View Full Version : From the track to 1.40m: Celebrating 3 years OT with my TB....

Apr. 26, 2010, 03:52 PM
I'm so proud of my TB boy, and I wanted to share with like minded horsey folk :)

The backstory: In 2007 I picked up my TB at 5yo from a trainer on the track after a dismal year of racing. I had kids play around with him in the 2'6"-3'3" jumpers in 2008 (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2529591710094686761tfdNFy) and then started him at 3'6" last year and moved him up to 1.30m (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2117361730094686761EeTtsu) by the end of the season. He was incredible all year and often class winner/division champion by virtue of being the cleanest in the class.

I decided to push him just a little bit further starting this year out and entered the 1.40m jumpers at our first full show of 2010 last week. In the meantime, I have a new job that has me traveling in the SE (yes, as a matter of fact that IS the opposite of where I currently reside in the NW!) 3 or 4 days a week, so all of my horses have been on a 3-or-4-days-off, 3-or-4-days-on schedule. (We're working on moving to NC, but are still probably a couple of months out.), which is, of course, a less-than-ideal conditioning schedule.

On to the story of this show: We did a 1.30m class on the first day followed by his first 1.40m class over the same course. He hit the first two rails (I swear I could hear him cursing at the idiot who set the fences too high :lol:) and then he "got it." He was such a rock star for the rest of the show! We had one or two rails in our classes, but they were "green" rails stemming from the fact that he isn't always terribly quick with his front end and is still working to figure out what to do with his body parts over the bigger jumps. I was really looking to see what the bigger jumps would do to his brain (he's extremely careful, so rails don't mean anything to me at this point since he doesn't have them if he can help it), and I couldn't have been happier with him in that respect.

After being a little undone the first day he walked into the ring on the second day completely confident and relaxed, and marched around like it was as easy as pie (and yes, I did panic a little and goose him to the first fence, so I call the first fence MY error):

I haven't been this excited about a horse since I was a teenager, and all I want to do is GET BACK IN THE RING! And the icing on the cake is that I put him in the [1.40m] Grand Prix and he not only jumped around like it was no big deal despite the crowd and noise (thankfully both were quieter than usual due to the late start), but even saved my butt over the last two fences where I took a bit of a flyer over the oxer into a one-stride.

So I suppose this is my ode to OTTBs and my quirky but hard-working guy in particular! :)

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:12 PM
Awesome! Do you know what his breeding is?

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:13 PM
Awesome! Do you know what his breeding is?


Apr. 26, 2010, 04:19 PM
That's so incredible!!! Many congratulations!

I'm on a very exciting new adventure with my OTTB - because she's not only my first OTTB, but my first greenie - and only the 2nd horse I've ever owned! So I'm taking things slow *to the max* with her, and doing everything with the help of my trainer. But god love her - she's just so kind and willing, it's been such a treat so far. I can't wait until I have some truly brag-worthy news to post about her! So, I can only live vicariously through you at this point. :D

Those rounds are certainly something to be very proud about! Give that boy extra treats and hugs (if he likes that sort of thing) from me, too - for being such a rock star in that ring!

And btw, be very proud of yourself, too. You've obviously done a wonderful job with him. :cool:

tidy rabbit
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:21 PM
YAY for Billy! Maybe Billy will be the first to win the OTTB silver stirrup award!???

Congratulations on such a great young horse! Maybe you should do a few 8 year old classes with him too!???

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:41 PM
That horse is a ROCKSTAR! You too!! And GO OTTB's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:44 PM
Nice!! Thanks so much for sharing. I know how popular the WBs are, but I love the TBS the best. I own 8 horses, and my all-time favorite is my 20 year old TB, who can still be Champion at the local shows with the short and long stirrup riders. I love my WBs, but sometimes they are really not that smart. I nicknamed my Dutch horse after "Dory" from Finding Nemo because he is like a goldfish-no short term memory. You can walk by the same pile of jumps 20 days in a row, and it's spooky the first time, every time. TB looks at it once, gets it, and it's over. I told my trainer I am going all TB, all the time from now on. She just rolls her eyes LOL.

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:51 PM
Fantastic. What a great job and wonderful guy!

I think, when I'm looking next year, I need to have you find my next project horse;)

Apr. 26, 2010, 04:54 PM
You guys look great! Who won the GP?

