View Full Version : Does anyone else have an OTTB like this?

Mar. 10, 2012, 06:37 PM
I have a 4 year old OTTB mare (Just Plan Partners) and she is very calm and....VERY SLOW! I mean dont get me wrong she does have her "thoroughbred" days, like spooks at birds in the rafters, but this girl is pretty dang calm. I have to use a crop on her and shes still slow. Shes getting better with riding her everyday, but she just isnt the typical hot headed OTTB. She just came off in November.... and shes a snuggler :)
Does anyone else have one right off the track like this?

Mar. 10, 2012, 07:01 PM
Most of them.

Mar. 10, 2012, 07:09 PM
Yup. My girl's default mode is "slowpoke," and she is as snuggly and sweet as they come. As she's adjusted to life off the track and gained correct muscling, she's become much more forward, and the TB power has come out in a big way :)

I won't turn down a horse of any type, but TBs hold a special place in my heart. Love 'em.

Mar. 10, 2012, 07:10 PM
Yes--my first one was like that. He was racing fit when I got him, and within a week I had to kick him to get him to trot. After his second ride, he started coming up to me for snuggles right after I dismounted.

My current one actually shoves his nose under my hand if I stop petting him, and he gives me a hug every time I blanket or un-blanket him. He's always been very people-oriented. ETA he's also been beaten in a trot race by a 10h shetland cross, and he's way too happy at the back of the pack on trail gallops. Every now and then he does need a little hand gallop, but I don't think I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting him to go full stretch. There's a reason he's not a racehorse anymore :lol:

Mar. 10, 2012, 07:35 PM
Haha ok so its the muscle that helps them be more forward :) she is definitely gaining good muscle. And being able to lower her head im glad theres others out there since im overly obsessed with mine its good to hear others are as happy as me! My horse has so much personality, and she was too slow to race too... obviously wayyyy too slow lol

Mar. 10, 2012, 08:36 PM
Rico is the 'stillest' horse I've ever known. He's generally unflappable, very stoic, and just dead quiet. I also need to back up my leg with a crop occasionally. He's also a snuggler. He'll poke his head right into my shoulder and just stand there. Last week I was standing beside him and he decied to wash my face with his tonge!

Right now he's been home alone for a week and he's just poking around, but not acting upset at all, even though he's very herdbound.

I like the quiet ones. I'm much too hyper myself to get along well with a hot horse.

Mar. 10, 2012, 08:40 PM
*raises hand*

Mine is lazy as dirt. He'll have his moments, usually he'd rather poke along and stand around than do anything. He wakes up over fences/a good hand gallop, but getting him to kick it into gear is the stick part, not the shifting down haha. I don't mind it, because when you do push his "on" button, he's down for business, but he's not constantly ready to go.

Mar. 10, 2012, 09:05 PM
He wakes up over fences.

My girl trotted a 3' vertical the other day.... 8 times. She's 17hh and seems to think that unless I ask for it, why should she exert any more effort than she needs to? :lol: I could have asked for a canter, pushed her forward, and gotten a lovely jump... but after the second time, I just thought it was hilarious that she was so casual I let her go. Hey, working on trot fences is a good exercise... fixed any jumping ahead issues I was having that day!

Mar. 10, 2012, 09:20 PM
Yup. Got one here too.

My now 5 yr old TB is exceptionally quiet. I actually had the vet pull blood on him last summer to make sure there was nothing wrong with him! This guy isn't my first young horse, or the first horse I've bought OT, but he is hands down the mellowest young horse I've ever been around.

Example- first time lunging. I bring him into the middle of the ring, walk a few feet away from him. He doesn't move, just looks at me. I shake the lunge whip at him. He doesn't move, or seem particularly interested. (at this point several other horses that I've had would have at least walked off). I crack the whip. He looks outside the ring, doesn't move. I tap him with the whip. He doesn't even flick an ear. Of course by now, I'm laughing hysterically. I finally end up tapping him more firmly and get right behind him to get him to walk forward.

Fast forward a few months- I had gotten off of him to set x rails. After I rearrange a few poles, he just stops. Doesn't want to follow me around any more (I was leading him). So I looped to reins over his head and just left him in the middle of the ring while I set jumps. And he just stood there!

