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Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:34 AM
Well, after hearing all the horror stories and dire warnings against owning such a violent, unpredictable, nasty tempered breed of horse...

I threw caution to the wind and I went and bought my young adult son one last year:eek:

Had I made a grave mistake? were we all about to be savaged and killed by this vicious animal?

Would he eat my grandson?

Would we find ourselves on Animal Planet's "Fatal Attractions"?

Would all those dire predictions of injury and death caused by such a horse come true?

All I can say is: after spending a year living with an ex racehorse, all i can say is: WHAT a year it's been!

Here is my video synopsis of living with a dangerous ex racehorse. It is not for the faint of heart, it's filled with hair raising scenes of us defying death every time we approach this creature.

His name is Beauseant, he raced at Penn National.... He is a 6 yr. old gray with a lineage that includes many of the greatest names in TB racing both in the US and in Europe. Within 5 generations: Ribot, Nasrullah, Nearco,
Secretariat (our boy is a product of line breeding to Bold Ruler times 2, Somethingroyal times 3, and to Secretariat's half brother Lord Gaylord and to Secretariat himself),
Count Fleet, Ambiorix, Northern dancer,Native Dancer, and his grandsire is Danzig.

Farther back he has lineal descent to St. Simon, Man o War, and to the Tetrarch through Mumtaz Mahal....

We didn't know all this when we bought him, just that he was an OTTB....something to be feared.

Here is a video synopsis of our first year as an OTTB owner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1_-DWUaiFo


I seriously wish that there was an organization out there to promote awareness and education to the public
for these misunderstood and much maligned horses.

sonomacounty
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:49 AM
What a cute horse and grandson ! Fantastically done video, too. And, I love your draftie !

What area of the country are you in - your property is awesome !

Keep having fun with him.

Sonoma

LauraKY
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:54 AM
I call my OTTB Dr. Doolittle. He raced for eight (8) years, was gelded at 10. He is the sweetest horse in the barn. The barn cat sleeps in his hay and he eats around her. He loves everyone and everything.

However, you do have to keep a thumb on him and not let him get away with anything, but he's certainly no worse than our QH.

Timex
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:01 AM
What a vicious animal! How terrifying!!! *snort*

Have fun with him!

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the comments everyone.

Sonoma, we are in south central Pennsylvania. The draft's name is Epona, and she's a Belgian. Beau keeps her moving, or she'd just be content to stand around and eat all day. he's her personal trainer...lol

Laura, you are so right about the attitude thing. ANY horse of any breed can have an attitude....attitudes are not breed specific. However, if a QH has a bad temperment, its because he wasn't trained properly, but if an OTTB has bad temperment, it's genetic... now, how does that make sense? Yet some people believe this.

I am not saying owning an OTTB isn't a bit of a commitment. They are high energy athletes...and even the laziest OTTB, like Beau, still has alot of energy to burn. As you can see in the video. But they are not anything like their reputation for evil suggests....

No evil, just energy.

No attitude, just "personality".

:cool:

2tempe
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:19 AM
LOVE the part where he is in the water! Nicely done, and he sure looks like a happy horse

Vesper Sparrow
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:22 AM
Was at a dressage show yesterday with my trainer's very green 6 year old TB, a chestnut mare to boot.:eek:

She was there with two other mares of comparable age and experience from our barn (the other two were Hano and Hano/Trak). She was by far the quietest and best behaved.

I just adore her.

mht
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:27 AM
My then 6 y.o. daughter's first horse of her own was my first race horse-a 6 y.o. chestnut mare. I should probably have been charged with child abuse for doing such a thing! ;)

Barbara L.
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:36 AM
What a great tribute to the Thoroughbred! It brought tears to my eyes to see how your grandson and he interact...
In answer to your question/comment regarding how the word can get out about these animals---keep passing the word around!

As administrator of Turning For Home (600 horses in a bit over 3 1/2 years from Philadelphia Park/Parx), I know there are many such great stories (although maybe not so eloquently reported as yours is!). The only way to let people know is through good adoption procedures--meaning representing each horse honestly--and never overmatching your adopter; getting these OTTBs out there in the public eye (shows, stories, websites, etc.) so the word is passed around.

We have had horses who had nasty (not unsafe) reputations on the track who soon turned into kid-safe, honest, easy keeper kind of horses, just because they moved to a calmer environment, but still maintained the constant human contact and were shown tons of love, like your guy.

IT CAN BE DONE!!

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:40 AM
My then 6 y.o. daughter's first horse of her own was my first race horse-a 6 y.o. chestnut mare. I should probably have been charged with child abuse for doing such a thing! ;)

Goodness, yes!!!! :eek:What a bad mother you are! Don't you know that OTTBs kill and eat children!?

But I shouldn't throw stones since I live in a glass house, as the saying goes.

Last week my 10 yr. old grandson hand grazed the killer horse in the video for FIVE whole minutes. I know, I know.....I'm a bad granny.:lol:

The people in the video are my two adult kids, my daughter{the one getting her head eaten by Beau, he does cranial surgery all the time} and the boy with the black curly hair and beard is my adult son....Beau's owner.

Barbara, what a lovely thing you are doing for these brilliant and loving horses. I am so glad someone is doing something to promote awareness and rehome these horses. I wish I could do something...

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:47 AM
Just wanted to add that you all are making ME all teary eyed.

I seriously thought that few people cared about these misunderstood horses....but with organizations like Barbara's out there, there IS help for these lovely animals...and HOPE.

May many more OTTBs find loving and happy FOREVER homes!!

Barbara L.
Jul. 24, 2011, 09:51 AM
I think you have done something...and if I need help using the software program you had to make that delightful video, maybe you could help ME!

I would love to do a couple of those with some of our guys...we have a website and lots of ways (including television news stories and access to all kinds of people) to get the word out!

Since you are in PA, you could be a huge help in urging people to adopt horses from Pha or Penn Nat.

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 10:02 AM
Barbara, what could I do to help?

I do have a blog, so I'll put the video on there...and on my facebook page and my friends' facebook pages....

But you are right, there are ways to get the word out. I'll just have to find them....

because I feel we OWE it to Beau. He has done so much for this family. I hope I am not divulging too much personal info, but my daughter was actually talking about suicide alot before we got Beau because she felt responsible for our palomino QH having to be put down. it wasn't her fault, but she refused to accept that....

Beau has given her a new lease on life.....he has healed the wounds in her spirit and given her something to smile about...as in the picture in the video where it looks like he is eating her head....she never used to smile like that....not since our QH died....

