reply I've read regarding this subject. (which comes up over and over)
thanks for posting

You're very welcome.

~Emily

Skittles 4U
Apr. 20, 2010, 05:40 PM
Thanks everyone! :cool:
I love OTTBs :D (and of course, TBs who've never seen a track) :) and so I knew I'd find some TB lovers here (eventers tend to be very open minded to TBs).

Vesper Sparrow
Apr. 20, 2010, 06:42 PM
I love my two TBs (old OTTB mare and young didn't-make-it-to-the-track gelding). I'm an older timid rider and both have been stellar for me. The old mare has been my teacher--never overfacing me but presenting me with new, fun and safe challenges as I improved. The four year old gelding is rock steady when all the other horses in the arena are freaking out and has virtually no spook. At worst, he'll stop to look at something and then move on when you say it's OK--I really love that about him. Both of them are sensitive but it's a "good" sensitive as others have pointed out here. Both of them look after me and they are worth their weight in gold.

Xctrygirl
Apr. 20, 2010, 06:50 PM
Thanks everyone! :cool:
I love OTTBs :D (and of course, TBs who've never seen a track) :) and so I knew I'd find some TB lovers here (eventers tend to be very open minded to TBs).

See this is what I was saying... All stereotyping will keep continuing as long as people continue to stereotype in their own lives.

Many other people in all disciplines can be open minded to TB's as well. It's not impossible, and its more pronounced than most realize.

Try not to stereotype in your own world, and you'd be surprised how others around you may also cease the 'type-casting.'

~Emily

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:06 PM
I will say that, more than the other breeds at our barn, Tbs like to have what I call a "TB moment" - which can last several minutes. It's running for the sheer joy of it.

Before my horse was out 24/7, he needed them more frequently. Now, he has plenty of opportunity (weather and footing permitting, they're pretty smart about that) to play as much as he wants.

He's 18, his buddy is 15, and they still go flying when the mood hits. But, as I mentioned, Ted's buddy's "Mom" is challenged - and I have never seen him tear one off with her on his back.

Bravestrom
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:07 PM
We just got an ottb - in fact our vet wanted us to take her - exactly because she was in a typical situation - bought from the racing stable because she was cheap - they were somewhat afraid of her, didn't know how to handle her at all and didn't want her anymore.

So we picked her up last weekend. She is a cute little thing, smart but definitely tests you.

With them she got away with murder. I set the ground rules right off the bat - she couldn't push - had to stand, could not neigh in work. Established the rules and all is fine.

Their biggest complaint about her was they could not take her away from the other horses. Funny, she tried what I watched her do with them with me - nipped that in the bud and her first lunging session was quite civilized.

Definitely different then our other horses, but still just a horse.

Ajierene
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:36 PM
See this is what I was saying... All stereotyping will keep continuing as long as people continue to stereotype in their own lives.

Many other people in all disciplines can be open minded to TB's as well. It's not impossible, and its more pronounced than most realize.

Try not to stereotype in your own world, and you'd be surprised how others around you may also cease the 'type-casting.'

~Emily

It makes me laugh when people complain about one stereotype, then us another one.

I started riding in a hunter/jumper type barn. Western pleasure was also taught and we got a regular stream of thoroughbreds in off the track for sale. They generally sold pretty quickly also - to other hunter/jumper types. We never really thought in terms of stereotypes for any of the horses there - thoroughbred, quarter horse, appaloosa, welsh, what have you.

You are absolutely correct - when you stop thinking in terms of stereotypes in your old world, you can help cause other people to stop thinking in stereotypes as well.

That includes not using terms such as 'dumb blood'.....

Bobthehorse
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:48 PM
Its a myth and misconception perpetuated by trainers who wish to sell over priced WB's to their clients whom they choose not to teach to actually ride a horse. But pilot a robot around.
Having to actually ride a real athlete who may have some energy and a brain is time consuming and frustrating.
Better to create and Urban Legend that judges won't pin TB's, they are nuts, unsound, to hard to ride/train.
Gee whiz what did we all ride or covet to ride before the WB invasion....OTTB:yes:

Yes, stereotyping is terrible isnt it? :rolleyes:

Xctrygirl
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:54 PM
That includes not using terms such as 'dumb blood'.....