Nothing wrong with him, he's just really quiet. Honestly, he's more forward under saddle now that he's more broke, but he is still really low key on the ground.

Mar. 10, 2012, 09:38 PM
My BO just said to me the other day that my 17h OTTB is the most unflappable horse on the farm during turn in or out, and the barn is mostly QH types, Fjords, a donkey and a few Morgan/cross types.

And it's a real working farm, with crops and buildings and workers everywhere.

Color me surprised, 'cause usually he's a big jerk if he is out of work and it's been months since he was in anything that resembles regular work. Guess he just really likes it there, eh?

Mar. 10, 2012, 09:49 PM
All of ours have been!

Preposterous Ponies!
Mar. 10, 2012, 09:57 PM
I joke to my OTTB that she's the slowest horse in Canada most days. I spent the summer retraining OTTBs and they all preferred leisurely paces.

TBs only run fast so they can stop sooner. :yes:

Star's Ascent
Mar. 10, 2012, 10:00 PM
My current one goes in between being a western pleasure horse and middle of the road silly. She will happily walk around anywhere, there are days its painful to keep her going. Then she has days like today where she needs to be a little silly, which generally involves a head shake, a little squeal and trying to canter or make a little hop. She generally saves the big theatrics for when I'm not on her and just letting her expend some energy. Once you do that her brain functions normally. My last one, 17hd something out of Unusual Heat, was totally dead. Except for the one time he took off with me on the top of the levy. But that is another story. My first one (out of Bonus Money) was the complete opposite. It wasn't that he was super hot or naughty, he was just very forward. He is now a middle aged man's trail horse. He films sometimes when he is on the trail with a helmet cam and posts it on his youtube so I get to see what they are doing which is fun. I'll be getting another one in the next few months so I'm interested to see what the new one will be like.

Mar. 11, 2012, 09:24 AM
How do u guys keep them cantering?

Mar. 11, 2012, 09:29 AM
By backing up a light leg aid with the whip everytime, and then taking the leg OFF, with whip ready, to test if they maintain the forward on their own with no help.

Mar. 11, 2012, 10:22 AM
I got riverpony as 4 yo OTTB, and he was so quiet and pokey that I wondered if he had a terrible disease, like cancer or something. Nope, still going strong at age 16. He's a lovebug too.

Mar. 11, 2012, 11:01 AM
I do! And I'm "overly obsessed" with mine, too! :)

Mar. 11, 2012, 11:06 AM
Mine is an OTTB, who took a detour as a polo pony post-racetrack, and I've never had one slower. :) First time we cantered a jump, I was in a half seat with a loopy rein and she never moved from that slowwww, rhythmic canter pre- or post-fence. Nothing scares her (well, clipping her ears does...) and the first time I introduced her to crossties, she used them to hold her head up while she slept.

Mar. 11, 2012, 11:09 AM
I've had a few.... most notable was a nice 3 yr old chestnut gelding that we had just brought off the track. He had never run, but we tried to train him up to it! :lol:

This was about 25 yrs ago and I presented him for sale to none other than P. Valliere who liked him but told me I must have him drugged. :mad: Of all the nerve! Anyway, that moron missed out on a really nice horse, but in the end I'm glad he passed. ;)

Mar. 11, 2012, 03:49 PM
Mine was extremely forward- the BEST work ethic ever really...

Just the bravest thing EVER... her instinct to "scary things" was... OOOOOOOHHHHHHH what's that (as she would power walk in the direction of said thing)...

Red headed mare in the sense that it was HER decision to go over and check it out... oh and she knew what was best (aka DO NOT touch her face 3-4 strides OUT of that high A/O fence... no ma'am)...

After owning her- can't even dream of owning something that doesn't have a lot of thoroughbred in it... :no:

Mar. 11, 2012, 04:27 PM
Lucky has always taken the 'retired' part of 'retired racehorse' quite seriously. Quiet and unflappable. He will on rare occasions have an 'up' moment but in general he really doesn't want to exert any more effort than he really needs to.

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 11, 2012, 04:39 PM
Glad to know so many other people worried about their quiet TBs and thought about getting them a blood test.

I always say my TB gelding's favourite gait is standing in the middle of the arena and watching everybody and everything go by. Speed on his part is generally reserved for playing with his buddies, fighting for food or mares, getting to the round bale first... you get the picture.