I know there is a TB rescue nearby....I wonder if i can be of any help to them.....

alspharmd
Jul. 24, 2011, 12:14 PM
How awesome, thank you for sharing! I also have one of those vicious, crazy, dangerous animals, and I love him to pieces!

Beauseant, though, is registered with the Jockey Club as a 5 year old chestnut mare who raced exclusively at Woodbine. I only bring this up because I really enjoy looking up a TB's pedigree and race history, and many former trainers, owners and breeders are very interested to know where their horses end up. Maybe I'm mis-spelling your guy's name or something?

Jessi P
Jul. 24, 2011, 01:14 PM
What a great tribute video! I am happy for you and your family that Beau has done so much to heal so many. Bless you for helping to spread the word.

witherbee
Jul. 24, 2011, 02:17 PM
What a sweet video and he just looks like a wonderful fella. He is lucky to have you and vice versa.

There are some VERY bad matches out there which is what causes the bad reputation that OTTBs get, so it is refreshing to see a happy ending.

I'd be interested to see what is up with his name/pedigree...

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 02:42 PM
is registered with the Jockey Club as a 5 year old chestnut mare who raced exclusively at Woodbine. I only bring this up because I really enjoy looking up a TB's pedigree and race history, and many former trainers, owners and breeders are very interested to know where their horses end up. Maybe I'm mis-spelling your guy's name or something?


Someone stole my name???:no:

Beauseant is the name we gave him because his real name is just too darn ugly and plain for such a noble and glorious creature. He is registered as ....gulp.....Brother Bill! Ewwwww.....foaled Feb 27, 2005...

He raced at Penn National for a short time. Feel free to comment on his pedigree if you'd like....It is quite impressive...for such a racetrack failure.

His grandsire was Danzig..... and he has links back to the Tetrarch through Mumtaz Mahal.....

Apparently he is a product of linebreeding with the Secretariat line.....

Isn't linebreeding somewhat risky?

In one of his races, he was in the lead for a short time, but just can't go the distance. He has sprinter speed, but fades fast.....

Wasn't it Bold Ruler who was criticized for not producing offspring with staying power....or am I confused as usual

Mah Navu
Jul. 24, 2011, 02:46 PM
having editing problems.....



Comments on the pedigree/linebreeding are welcome.

I'm not sure i understand how linebreeding is different from inbreeding...and is that safe?

Obviously it doesnt always work as Beau is a racing failure...so why do breeders do it?

danceronice
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:02 PM
Yeah, if you want to spread the word, make sure the real name is attached! Otherwise people get confused. (Of course, I'm lucky, pun unintended, Lucky To Cope has a name that's pretty good plus it's a stealth pedigree name--by Lucky Lionel out of Copenqueen by Copelan.)

They linebreed first to get the names you mentioned, for a start! (To be honest, the only ones you mentioned I'd be better than neutral about are Count Fleet and Ambiorix--the rest are common as crabgrass, especially the Dancers. It's hard NOT to find ND, NorD or RaN in a pedigree.) They look good on a sale pedigree. Plus, breeders linebreed because it generally works. This guy wasn't a dud because he was linebred, and most TBs are inbred, he just happened to not get a huge combination of all the really good genes, or maybe he just didn't like his job! Some just aren't interested in being racehorses.

And in any case, the most important to look at are the sire and dam (performance, and especially her other offspring), and his aren't horrible but they're nothing spectacular. And they could have been A.P. Indy and Azeri and he could have STILL turned out to be a mediocre racehorse at best. Genetics are a crapshoot. But concentrating good names does at least mean the pool you're choosing from has good material. And if you're breeding for sale, they'll go for more.

I think that almost all TBs who are gray have to go back to The Tetrarch, somehow? There's one particular line that carries the gene. (I hope he's not TOO gray--I keep thinking I want a gray and then I think about grass stains and manure stains...)

It's funny. I've met far more wild n' crazy non-TBs than TBs, and almost all the thoroughbreds I've known came off the track. Six months or so after his last race he was giving a four-year-old her first "pony" ride. If anything I was kind of relieved that he had a little temper tantrum under saddle today as he's almost too quiet!

alspharmd
Jul. 24, 2011, 10:52 PM
[QUOTE=Mah Navu;5737596 He is registered as ....gulp.....Brother Bill! Ewwwww.....foaled Feb 27, 2005...
[/QUOTE]

Oy. I'm usually a staunch advocate of never changing a TB's name...but you're right, Brother Bill is pretty darn boring!!

I think the pedigree is pretty interesting. You don't see mare inbreeding very often (for obvious reasons).

BansheeBreeze
Jul. 25, 2011, 12:04 AM
What a beautiful video! Made me laugh and cry because, because I feel the same way about my wild and crazy ex racehorses. He has such an intelligent and meaningful look and manner to him. He sure looks like he is enjoying life! Bravo to you for giving him such a wonderful home.

I too hate how misunderstood OTTB's are. With the kind of training and lifestyle they lead at the track, they can't help it. And I think it's pretty damn amazing that horses who are bred for one thing and one thing only-not temperment or trainability or kindness or anything like most other breeds, yet so many shine in those qualities.

There's a great blog for promoting OTTB success stories called offtrackthoroughbreds.com

Here is my own "wild and dangerous" OTTB...just a few months after his last race. His trainer had wanted him gone fast because he was "absolute crazy in his stall"....well, you can see how true that is!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-borPbhWTAdY/TizqppvCM_I/AAAAAAAAACs/LMb-ak1jxX4/s640/LondonMaddie.JPG

Kyzteke
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:12 AM
Actually, I never heard that TBs were dangerous...but then I worked on the track for quite awhile, so maybe if someone said it, I wasn't listening.:winkgrin:

Like someone said, it depends more on the horse than the breed....2 of the absolute calmest, most easy-going horses I ever met in my life were chestnut Arab mares.

Are you riding him?

Vesper Sparrow
Jul. 25, 2011, 08:58 AM
I too hate how misunderstood OTTB's are. With the kind of training and lifestyle they lead at the track, they can't help it. And I think it's pretty damn amazing that horses who are bred for one thing and one thing only-not temperment or trainability or kindness or anything like most other breeds, yet so many shine in those qualities.

I think a lot of people have the misconception that TBs are led out to the track, jammed into the starting gate and then just bolt when they hear the bell.

This is pure conjecture on my part but I would think that a TB who can't be trained wouldn't make it very far as a racehorse. The "rank" ones usually don't win because they can't be taught to pass or go between horses safely, or save their energy for when it is needed.