Hunter Mom
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:10 PM
He looks so fun to ride! What an awesome horse.

Apr. 26, 2010, 05:39 PM
What a fantastic story!!! So inspiring. :) I love me some OTTBs, have never taken one straight off the track but have always wanted to. Thanks for sharing!

Instant Karma
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:42 PM
I LOVE this stuff! Thanks so much for sharing:D

Apr. 26, 2010, 05:51 PM
You guys look great together! And you'll only get better. Great job. You should be proud.

Apr. 26, 2010, 05:54 PM
Fabulous job -- well done Billy!

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:06 PM
Wow. I'd just like to say, on behalf of the hunter crowd, jeez. Those jumps are really, really big. *Shudder* Way to go! The horse is a rockstar. And, maybe, just maybe, you had something to do with it too ;)

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:11 PM
Thanks to everyone for the kind words....I'll pass them on to Billy! :)

You guys look great! Who won the GP?

Megan Gass on Top Shelf won the class in a "horse race" (i.e. both had clean, fast rides) against Jeff Campf on London, who ended up a close second. The rest of the field had rails if I recall correctly. Results are here:

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:12 PM
Congratulations! I'm so excited for you guys. He is such a handy jumper, and it looks like he has a great mind as well. It's fantastic to see OTTB success stories, please keep us updated on all of his accomplishments!

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:27 PM
Now THAT is a nice horse! You've done a great job with him!

Just goes to show that TBs really are the bees knees. :)

Apr. 26, 2010, 06:27 PM
Congrats on having a super boy and competing at 1.40. He looked great for the first time around a course that big!!

This gives me hope for my giant, goofy, lazy 6yo OTTB who doesn't realize he actually has to jump *over* the jumps and not just trip through them :lol:

M. O'Connor
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:30 PM
Fabulous! Congratulations on a job well done! Good luck and I hope we get to see many more videos!

Apr. 26, 2010, 08:02 PM
He was awesome on that last one stride! Is that a different camera angle than your FB?

Apr. 26, 2010, 08:23 PM
Wow, congrats, what a nice horse!!! Thanks for sharing, I loved watching your videos! I wish you all the best in the future!

Apr. 26, 2010, 10:02 PM
I already told you on FB, but I'm so excited for you :) I can't wait to meet Billy in person!!!

Apr. 26, 2010, 10:18 PM
I mean seriously ... how in the world do you get up the nerve to canter up like that to a 4'6 fence???!!! So incredible, great job! My boy will be OT August 24 of this year. He just made his 3' debut in the show ring with a student of mine and did GREAT. I've jumped him 3'6, and he jumps it so easily. I don't trust my eye that much, so haven't pushed beyond that yet; I worry about height because he has an old bowed tendon that I don't want to blow out. If we can live at 3', 3'3, I think I'll be happy.:yes: I can't IMAGINE doing what you and Billy just did; SO amazing.:winkgrin: Huge contratulations to you, great job!

Tha Ridge
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:42 PM
He is really cool! :yes: A little bit idiosyncratic (in a very fun way) - he almost reminds me of Rodrigo Pessoa's Tomboy.

Apr. 26, 2010, 10:49 PM
Huge congrats! Y'all both look fantastic! Keep us updated and go live the dream. This was just the kind of inspiration that I needed right now.


Apr. 26, 2010, 11:11 PM
Nice!! I always love hearing about TB's jumping big jumps. Thanks for sharing. :)

Apr. 27, 2010, 12:38 AM
He was awesome on that last one stride! Is that a different camera angle than your FB?

Yes, this is the video from my camera.....not the professional video that I have up on Facebook (courtesy of Lizzie and Kris). I like the other angle better because you can really see how big I made him jump into that one-stride. What a good boy he was!

He is really cool! A little bit idiosyncratic (in a very fun way) - he almost reminds me of Rodrigo Pessoa's Tomboy.

He'll definitely never make a stop in hunter land! :lol:

I keep saying that I want my next horse to be more type-y after having several in a row that are so....well....."jumper-y," but truthfully I don't care as long as he gets from one side to the other without knocking anything down!

Apr. 27, 2010, 12:39 AM
Whee! What a cool boy- he looks like a blast!