If you're referring to my use of the term, I used it in quotes referencing back to the abundant use of the term. I don't personally call a warmblood a dumb-blood.

~Emily

magicteetango
Apr. 20, 2010, 09:34 PM
Why is it that so many OTTB are stereotyped as being "nuts"? I have no idea. I've only met one that I would classify as perhaps seeming a little off. The reason is is that he is a sensitive horse, and his owner is terrified of riding and has serious anxiety issues. They're a bad match, he feeds off her. Other rides? He's cool as a cucumber.

I will say that all the TBs I have known have been pretty intuitive, they feed off your energy pretty easily and that can manifest in either positive or negative ways. I've noticed this in them more than I have in other breeds I have ridden.

What should buyers, or just horse people in general, know or expect (either to know or as in the horse's behavior) BEFORE they get a OTTB? That it takes patience. It's also as much about training you as it is the horse. They're extremely intelligent, and loyal... but I feel you earn that. It is not hard to do, but you need to learn to read your horse.

In your personal experince, do TB who have never seen a track end up trying to combat the same stereotype? Yes, they do. Which is funny, my non-OTTB is extremely quiet but very stubborn. Casey, my OTTB, is quiet but sensitive and she can be a little dramatic.

What other stereotypes of OTTB have you heard and have you ever tried to speak up against it? I don't bother, I joke along with them at first and then I mention trail riding at Gettysburg, and other local parks. I also bring up some moments I've had where I wasn't thinking, and they took care of me. Then we laugh about it. I don't take it personally.

How should you or would you go about educating someone who is already against the idea of OTTBs?

I would let them come and ride my horse and see what they thought. I think a lot of prejudice is due to lack of exposure. They're amazing animals.

missamandarose
Apr. 21, 2010, 10:42 AM
I am currently facing the "your TB is a nutter" situation at my barn. Its a very small, private facility, but the BO/BM and Timid Boarder BOTH own OTTBs, and they think Alfie is a total lunatic. You'd think they have a slight clue. It really rubs me the wrong way..

For instance Timid Boarder comes shuffling quickly into the barn one day and asks franticly "Do you need any help?!" And I looked around wondering wth was going on that I needed help... I was kneeling on the floor just inside the tack room, using a hammer and nail to punch a hole in my bridle (of course all the leather punches were broken). I replied "No... why?" Timid Boarder responds "Well, I wasn't sure if your horse would be ok with all that noise!"
C'mon, really? A hammer and nail? Alfie was snoozing in the crossties. So I actually said to her "I don't know what you all think about my horse, but he isnt insane or unsafe. Is he a sensitive horse? Sure... but you might be to if you'd come from an abusive situation. He's not crazy. I wouldn't own him if he was."

Granted, Timid Boarder's OTTB is one of the quietest horses I have ever met, so maybe she thinks they're all supposed to be like him.

Ajierene
Apr. 21, 2010, 11:21 AM
If you're referring to my use of the term, I used it in quotes referencing back to the abundant use of the term. I don't personally call a warmblood a dumb-blood.

~Emily

I was not referring to your use of the term, but the people who use it as the regular term for the registries, such as:

"Not every rider will get on with a D-Blood"

Basically, I am agreeing with you.

Xctrygirl
Apr. 21, 2010, 01:40 PM
OK. Cool. Just checking. :-)

~E

dwblover
Apr. 21, 2010, 03:40 PM
It ALWAYS comes down to the people, not the horses. In the right hands, OTTBs are some of the best horses around. Place those same horses in the hands of pushy, rough, over-dominant, or just plain amateur hands and you've got yourself a nightmare scenario. These horses are SENSITIVE and want to be respected. Some people just don't get that.

So, I think rescues need to be sure they are placing these horses with the right people. I know there are not enough owners to go around, but I woud prefer to see either people with previous OTTB experience or someone who will be training with an experienced person, not going it alone on their first attempt.

As for changing the stereotype, I tell everyone I see that my horse is an OTTB. He's a seven year old that I bought off the track as a five year old. He was being used in a lesson program for kids. He is mellow, sweet, and can do it all. People at our dressage clinic were floored by his movement. I told them all he's an OTTB. We go out on the trails and my horse pushes ahead of everyone when other horses are scared and won't go. He's got a fantastic jump as well. I use him as a mobile advertisement!!!