I go to Saratoga every year and watch the young racehorses, many just two year olds, cross the street in heavy traffic and hang out at the end of the backstretch on the buckle, calm as can be, while their friends are running around the track. I don't see many other breeds being required to do that at such a young age.

TBs may not be bred specifically for trainability but it has to play a huge part in how successful they are as racehorses. Hence trainability, the ability to have a cool head and listen to the rider in the midst of galloping horses, roar of the crowd, etc. and the ability to deal with stressful situations should get passed down in the breeding of TBs.

You hear about how "difficult" many of the successful sires were but that is usually on the ground and in their stalls. Once they were in the race, they were all business.

Mah Navu
Jul. 25, 2011, 09:22 AM
I used to board at a TB barn, and when I looked at the barn owner's pedigrees for her TBs, one thing stood out as different from Beau's. Her horses had NO repeats in their pedigrees...meaning they didn't have ANY horse in there more than once.

If anyone were to look at Beau's (aka Brother Bill) and count the repeats, you will find there are quite a few.

So, which is normal... a horse with SOOO many repeats or one with none?

So, while names like the Dancers, Bold Ruler, Nasrullah, etc may be common as "crabgrass", is it common for a horse to have so much repeated DNA going on?

Also, what are the obvious reasons mare inbreeding isn't common?

Someone asked if we were riding him. yes, my daughter is usually his rider, though both son and hubby ride him occasionally. Under saddle he is generally well behaved, but there are a few issues.

One: riding him in an indoor arena is MUCH different than riding him outside. Indoors he is all calm and a very easy ride, with a lovely canter. Outdoors he is a maniac, lol. Ok, not a maniac, but VERY VERY forward....he wants to GO GO GO.....

Secondly: NO RIDING CROP. Ever. If you even flash that thing at him, he is a bucking, rearing mass of gray. Indoors or out, he WILL NOT tolerate the use of a riding crop.....

witherbee
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:08 AM
Normally I roll my eyes a bit when non-racing folks say what big names are in their ex-racers pedigree (roll my eyes in a nice way - I do understand the excitement), because almost ALL racehorses go back to big named stallions. That said, in this case the big names are close up in the pedigree, which to me gives a bit more validation that this one was bred for big things (even though, as with many, he did not live up to that promise on the track).

As for the riding crop, that is not good that he is so afraid of them! Have you tried desensitizing him to one? Not to use on him, but just to reduce that reaction? Stuff happens in life, and it would be important for him in some cases to not react so strongly. He may have been hit by one too much, but unless someone has personal knowledge of that, I would not assume that is the cause of his fear. In some cases it has nothing to do with what they have experienced in the past - we've had horses that all of a sudden became violently headshy and impossible to bridle at their new homes when they never had an issue with it at all at the farm or the track. I'm sure in some cases it is from abuse, but just wanted to put it out there that sometimes it is not...

Best of luck with him - he is really beautiful.

foxhavenfarm
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:23 AM
Love it! He looks like a very happy boy; thanks for sharing. :)

BansheeBreeze
Jul. 25, 2011, 11:15 AM
I think a lot of people have the misconception that TBs are led out to the track, jammed into the starting gate and then just bolt when they hear the bell.

This is pure conjecture on my part but I would think that a TB who can't be trained wouldn't make it very far as a racehorse. The "rank" ones usually don't win because they can't be taught to pass or go between horses safely, or save their energy for when it is needed.

I go to Saratoga every year and watch the young racehorses, many just two year olds, cross the street in heavy traffic and hang out at the end of the backstretch on the buckle, calm as can be, while their friends are running around the track. I don't see many other breeds being required to do that at such a young age.

TBs may not be bred specifically for trainability but it has to play a huge part in how successful they are as racehorses. Hence trainability, the ability to have a cool head and listen to the rider in the midst of galloping horses, roar of the crowd, etc. and the ability to deal with stressful situations should get passed down in the breeding of TBs.

You hear about how "difficult" many of the successful sires were but that is usually on the ground and in their stalls. Once they were in the race, they were all business.

The sad thing is, alot TB's ARE trained like that. Many shortcuts are taken because time is money. Usually the more money a horse is worth, the better training and more time will be put into them. They only care that the horse can steer to a certain degree and go fast. Of course that's not everybody. But temperment and trainability aren't what most people look at when breeding a racehorse. I guess by trainability I just mean a horse that isn't so rank acting, and many of these horses are. Of course alot has to do with giving them high energy food and drugs and stuffing them in a stall 23 hours a day. Hard to blame them for not wanting to behave! ;-)

Vesper Sparrow
Jul. 25, 2011, 12:18 PM
I had to laugh at the crop thing because my now 27 year old and recently retired OTTB gal (all of 25 years off the track!) was fine with a crop or a dressage whip, but still pranced a little when you switched it to the left. The jockeys switch the crop to the left side at the very end of the race when they want extra "go". After 25 years off the track, that was the extent of her track "flashbacks".

But she didn't need any excuses to get a little more enthusiastic and excited, always in the nicest possible way. I loved that about her.

Mah Navu
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:02 PM
Witherbee, you are right, I am sure Beau's trainers/breeders expected much more from him and he disappointed alot of people.

I don't know much about the racing world and how the horses are treated, but I do know that the condition Beau was in when we bought him was DEPLORABLE.

Only 4 months off the track he looked like this when we brought him home:
http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/af30/mazinn/new/Picture270.jpg

Scabby, ribby, body score of a 2, and either too weak or too dispirited to hold his head up .... Hard to believe this horse in the photo is the same horse in the video....

I have often wondered, how did he get this way in four months?

I've seen his racing videos. He was "race fit"...thin but not alarmingly so.

The crop thing may or may not be due to racing, but witherbee is right...he SHOULD be desensitized to seeing it. And he does ok, as long as you don't TOUCH him with it. But by far his worst phobia is whips or anything resembling them. He can't stand the sight of them or even when my grandson was playing with a long reed he'd gotten from the pond....grandson was swinging it around, outside the pasture fence and NOT in Beau's direction....or even near him....and Beau flipped. He ran for 10 minutes and lathered himself up so bad we had to hose him....


So while I cannot bash the racing industry for their treatment of these horses just because I don't know enough to feel qualified to do so....I am still curious as to how a horse came to look like the above photo in four months.

The horse dealer we bought him from did state that Beau's owner at the time of the sale stated; "That **** horse has embarassed me for the last time".:cry:

Kyzteke
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:14 PM
I had to laugh at the crop thing because my now 27 year old and recently retired OTTB gal (all of 25 years off the track!) was fine with a crop or a dressage whip, but still pranced a little when you switched it to the left. The jockeys switch the crop to the left side at the very end of the race when they want extra "go". After 25 years off the track, that was the extent of her track "flashbacks".