My TB mare is a lot more forward and likes to go, but in a nice, not scary way.

Both are totally unspooky and like to investigate. And both are cuddy-bugs.

Mar. 11, 2012, 06:10 PM
I just rode my 6 YO former racer for the first time in 4 months. Besides a small spook at plank propped up against the fence, he was totally chill. He is the most fun! Energetic without being hot or goofy and bright as a button. I love that horse!

Mar. 11, 2012, 10:20 PM
Horses that race have usually seen alot of stuff. Backstretch areas have big trucks, muck carts, cars, bikes, tarps, bandages flapping in the breeze and so much more. TB's have usually seen more by the age of 3 than many will see in a lifetime. The idea that they are all spooky and want nothing more than to drag their rider around at Mach 2 are myths. Sure some are like than but far more are quiet. They are also often very sweet and affectionate.
I went on a lovely hack at a fellow COTHer's farm yesterday, two OTTB's, one very bold rider and me, the big chicken. I was on a 12yo OTTB who was effectively idiot-proof. Bold friend was on her officially 4yo who left the track 7 weeks ago. She ended up using the 4yo, who had never been to this farm to "pony" me on the cool dude (my freak out, not his) when were were charged by Shetlands while motorcycle revved up behind us beside a bunch of flapping tarps and barking dogs. (I'd guess he'd never been charged by Shetlands at the track but it didn't seem to bothered by them!) Yep, that 4yo never turned a hair. Her 4yo will be idiot proof at a earlier age than the older one. He'd happily climb in your pocket, trailers like a pro, jumps little courses and yep, he left the track in January.

Mar. 12, 2012, 06:50 AM
I've had 3.

The 1st I thought it was because he had come from a bad situation ( he was skin and bone) but as he put weight on it did not change.. It didn't.

2nd raced for mmm 9-10 yrs.. There was a time shortly after I first got him I got a call from BM who was a QH person who never had TB OT or not in their barn before who was on phone crying saying horse dead in pasture come quick....:eek: I fly out to barn( only about 5minute if that driveTG) only to find horse laying flat out looks dead responding to nothing( calling from fence line things like that)..
Ask how long horse been like that AND did anyone go out to actually check on horse? Only noticed horse right before call no noone gone out to pasture to check on horse, that would be eeewwww yuck( as close to quote as I can remember)... :sigh: So I trudge out to where horse is.. He did look ''dead'' I call his name.. not so much as an ear twitch.. oh geesh horse dead...:no:.... I get closer.. I hear snoring Yup the horse is "dead to world' out like a light... This was 2 wks after he was off the track... I sat there for about 20 minutes with his head on my lap until his nap was done then he gently got up and sauntered over to what ever patch of grass caught his attention...

Current horse another OTTB just 4 same attitude...

oh yeah horse #1 and 2 both long(more than 3 yrs and good sucessful racing careers) #3 not so much (less than 7 races).

Mar. 12, 2012, 07:09 AM
Well it all depends on the day for a thoroughbred...one day they could be a kids safe horse, the next they could be a spooky horse. They could see a lot but on the track they can just run away.from it. Their natural instinct, flight. But when we have them off the track they cant run anymore they have to learn that its ok and thats whyy it seems like they dont mind the tarps and trucks at the track.
Last night my mare got freaked out because my boyfriend (who knows nothing about horses) kept clucking loud from the side lines when i was riding her, shes sensitive to sound and was just a little hot after that, a little spooky. And i just got done posting how much of a dead head she is, but like i said on any given day they can go back yo their "thoroughbredness"

Mar. 12, 2012, 07:42 AM
I have a Nureyev bred mare that is S.L.O.W., new york bred, 8 starts, no placings.

When we started her over fences, my coach came out to assess us, and build a modest 2'6" oxer. We headed toward it, and she asked happily, if I was ever going to get there. I joked and asked her to hold on, sure enough we did, and horse jumps up great. I don't chase her anywhere, but keep encouraging her to get stronger and rounder, and a bit more has shown up over the last year.

She does have what we call "The Dark Side" though... She can get a little toodie, then silly.

She swished her tail into one of the big fake trees in the arena, and it fell over... how does this happen? And she was sooooooooo alarmed, then mad, first at the tree, then at the session.