Made In Canada
Apr. 27, 2010, 07:43 AM
Huge congrats to you and Billy! That was just awesome!!
I hope my newly aquired OTTB can aspire to the same heights :winkgrin:
Lots of carrots and apples for your guy!

Apr. 27, 2010, 04:56 PM
Awesome, I LOVE his back end!! I always dream of finding that diamond in the rough that can jump the big sticks, but so far I've yet to find him/her!!

Apr. 28, 2010, 08:53 AM
Fabulous!!! I, too, was admiring his hind end. I hope to see you two when you move to NC. :)

Apr. 28, 2010, 09:29 AM
I really really enjoyed the pictures and videos! I don't know why, but when everyone started clapping for you at the end of the Grand Prix I got a little teary -eyed! I guess really happy to see someone enjoying their ex-racehorse and to see how good they can acutally be.

Many congrats!


Apr. 28, 2010, 11:59 AM
Do you have any before and after conformation shots? He is a very handsome jumper! Congratulations on finding and training such a wonderful guy!

Apr. 28, 2010, 01:01 PM
Do you have any before and after conformation shots? He is a very handsome jumper! Congratulations on finding and training such a wonderful guy!

Thanks for all of the kind words! His hind end is what struck me from the start. He's always been extraordinarily effective with his hind end (on the flat and over fences) and used it almost to the exclusion of his front end. His hind end conformation is what made the bodyworker who looked at him with me tell me to buy him without hesitation. This is the closest to a hind-end shot that I have of him:
Now I look for that "perfect rectangle" behind when I'm looking at prospects. It's been fun sitting on a horse with such a massive engine behind. Now he just needs to learn how to use his front end too!

As for conformation photos, these are the closest to confo shots I have. The day after his last race:

A shot of Billy 6-months-post-Emerald-Downs:

And then last summer:

He's still a good inch higher behind than in front (just a hair shy of 17h at his withers and a solid 17.1h at his croup), but he doesn't feel like a downhill horse thanks to the rest of his conformation.

Apr. 29, 2010, 05:47 PM
Thanks for posting the pics! I like seeing before and after pics of OTTB to see how they have filled out (especially with one as successful as yours). By the way, I LOVE his ears (long TB ears make me smile)!

Apr. 29, 2010, 06:50 PM
You guys should be the poster children of what an OTTB can be capable of! Wishing you all the luck for a bright future!

Apr. 29, 2010, 07:07 PM
I really really enjoyed the pictures and videos! I don't know why, but when everyone started clapping for you at the end of the Grand Prix I got a little teary -eyed! I guess really happy to see someone enjoying their ex-racehorse and to see how good they can acutally be.

Many congrats!


I got a little teary too. We are both saps.:)


Your boy is on springs. What a jump he has! Thank you for sharing his story and videos. He's awesome and you are pretty awesome yourself.

Apr. 29, 2010, 08:37 PM
Wow! Perfect partnership!


Apr. 30, 2010, 03:59 PM

Your horse reminds me of my moms old GP horse "Mr. Demeanor". He was found off a cattle truck in texas and was a tb off the track. He had springs in butt like billy does. He won the American Invitational with Terry Rudd and was the gp horse of the year in 1976. He was bought for $1500 snd sold for $150,000 3 years lster. Keep doing what your doing and with a little luck and a lot more hard work you could have a future Invitational winner on your hands.

Apr. 30, 2010, 04:35 PM
Thank you for sharing... you guys make an amazing team. And my weak spot is definitely reserved for thoroughbreds only... so I'm biased!

Amazing... very well done!!

Wishing you the best for many years to come :)

May. 4, 2010, 10:41 PM
What nice trips! Good luck! :)

May. 4, 2010, 11:04 PM
Thanks for sharing and big congrats. I can only hope our little OTTB is as successful as your guy. That course/ring looks terrifying - most people are freaked out by super decorated fences, but plain airy post and rail jumps are my worst nightmare.

May. 5, 2010, 01:03 AM
Way to go! You have him great rides.

May. 6, 2010, 01:16 PM
This is so inspiring to me!! My fantastic OTTB is just starting his jumper career---at .75m He's schooling 3'3 at home and I am so proud of how far he has come! LOVE watching the OTTB's be so successful and awesome!

Thank you for posting!! :D

May. 6, 2010, 02:24 PM
congratulations! he looks like a wonderful horse! glad to see that the TB can still be a wonderful show mount!