But she didn't need any excuses to get a little more enthusiastic and excited, always in the nicest possible way. I loved that about her.

How funny!

Your story reminds me of same sort of thing that happened with a TB broodmare I owned years ago. She raced till she was 5 and had been a broodie for at least 6-7 yrs when I bought her.

Took her to the Oldenburg inspection, and as is the custom, we put a bridle on her. It was so cute -- as soon as we put the bridle on and started leading her from her stall to the ring, she bowed her head and began to prance & strut! And it had been at least 10 yrs since her last race.

It was so adorable....and touching at the same time....what a grand old warrior gal she was....

moodymaretoo
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:37 PM
That was absolutely beautiful!
Now I too have tears in my eyes.
How did you do it & where to buy the software?

Vesper Sparrow
Jul. 25, 2011, 01:40 PM
How funny!

Your story reminds me of same sort of thing that happened with a TB broodmare I owned years ago. She raced till she was 5 and had been a broodie for at least 6-7 yrs when I bought her.

Took her to the Oldenburg inspection, and as is the custom, we put a bridle on her. It was so cute -- as soon as we put the bridle on and started leading her from her stall to the ring, she bowed her head and began to prance & strut! And it had been at least 10 yrs since her last race.

It was so adorable....and touching at the same time....what a grand old warrior gal she was....

Aww, Kyzteke, that is such a sweet story... have to love the grand old warrior gals (mine just raced for a year, and only managed a couple of shows in that, but she is still a warrior in her own mind).

meupatdoes
Jul. 25, 2011, 02:07 PM
I too get frustrated by all of the hype on ottbs.

It is one thing when an amateur rider or hobby horse owner is wary of getting on/schooling/handling a new horse (regardless of where it comes from) but when professionals are unable in three months or less (and honestly? usually less) to put a basic WTC/small courses ride on a horse that has been professionally handled its entire life and came to them already broke enough to run a race, I really start to wonder.

But I guess you can keep right on charging to endlessly longe the horse (as a trainer did to me many moons ago) and then tell the client it needs endless pro rides that never get anywhere (ditto), and this is all a fantastic way to drum up prices, ensure client dependence, and act like what you are doing is harder than it actually is. Also since the pro doesn't know how to effectively implement a progressive training system the student will never learn it (but they will pay to learn all the months of fluff the pro is dillying around with). Again I understand an amateur doing baby steps for months but for a professional to do it and charge for it just incenses me.

Then again when someone tells me about an ottb they want me to train I will quite literally tell them before even meeting the horse that I will put a benjamin on a fencepost and if the horse isn't notably improved at all three gaits in 5 rides they can keep it.

Still have the benjamin.

Penthilisea
Jul. 25, 2011, 02:25 PM
Yep, my wild and untamed OTTB was only an awesome therapeutic riding horse... Now he is an out of control pasture ornament at age 19, keeping my older QH and a sweet mare company. Helped raise Mama Mare's colt last year too. Obviously unreliable and dangerous... :D

Las Olas
Jul. 25, 2011, 03:11 PM
I'm not sure i understand how linebreeding is different from inbreeding...and is that safe?

I don't see where anyone has answered this question yet, so...

inbreeding is a common ancestor within 3 generations, linebreeding is >3 generations. I'm not a fan of inbreeding horses, but linebreeding (esp. within the 4th and 5th generation) can be very useful if done correctly.


Obviously it doesnt always work as Beau is a racing failure...so why do breeders do it?

To double up on desired genes/traits of successful individuals. You can't control what other genes are passed along/expressed and there are many other variables involved, so success is not guaranteed.

danceronice
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:04 PM
I don't see where anyone has answered this question yet, so...

inbreeding is a common ancestor within 3 generations, linebreeding is >3 generations. I'm not a fan of inbreeding horses, but linebreeding (esp. within the 4th and 5th generation) can be very useful if done correctly.



To double up on desired genes/traits of successful individuals. You can't control what other genes are passed along/expressed and there are many other variables involved, so success is not guaranteed.

Some of the confusion might stem from sites like Equineline referring to anything in the first five as "inbreeding".

And I have to say, overdoing it to the wrong crosses is not a great thing, but it will out sometimes. Lucky is linebred three times to one of the greatest TB sprinters ever, Olympia (who once outsprinted a QH at a quarter mile.) And Lucky is a SPRINTER. 5/8 is about his limit. If I were to get my hands on his dam I'd be very tempted to see what I got from a racing QH stallion as she's inbred four times to Olympia.

As for whips, Lucky wouldn't move without one, while my old OTTB would put you through the rail if you so much as looked at one, but then, I know where that came from and it had nothing to do with the track.

And Vesper's right--you cannot have a horse at the track who won't lead, stand, let people tack him in his stall, work around him, wrap, bathe, clip and put up with a truly astounding amount of noise and traffic without going to pieces. I got a lot farther with Lucky faster when I realized he already knew the things I was asking him to do (except cross-tie and he caught on in under a week). They don't just get stuffed in a stall, dragged out with a chain, shoved in the gate and brought right back. They aren't going to move like dressage horses and they can be more 'up' than most horses, but they aren't wild beasts who are never handled.

Toadie's mom
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:46 PM
Beautiful video! Thanks for sharing.

Having said that, I have to criticize because no COTH thread is complete without some criticism ;)

If you get a OTTB and plan to make him/her an event horse, NEVER let them roll around in a puddle like that. Ask me how I know :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Just kidding Mah Navu! Thanks for giving him a wonderful new home, and family.

BansheeBreeze
Jul. 25, 2011, 05:54 PM
Witherbee, you are right, I am sure Beau's trainers/breeders expected much more from him and he disappointed alot of people.

I don't know much about the racing world and how the horses are treated, but I do know that the condition Beau was in when we bought him was DEPLORABLE.

Only 4 months off the track he looked like this when we brought him home:
http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/af30/mazinn/new/Picture270.jpg

Scabby, ribby, body score of a 2, and either too weak or too dispirited to hold his head up .... Hard to believe this horse in the photo is the same horse in the video....

I have often wondered, how did he get this way in four months?

I've seen his racing videos. He was "race fit"...thin but not alarmingly so.