The other day we were trotting happily on a long stretchy rein, and low and behold... There was SUNLIGHT on the floor. We had to slam to the halt, snort and proceed to jump it straight up like a deer, then, at least; promptly return to work.

The stereotyped TB is in there, but all in all. She is sweet and slow. I love her.

Mar. 12, 2012, 08:32 AM
I'd have to say that all of mine have been great and quiet! I currently have 5 ottb's right now, and every single one of them is kicking quiet and extremely good natured:yes:

My fancy 5yr gelding that I got last winter(4yr) at the time was spur and stick quiet for his very first ride post racetrack after being let down and having the winter off-3 months....and i trailered him to my trainers farm for his first ride...so not only was he perfect at a new farm...he w/t/c swapped his leads and jumped over all the horse show type fences in her ring....never did it before...and did it perfectly:yes: everybody assumed he was drugged ....nope....just an awesome Tb I replied;) ....fast forward 60 days....went to his first show and was Champion Baby Green Hunter! Then a few weeks later took him to a AA Hunter show and he was Reserve Champion Baby Green ..Hunter:yes:.....yup....he beat out several big fancy imported Wb's ....he WON over fences and WON the Hack!!!!!:D ....and by the way....no schooling either....he got right off the trailer, hacked around the show grounds....jumped a few in the warmup-plain verticals/Oxer....then right into the show ring and jumped right around-never batted an eye!!!

My 4yr ottb mare that I got this fall...gave her the fall/winter off....rode her for the first time yesterday after 5 Months off.....kicking quiet.....w/t/c like a pro....even was stretching out long and low!(she's half sister to the above horse):yes:....if she turns out even half as nice as her half brother....I will be delighted...so far so good!

I also have a 3yr ottb that I got a couple weeks ago....he is so sweet,quiet and unflappable....brought him home-it was late-all my horses were already out...I just brought him in the barn...fed him, gave him hay and turned the lights out....he never made a peep! And yes....saw and heard my goats, donkeys, and other horses:eek: he didn't bat an eye...next morning he greeted me with a kiss...had eaten all his hay/food....then he walked up to his new pasture -I turned him out...he met the gang...then put his head down to eat:yes: I can take the others out of the field, and he never makes a peep, or cares if he's out by himself!!!

Yup....I'd have to say that they are just the best horses...period! From my 3yr-9yr old.... All my ottb's are great,sweet,brave and kicking quiet! And one thing they are NOT is spooky....mine are all the bravest! Love them!

Mar. 12, 2012, 08:44 AM
I wanted to add their bloodlines...the two that are half brother/sisters are by Devil His Due...which several other coth'ers have attested to their great natures and have all turned into great hunters/show horses!

I also have a Rock Point Mare...big, gorgeous ,great brain, beautiful uphill gaits, and very athletic

An Alphabet Soup gelding....which other coth'ers have also attested to them being great sport horses,

An Our Emblem(War Emblem) gelding who is drop dead gorgeous, classic Tb Hunter

And others I've had in the past were a Storm Cat- whom I loved, Crafty Friend, and One by Talk Is Money(Deputy Minister)....all were sweet,brave, very good natured, and have all Gobelin on to be competitive show hunters!!

Mar. 12, 2012, 08:50 AM
the typical hot headed OTTB.

Thats your only mistake...they are "NOT" hot headed as rule.

My worst spookiest hot headed horse is my only WB a Dressage horse who scared himself in the field when a new white salt block appeared.....

The precentages of Hot Headed OTTB are so very low...

Thanks Concetta ...she has bought 5 OTTB from me and all are sane and quiet....

Mar. 12, 2012, 08:55 AM
They are hot headed on the track because we feed them to have so much energy that they are crawling out of their skin on purpose. Once they are off the track and their diet is a little more reasonable they revert to their normal state.

Mar. 12, 2012, 08:58 AM
A lot are like that because the stereotype is wrong.

Equine Studies
Mar. 12, 2012, 09:03 AM
They are hot headed on the track because we feed them to have so much energy that they are crawling out of their skin on purpose. Once they are off the track and their diet is a little more reasonable they revert to their normal state.

Thank God someone finally pointed that out.

Mar. 12, 2012, 09:40 AM
They could see a lot but on the track they can just run away.from it. Their natural instinct, flight.