The crop thing may or may not be due to racing, but witherbee is right...he SHOULD be desensitized to seeing it. And he does ok, as long as you don't TOUCH him with it. But by far his worst phobia is whips or anything resembling them. He can't stand the sight of them or even when my grandson was playing with a long reed he'd gotten from the pond....grandson was swinging it around, outside the pasture fence and NOT in Beau's direction....or even near him....and Beau flipped. He ran for 10 minutes and lathered himself up so bad we had to hose him....


So while I cannot bash the racing industry for their treatment of these horses just because I don't know enough to feel qualified to do so....I am still curious as to how a horse came to look like the above photo in four months.

The horse dealer we bought him from did state that Beau's owner at the time of the sale stated; "That **** horse has embarassed me for the last time".:cry:

Racehorses are given lots and lots and LOTS of grain and vitamins and supplements and drugs and hay. They are attended to constantly, they are babied and pampered groomed flawlessly twice a day, often 4 legs in bandages and medications of some sort or at least liniment. They live in a stall 24/7, and their only excursions are on a well manicured, flat even track. They don't have any contact with other horses except to see them and maybe ride next to a pony.

So when you take them away from that kind of care and lifestyle, and throw them into a dealer lot where they probably live outdoors all the time, have to fight for hay, and maybe get some cheap grain, they can go downhill VERY fast. And even with the best of care, alot of TB's still go through "detox". They have so much stuff in their systems and coming down from the track, especially if done abruptly, can be a huge shock to their system. Especially if there were on alot of drugs and supplements, because their bodies stopped producing whatever things they need on their own because they are getting it artificially. Their body has to learn to support itself again, rather than relying on a human to support them.

They have to learn how to be a HORSE again. It's sad really. Some of course take to it right away and don't have trouble adjusting. Others it's harder on. But yours sure seems to be loving life now!!

foundationmare
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:02 PM
Brought tears to my eyes, but I'm a confirmed sap about such things.

I'm a huge fan of OTTBs and volunteer with Finger Lakes Finests
Thoroughbreds. We maintain a website that showcases on-track TBs that are ready to transition to other careers. It's a labor of love for me and my fellow volunteers BECAUSE we know how special these horses are. The tide is turning, I think, in favor of giving an OTTB a chance in popular disciplines that people have customarily purchased expensive WBs for. OTTBs are spectacular eventers because they are so very versatile and athletic that they have the spirit to ramp up for cross country and the brains to ratchet it down for dressage. They are, in general, very smart horses and are so eager to please and learn. They are, simply, a big bang for the buck.

I love the puddle pics! I'm guessing he was a mudder?

foundationmare
Jul. 25, 2011, 06:38 PM
Banshee, I agree with your characterization of the daily life of a TB on the track. There are variations on the theme and that includes the use of drugs that they need to detox from. Not all trainers use anything stronger than bute or dex. I am familiar with trainers, successful ones, who don't train with a needle. They "read" their horses, back off when necessary, do whatever they can to keep their horses healthy and happy. I am convinced that it is not necessary to resort to illicit methods to win races. Horses that are well tended and like their gig have an advantage over the ones that are soured by the drill and from being a vet pin cushion.

You're absolutely right that it happens. But it isn't the case that it's universal (and I doubt that you meant that) and there are reputable trainers with clean horses.

Every day that I spend on the backside I learn something: about people, about horses, about racing. I am currently in the same shedrow as a BNT who has a lot of success on our track, but also on the NYRA circuit. As a trainer he is hands on and a task master. He expects the best from his employees and he does not tolerate abusive treatment of his horses, even VERBAL abuse. He gets down and dirty in the shedrow, mucks stalls and is always, always watching what is happening with his charges. I catch him loving on his horses all the time. He really is in this game for the reason that many of us are: we love the horses.

I don't know if I've made a point or not, but I do know that all TBs are not cranked up on the track.

I think it's important to be forthright and realistic when representing OTTBs to potential buyers. There are some that require a lot of letdown and others that don't. My experience has been that the imagined need for letdown is far, far less than anticipated. These horses are accustomed to being tacked and exercised almost every day of their lives.

The horses that get a period of turn-out at the end of our meet (November) are benefitted from turnout in snowy paddocks. Good for the brain, good for the wheels! Perhaps too much caution is used by some who take on an OTTB. They can probably do more, sooner, but some letdown can't hurt.

danceronice
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:52 PM
Another thing when they come right off the track--they're more fit than you will ever see another horse. Lucky came off the trailer from Finger Lakes solid muscle--I'd never handled one directly from the track (literally, he loaded on the backside at 6am and got off the trailer at our barn at 6pm) and he was WAY more fit than I expected never having seen a race-fit horse up close. Seriously, you could bounce a quarter off those hindquarters. They can look rather scruffy as they're losing that muscle tone and getting flabby. He looked really bad for a while at first as he lost the tone but hadn't packed on much weight yet. (And now I think he looks fat while he's easily the ribbiest horse in the barn. Went to look at horses today with folks from the barn and I was the only one just horrified by how obese the horses we looking at were! I'd rather see them underweight.) He was also bodysore, as he'd raced at least once a month from January to November--the trainer I bought him from recommended giving him at LEAST a month of nothing but turnout to relax and recuperate from such a long campaign.

If your horse got sent to a dealer's barn and was living in turnout, sore from being in work, all the scuffy bits when his coat grows out, he probably did not have an easy time getting enough food and if he's not assertive he probably was low man in the pecking order, which is also stressful. Plus, track horses get vet care, worming, etc, but I bet the horses he as around didn't! But he didn't do too badly by it as you got him.

Mah Navu
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the info on track life, folks. I know next to nothing about how race horses live, only heard horror tales on the net....

Some of those tales are likely true, but in all fairness to those in the racing industry, I am also sure not ALL trainers/breeders are nefarious and evil. Though the racing industry does seem to have a good number of detractors who seem to know what they are talking about....so I am also certain abuses and cruelty exist.

some of what you all have said have helped me understand Beau a little better....

Yes, after his track days were over, he was sent to a horse dealer and lived on 24/7 turnout.

Danceronice: i forgot to mention that he was scabby from having been in terrific fights when sent to the horse dealer and thrown into a herd. He is an extreme alpha and fought with a huge paint stallion day after day....having huge chunks of flesh bitten out of his neck and shoulders until the horse dealer feared for his life. He would not accept being anything other than the alpha and was willing to fight the stallion....unto death. The horse dealer, to save Beau's life, put him out to pasture with a herd of cattle.

He does NOT get along well with other horses. He is very very aggressive, sometimes even with our draft in the video, Epona.

With people though he is a total love bug. Sometimes he will come into dry lot from the pasture just to hang out with us....hang out as in licking us, nuzzling us, begging for ear scratches or just...standing there listening to us talk. HE IS WEIRD.

Basically, what I am saying is that he prefers human companionship to equine companionship. Is that normal for OTTBs? We were thinking maybe he was bottle raised or something cause he is very emotionally dependant and attached to people. Even with strangers, he'll come right up to you and check you out.

So, if as the other poster said, they are kept isolated from other horses on the track that would account for why he acts more human than equine and prefers people over other horses...either that or maybe he was bottle raised...

He's a weirdo to be sure.:lol:

BasqueMom
Jul. 26, 2011, 02:00 AM
Congrats--what a lovely boy. My trainer and other boarders thought I was nuts to buy a 7 year OTTB at age 52. We clicked like bread and butter and
he followed me anywhere. Never a spook, loved the trail, did the obstacle courses (our trainer had mostly Western students), calmly walked over the dreaded blue tarp. He had been off the track for about 6 months in a pasture when I bought him and bottom of the pecking order--could have been in better flesh. Was quite happy to have a stall and a place to eat alone. Made friends with a friends Appy gelding in turnout situation--it was a sad day for him when she lost her gelding to colic while Basque was going through EPM treatment.

He, too, doesn't care much for whips. But one of the nice things about OTTB's
is their cruise control so I've never really needed one much with either of mine.

Enjoy--he looks like he will bring you many years of enjoyment!

maunder
Jul. 26, 2011, 06:00 AM
We were thinking maybe he was bottle raised or something cause he is very emotionally dependant and attached to people. Even with strangers, he'll come right up to you and check you out.

So, if as the other poster said, they are kept isolated from other horses on the track that would account for why he acts more human than equine and prefers people over other horses...either that or maybe he was bottle raised...

He's a weirdo to be sure.:lol:

Some (but not all) horses from the track simply don't have the skills to be a herd horse (yet). Many trainers do turn their racing horses out on off season and they have those herd skills but others, like my old campaigner, raced right through the year at another track. He had to learn the skills of "being a horse" because he was all business for seven years.

The Internet horror stories of race tracks are not all true, and you are at a good place here to hear of GOOD trainers and good owners and well kept horses.

Good trainers will tell you that a horse must be kept in tip top shape, well cared for, well fed, properly shod and properly conditioned to win. Most tracks will also monitor the horse's condition at their own track and believe me, other trainers WILL complain if they notice a horse on "their" track being cared for or treated in a manner to which they do not approve. I can't tell you if this is true at all tracks, naturally, but I've seen this happen at Finger Lakes. In the few cases when it has happened I've seen trainers arrange to assist the horse and the offending trainer to better the conditions that they feel aren't appropriate.

Congratulations on your lovely Thoroughbred and I hope that you will have many entertaining years together. :yes:

danceronice
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:15 AM
I would say far more of the internet horror stories are false than true. They aren't treated like show horses, but then show horses are increasingly fat, overpampered, overmedicated, oversupplemented and kept in bubble wrap if they're doing big classes and part of the overmedicating is just to keep them going ("can't do the 3'6" any more, but if you keep injecting his joints he'll do the 2'6" for another year or two for a kid...") Racehorses are working animals who have to earn their keep, so by and large they're well-cared-for, they're just not treated like glass (or expected to have a career that lasts until their late teens.) You'll find as many or more drugs in a show barn and horses that spend a lot longer getting shot up to keep going. The real bad actors in racing get caught. The bad actors in the hunter/jumper world get slapped on the wrist or nothing--they basically have to get caught doing something REALLY horrible, like the insurance killings, to get a ban. (Of course with racing there's gambling involved meaning it's a lot easier to get regulations.)

Also, of course, you have to remember, as far as TB breeders and owners are concerned, racing IS end-use. They're not creating a sport horse who'll race for a couple years--if the horse makes it to the track, it's served the purpose it was bred for.

Nothing weird about being people-oriented. Another thing a racehorse has to be able to do is be handled by a lot of different people. They get sold, they get claimed, they get handled by grooms and jockeys and exercise riders and vets and stewards and everyone in between. They see lots of people, and they don't get much unstructured free time loose with other horses.

alspharmd
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:19 AM
I would say far more of the internet horror stories are false than true. They aren't treated like show horses, but then show horses are increasingly fat, overpampered, overmedicated, oversupplemented and kept in bubble wrap if they're doing big classes and part of the overmedicating is just to keep them going ("can't do the 3'6" any more, but if you keep injecting his joints he'll do the 2'6" for another year or two for a kid...") Racehorses are working animals who have to earn their keep, so by and large they're well-cared-for, they're just not treated like glass (or expected to have a career that lasts until their late teens.) You'll find as many or more drugs in a show barn and horses that spend a lot longer getting shot up to keep going. The real bad actors in racing get caught. The bad actors in the hunter/jumper world get slapped on the wrist or nothing--they basically have to get caught doing something REALLY horrible, like the insurance killings, to get a ban. (Of course with racing there's gambling involved meaning it's a lot easier to get regulations.)

Also, of course, you have to remember, as far as TB breeders and owners are concerned, racing IS end-use. They're not creating a sport horse who'll race for a couple years--if the horse makes it to the track, it's served the purpose it was bred for.

Nothing weird about being people-oriented. Another thing a racehorse has to be able to do is be handled by a lot of different people. They get sold, they get claimed, they get handled by grooms and jockeys and exercise riders and vets and stewards and everyone in between. They see lots of people, and they don't get much unstructured free time loose with other horses.

I agree with all of this!

witherbee
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:53 AM
Good post Danceronice - OTTBs usually do look much worse for a while after they lose some of their conditioning. Even if they are not given any drugs, they still tend to lose the shine and go through a fugly stage as they transition to their new life. We do not give anything other than bute as needed and some race on lasix, and ours often look a bit rough after they leave us. Some of it has to do with the feed change - they are getting a lot of sweet feed and yes, some suppliments (depends on the horse). They also get free choice great quality alfalfa or timothy mix.

Ours do get turned out and get habd grazed when possible at the track. Most of them are really people orientated because they are hand walked daily and are given carrots and peppermints daily. They are loved by their groom and their trainer and came from our farm where they were loved as babies too.