This would make grooming, tacking, leading, riding back to the barn, trailer loading, and any and all handling pretty perilous if the tbs really were just running around willy nilly whenever and whereever they felt like.

Unless they happen to be standing in the starting gate, and whatever is allegedly scaring them just so happens to be directly behind them, the race horses, like any other horses, can't just run off and leave whenever they feel like it.

Mar. 12, 2012, 10:12 AM
Well, and not only that, but you don't want them running in a blind panic. When a racehorse is running they have a JOB to do. They must be at least somewhat rateable so that they can be positioned and ridden appropriately. In fact, the good ones have to be REALLY controllable so that they listen to a jockey in the company of lots of galloping horses. Not many other horses can do that.

I love OTTBs. I would have 10 of them if I could. Maybe more. I love the TB brain. I love the "yes ma'am, what can I do for you next" attitude that most of them have. I love the snuggles and the peppermint-houndedness that mine has. When well-trained they have a set it and forget it kind of quality to them.

Cannot say enough good things about them. Really can't. If I had more time I'd take another project one on for resale...oh to have more time...

Mar. 12, 2012, 11:03 AM
Mine is completely like that! Falls asleep in the crossties, doesn't bat an eye if someone drops a bale of hay. I get on him and he MIGHT move ... maybe. He's content to just plod around at the walk and even more content to stand at the center of the arena doing nothing - even better if he can stand at the rail and socialize with someone who will give him treats :) Biggest joke when I got him was that no one could believe he was off track or had ever actually raced let alone WON a race, he was that lazy and slow. Several people had trouble believing he was a TB!

Funny thing is, the horse who is "stall neighbors" with him is a very anxious/nervous type (especially under-saddle) and he's a TB who never set foot on the track :)

Mar. 12, 2012, 11:06 AM
My OTTB raced until age 7, which is a long career. 65 starts, not many wins. When I picked him up off the backstretch and took him home, he was very quiet, almost sad. After some time off and realizing he likes his new life, he's bright and happy and still quiet. Finding his "go" button has been challenging, but its there. He's a "seen it all" professional that will trailer to any show, do his job, and can't wait to get home.

My boy is out of the Deputy Minister line. When I work on his legs he rests his muzzle on my head and just keeps it there. When he is shod he rests his head on the farriers shoulder and closes his eyes. Its adorable.

All I know is that he ran his heart out for a long time and he deserves the very best for a retirement. I am so glad I can give that to him!

Mar. 12, 2012, 12:17 PM
A student of mine just got one off the track. Saw him on 2/19, was scheduled to race on 2/20. He was oated up to his eyeballs and still completely controllable in a web halter with no chain trotting around on the backside. We bought him.

Picked him up a week later, student spent a week teaching him about turnout, hotwire fences, llamas and minis (his companions), tying and handwalking on the roads.

The following weekend (7 days at home), 12 y/o student was able to get on and w/t in the round pen, walk the paths to the arena, and w/t in the arena and over a flower box. The next day he was ridden outside in a big field w/t.

This weekend she w/t/c in a field and trotted a crossrail.

I truly love the TB mind!

Mar. 12, 2012, 01:41 PM
I too own one of these lazy OTTBs (not so much right now as he's been on stall rest for two months for a suspensory). My boy is a bit more spooky than what you all are describing but it's nothing that a little confidence won't fix. Everyone at my current barn is always bad mouthing TBs and saying how hot they are but are amazed at how quiet mine is. I keep telling them that this is the way the majority of them are.

I LOVE TB minds! They are so uncomplicated and always try their best to do what you want them to. I swear mine thinks about everyting we work on one day because the next day he almost always has it mastered. I grew up riding TBs and think that's all I'll ever own from here on out.

Mar. 12, 2012, 04:07 PM
My TB is not OT, but he's definitely super slow. The girl who had him before me bought him off layup as a 2 year old. I was convinced that he was sold because he was too slow for the track.

Because he hasn't experienced the track, he is a little more flighty - "OMG the sound of someone opening a stall door is SCARY. OMG someone stood up! They must be a predator!" when we're in the indoor.

I bought him when he was about 5 1/2. He previously had been used for the girl's mom as a trail horse or leased out to a lesson barn where he picked up some weird habits.

First time I took him on a trail ride with 2 boarders, he led the way confidently. We realized later on the ride that there was no shortcut back to the barn and we'd have to ride down the side of a highway (Vermont highway - so a 4 lane road) to get back before dark. Other horses were an arab and QH. Neither were very happy about riding on the grass or way over on the shoulder. My TB didn't bat an eyelash even with the ridiculous jacked up trucks barreling down at 50 mph went by. It was definitely a NEVER AGAIN experience, but I was glad he was so calm under the circumstances and able to be a good leader for the other horses.

My TB also just sits in the middle of the ring when I put equipment away. Sometimes he'll follow me back and forth as I break down the jumps and move them to the corners. Sometimes he just tries to eat the jump standards. When he bucked me off once after very begrudgingly jumping a barrel from a standstill, he trotted to the center of the ring and stood there while I was wheezing. He's definitely a snuggler - though he prefers scratching his face to hugs. People's backs make the BEST face scratchers.

He's also pretty fat for a TB - people have asked if he's a QH or WB before.

Anyone else find their TBs to be....racist? My guy is pretty elitist when it comes to his pasture buddies. It's like he seeks out other TBs or TBxes. His best buddy at every barn has at least been a TBx if not a full blooded TB. he's "made due" when there weren't other TBs, but throw a TB in the mix and he has made a BFFL.

Vesper Sparrow
Mar. 12, 2012, 05:30 PM
Anyone else find their TBs to be....racist? My guy is pretty elitist when it comes to his pasture buddies. It's like he seeks out other TBs or TBxes. His best buddy at every barn has at least been a TBx if not a full blooded TB. he's "made due" when there weren't other TBs, but throw a TB in the mix and he has made a BFFL.

Yes, they seem to gravitate to each other. My gelding and half-lease mare, both young TBs and both the same age, really hit it off and roll their eyes at the other two non-TBs in the pasture. It's like they are the two smart kids in the class, and they are. And seeing them playing together is breathtaking; incredible displays of athleticism with each one mimicking the other's movements.

Mar. 12, 2012, 09:25 PM
Anyone else find their TBs to be....racist? My guy is pretty elitist when it comes to his pasture buddies. It's like he seeks out other TBs or TBxes. His best buddy at every barn has at least been a TBx if not a full blooded TB. he's "made due" when there weren't other TBs, but throw a TB in the mix and he has made a BFFL.

Mine's quite the snob. He only hangs out with the imported Selle Francais, who's a former GP horse and now happily retired. Before that, he was BFFs with a registered Hano mare who's half TB and very talented at... everything. He's quite the snob about his friends.

Mar. 13, 2012, 09:07 AM
Anyone else find their TBs to be....racist? My guy is pretty elitist when it comes to his pasture buddies. It's like he seeks out other TBs or TBxes. His best buddy at every barn has at least been a TBx if not a full blooded TB. he's "made due" when there weren't other TBs, but throw a TB in the mix and he has made a BFFL.

Haha this is so funny and rather true, at least from what I've seen. When my TB first came to the barn where he is right now, he was in with another TB and a paint and the TB was for sure his BFF.

When I was a kid, there was a TB at our barn who hated greys. If turned out with them he would try to kill them. Any other color was fine. So weird...

GingerJumper - I have one of those too. He's a TB cross and he always finds the best athlete in the herd and that's his buddy.

Mar. 13, 2012, 03:19 PM
You just perfectly described my 6yo OTTB gelding! That's why I bought him!! :) Weird, isn't it?? I half expected him to turn up as drugged at the prepurchase exam!

Mar. 13, 2012, 04:18 PM
We need Xctrygirl to explain the timeline of her new OTTB. Basically he left the track about 7 weeks ago. Now, he hacks out, walks through water, jumps small courses (well) and ships like a pro. After his 1st show (at the 6 week point) he had 4 days off, came back and flat schooled with a few jumps and the next morning loaded up for the COTH Playdate at Judybigredpony's place. There e free schooled, ran around a paddock then came back and jumped everything in the ring before taking a hack around the property and staring down killer Shetlands.
Great TB mind combined with patient handling.

JBRP had a couple at her farm that were just off the track. They all handled well and several free schooled, including one that had never jumped a thing before. You could almost see him figuring it out a bit more each time, plus he was insanely athletic. When he was done he just stood there on a loose lead rope.