Here's one - an extreme example, but went from this:
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Chocolates/ExpressBlushgalloping4-09.jpg
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Chocolates/ExpressBlush1stday29-18-08.jpg

to this (at a hunter barn)
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Chocolates/096.jpg
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Chocolates/100.jpg

Here's one of ours that was managed well - did not lose much weight or coat:
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Jet%20-%20Fabulous%20Impulse/100_1725.jpg
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Jet%20-%20Fabulous%20Impulse/Jetface.jpg
after the track
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Jet%20-%20Fabulous%20Impulse/jetconfo.jpg
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i245/wtryan/Jet%20-%20Fabulous%20Impulse/jetjump.jpg

Anyway, so happy for this fellow, and he looked terrible in that picture - way too thin and dull. Poor guy. Glad he found such a good owner.

sadlmakr
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:11 PM
Most horses are people oriented. Sounds like this fellow has decided he loves his human family. My vet told me horses will take on their owner's personality. Quiet and mild people will often have quiet and mild animals. I have heard lots of horror stories about OTTbds. How they are handled after their racing days are over will usually set the stage for their career as a saddle horse.
I know several that are retired racing Thoroughbreds and they are delightful and lovng horses. I know they love the children in their families. When the children are riding they are so careful and slow. But when Mom or Dad gets on it is a whole different story. Then he is a big powerful Thorougbred Hunter.
Most of the "bad Thoroughbreds" I have known were badly handled and fought back agains the abuse they were subjected to.
Each one is an individual and should be handled accordingly.
My kudos to you for your loving care for this horse. May you have many good years with him.
Regards, sadlmakr

Lisa Preston
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:26 PM
Nice video. So happy for Beau. He reminds me a lot of my coming 18 year old OTTB, who also plays in water, stands for a hose bath, loves to talk to people. (He won at 2 and 3, I got him when he was 6.)

And best of all, how Beau helped heal your daughter, Mah Navu. Goodness!

The in-breeeding thing, yeah, there's a lot to say there. Look up the coefficient rating as a place to start.

Beau is a lucky boy.

BansheeBreeze
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:55 PM
Yes, I did not mean to imply that this is the case for ALL thoroughbreds. There some barns that take amazing care of their horses and treat them well(like Grahmn Motions group trail rides) and don't use many drugs, and some that are terrible all around. Just like in any discipline, there is good and bad, and the vast majority are somewhere in between.

Summit Springs Farm
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:49 PM
I would say far more of the internet horror stories are false than true. They aren't treated like show horses, but then show horses are increasingly fat, overpampered, overmedicated, oversupplemented and kept in bubble wrap if they're doing big classes and part of the overmedicating is just to keep them going ("can't do the 3'6" any more, but if you keep injecting his joints he'll do the 2'6" for another year or two for a kid...") Racehorses are working animals who have to earn their keep, so by and large they're well-cared-for, they're just not treated like glass (or expected to have a career that lasts until their late teens.) You'll find as many or more drugs in a show barn and horses that spend a lot longer getting shot up to keep going. The real bad actors in racing get caught. The bad actors in the hunter/jumper world get slapped on the wrist or nothing--they basically have to get caught doing something REALLY horrible, like the insurance killings, to get a ban. (Of course with racing there's gambling involved meaning it's a lot easier to get regulations.)

Also, of course, you have to remember, as far as TB breeders and owners are concerned, racing IS end-use. They're not creating a sport horse who'll race for a couple years--if the horse makes it to the track, it's served the purpose it was bred for.

Nothing weird about being people-oriented. Another thing a racehorse has to be able to do is be handled by a lot of different people. They get sold, they get claimed, they get handled by grooms and jockeys and exercise riders and vets and stewards and everyone in between. They see lots of people, and they don't get much unstructured free time loose with other horses.

Nice Dances! NOT!

englishcowgirl
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:52 PM
I rode one today in a lesson! Fab mare, loved every second with her!

AnEnglishRider
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:48 PM
Aw, cute video.

I LOVE my OTTB. He is like a big teddy bear on legs.

eventermomoh
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:25 PM
Glad to see I am not sure the only one with tears after watching that cute video. I wish all OTTB's were so lucky. Beyond The Track is a great reference book for owners, riders and handlers of OTTB's. Thanks for sharing!

deserthorses5
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:39 PM
I also have a gray OTTB. Out of 7 races, he never won. He was sent to TB Friends, up in Sacramento, CA. He's also vicious and agressive...NOT!!! He comes to me when I call him and comes over for scratches and some lovin'. He LOVES to be bathed and will stand still and close his eyes! He is in re-training and once in a while, a little "tude" comes through, but nothing bad. LOVED your video~very heartwarming!

luckyduck
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:33 PM
I just got in my umteenth OTTB today....he has been off the track for three weeks...and is in that let down stage...also coming off an injury so his whole life went upside down....his body is feeling the change...26 lifetime starts, $170K+ in earnings and now he is in a hunter barn :)

Walked off the trailer like he had been there his whole life...everyone who has met him says the same thing...oh so sweet....his whole life is changing and he is just taking it in with a deep sigh and asking for some carrots....

Your video made me feel so happy to see that there are still so many out there that love these horses. Like any breed...some are not cut out for what you might want...but I have had one good experience after another with these guys.

My new guy is 6....and has a bit more races under his belt then I would have normally looked at, but he is nearly 17 hands, built like a classic old type hunter and moves like a dream.

He will have his rest time now and become adjusted to the new sounds and routine of a different life...he will then start his new job....

Heres to all the wild and crazy OTTB horses out there...

alspharmd
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:44 PM
They're all wild and crazy! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-k2MRDamSQ)

Mah Navu
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:51 PM
Wow....so many great OTTB success stories, and so much support for these brilliant and loving horses!!!!

I just wish we could do something to find more forever homes for these off trackers.....:(


I just love our boy so much....every day with him is a joy and a Divine gift....

vineyridge
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:00 PM
He's actually a triple to Ambiorix, since he was the sire of High Voltage. That's a mare line that I personally love, beginning with Dynamo--well, actually Cherokee Rose, but that was many, many generations back.

Meadow36
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:25 PM
OTTB's are by far my favorite type of horse. They are versatile, sensitive and intelligent. They can do multiple jobs and do them well. I've owned approximately 35 or so over the past 15 years. Not one of those horses was a crazy lunatic. I hate that they have such a bad reputation.

My current OTTB is 6 years old and was left rotting in a field after his racing career was over. For two years, no one handled him, his feet were not done, no vaccinations, etc. When I went out to see him in the pasture for the first time, he came galloping over. The halter they gave me was too small, so I just put the lead around his neck. A few seconds later, all of his buddies went galloping past him and out of view towards the gate. He politely walked next to me with nothing but a lead over his neck. I was sold right there.

Not to mention, he is beautiful, tall and a lovely mover.

He impresses me every day that I have him with his intelligence and gentle nature. He spent 30 minutes today licking and nuzzling me while I sat in a chair waiting for the vet. He could've grazed on grass, but he preferred my company.

Mah Navu
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:53 PM
Viney,

Most people never heard of Ambiorix or the Tetrarch or mumtaz mahal.... (or Beau's grandsire Danzig, for that matter)

You COTH people really know your racing bloodlines, that's for sure.

:)

Beau's dam's bloodline is as impressive, if not more, than his sire's line.

His dam's side has secretariat, Ribot and it is through her that he is related to the Tetrarch through Mumtaz Mahal....

I thought only the sire's bloodline was important? Am I mistaken?

AnEnglishRider
Jul. 28, 2011, 11:18 PM
I thought only the sire's bloodline was important? Am I mistaken?

Well, the dam does contribute half the DNA ;)

Real Rush
Jul. 29, 2011, 07:26 AM
Hey guys, I just had to tell about my own "deadly" OTTB. The second horse I ever owned was my first OTTB, a gelding named Real Rush (hence my name on here). He was raced until he was 6, almost exclusively as a claimer. Long but interesting story of how he came to be in my possession (that's for a different topic), but at the time all I had done was pleasure riding and had almost no formal training. I was just the perfect candidate to be sacrificed on the OTTB altar! :D

At the time I bought him, I was actively involved in Civil War re-enacting, but wanted to start taking lessons and competeing in eventing. Naturally, Rush became a warhorse first before moving on to more domestic endeavors. And he took to it like a fish to water. Cannons going off? Not a problem. Firing a rifle over his head? Not a problem. Running around with a bunch of other horses with a saber in hand? Not a problem.

Eventually I gave up the hobby to persue combined training full time, but for years afterward, if I started to wistle while riding, his head and ears would perk up and he'd get a bit more spring in his step. (there was always a period band that would lead the troops out onto the field before the mock battles) He had truly enjoyed his time on the battlefield, I have no doubt.

After a couple years of competing, his poor conformation and years of track life caught up to him and arthritis really began to set in. We turned to just pleasure riding again, until I found out about a mounted patrol company that was having try-outs to join. Needless to say, we passed with flying colors. We did patrols at an area mall, concerts at the local amphitheatre, and even worked Bonaroo the first 2 years. No matter what I threw at Rush, he always took it in stride and we could face anything. He did have his "temper tantrums" from time to time over the years, but never during competition or when we were working or fighting. This only served to make me a much better rider, able to laugh at anything any horse has tried since then the unseat me. Just goes to show how "wild and dangerous" he was. ;) Thanks to whoever originally started this thread, it was a brilliant idea!

danceronice
Jul. 29, 2011, 10:42 AM
Viney,



I thought only the sire's bloodline was important? Am I mistaken?

Lol, most people on here will look at the dam first!

My old OTTB's sire was by Count Amber, an Ambiorix son. It's not a name the general public might now, but on here...

sporthorsefilly
Jul. 31, 2011, 08:55 PM
He is a beautiful horse, and has a wonderful home, congrats.

I've had TBs for more than 50 yrs, they have brains and beauty. To me they are the epitome of excellence in horseflesh.

Fabulous video!!!!

Mah Navu
Aug. 1, 2011, 12:41 PM
exactly, sporthorse....they are brilliant, noble and beautiful creatures....and contrary to popular belief, most are not crazy or dangerous!

As a long time horse enthusiast and owner, I must say..owing an ex racer has been the most rewarding experience of my life with equines!!!.

Oliver18
Aug. 1, 2011, 03:13 PM
I love this I have two OTTB's Capitol Flyer by Distintive Pro and Five buck Marshall and Derbys Moment by Hard Circle and Cross n fire . Captiol flyer racing really never got off the ground . Derbys Moment raced till he was 7 . I love my big scary racehorses . Derbys Moment or Stanly went to his first Dressage show test A 61.6 placed 3 and Test C 67.7 placed 1st both were Starter level . Turning for Home sounds really familiar . I think he was at my barn growing up barn name Homeboy . A woman named Debbie owned him . He was a bay . He was awesome !!!

Hounds
Aug. 1, 2011, 03:47 PM
Just wanted to add: Hooray for OTTBs (I have one, too!) and hooray for forever homes! Always wonderful to hear about happy endings for these brilliant horses.

Kyzteke
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:31 AM
I would say far more of the internet horror stories are false than true.

Nothing weird about being people-oriented. Another thing a racehorse has to be able to do is be handled by a lot of different people. They get sold, they get claimed, they get handled by grooms and jockeys and exercise riders and vets and stewards and everyone in between. They see lots of people, and they don't get much unstructured free time loose with other horses.

I'm glad so many people are getting on this thread to clarify what sort of treatmenet 95% of racing TBs get -- pretty darn good, especially compared to the average back yard horse.

Also, it's important to remember that for the first 18 months to 2 yrs of their lives, they ARE living out in a herd, usually in rather large pastures with plenty of room to run.

And many trainers do manage to get some turn-out for them even as they get older; I worked at the training track in Aiken, SC for several years and they would turn the babies o/o in large pastures (segregated according to gender) each afternoon, while the lay-ups would get 2-3 hrs. out in single paddocks if their soundness permitted it. That's more turn-out that many boarded horses get.

Most race horses are expected to perform, but most trainers give them the utmost care to help that happen.

More people need to straighten out the rumor mongers. For instance, a poster on Horse Care said her OTTB (who had been OT for 5 +yrs) was scared of people because he was "beaten every day with a pitchfork":eek:.

Everyone took this as gospel till I came on and posted that I seriously doubted this was the case, since even at the lowest-class barns I knew, a groom would be promptly fired for doing this.

Mah Navu
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:01 PM
Beaten with a pitchfork? And she knows this, how????


My OTTB ADORES people, so I guess he didn't have any pitchforks in his past!:lol:


Seriously, if Beau has ANY "issues" mentally, it is that he is TOO emotionally dependant on humans. And he gets along HORRIBLY with other horses....just horribly.

He really doesn't act like a horse at all, he is more like a dog.

Examples are that he will come in off pasture to hang out with us, When he gets a horsefly on him, he runs to us to squash it, he licks, he nuzzles.....he loves to be hand fed, even hay, which we find terribly annoying.... the list could go on.

So, his experiences with people must have been very very positive because he loves them, even strangers....he just adores people. We think he may have been bottle raised or something....to have such a dependence, emotionally, on humans while having violence and aggression towards other horses. He absolutely cannot be in a herd, and is violent enough towards our draft that the day may come when they will have seperate pastures....:no: