I'm riding 2 OTTBs now that I wouldn't trade for anything. Both are older gentlemen, who love love love to jump! Since they're a bit on the older side (well more than a bit...Huey will be 21 on Jan 1st!), they've got some neat horses close up in their pedigrees.
Huey is by Time for a Change out of an imported TB mare...and his grandsire was the great Damascus. He'll be 21 come January...and still bebopping around xc like a kid. Here he is at age 19 doing what he does best: www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ViewAlbum.aspx?a=458078
How sweet and wonderful your boy sounds!!! I love that story!!!
I have several OTTB's but my love is Petey. He's like a big dog who loves attention and is the laziest things ever. How he ever raced is beyond me and he's even an Alydar grandson!!! We have been through some hard times since I bought him 4 years ago but he just keeps trying and I think we have a special bond. Here is a picture of him this past fall at his 3rd hunter show and first time doing 2'!!! (yep baby jumps)!!!!
That's so funny that you say that, because the only money I have ever put into my OTTB is board, shoeing, and vaccinations! I'm very glad I didn't get one of the self-destructive ones. My friend, on the other hand, has one that has a new issue every time you turn around.
Anyway, I love hearing about everybody's OTTBs! Keep the stories coming!
I think the same thing (as the OP) every time I ride my OTTB. After EVERY SINGLE RIDE I come into my house and say, "oh my god, I LOVE Billy!" It annoys the crap out of my husband who's tired of hearing about how much I like that horse
I feel the same way every time I take him to a show or a clinic and he does something that *should* be scary or hard or something......he's such a trier and such an athlete that everything comes easy to him and he never has attitude about it (under saddle at least). The first time I showed him at 3'6" I expected him to be nervous about it, but instead he just trucked around like he'd been doing it his entire life. I'm looking forward to moving him up through more levels this year.....
Cally is still very much a work in progress, but the thing I hear most often is "wow, she's cute!" And I can't disagree.
She's been off the track a bit over two years, and I adopted her from CANTER about a year and a half ago. We've had a few injury-related delays in our progress, but she's always been incredibly smart and willing. This fall, we're finally getting into consistent work, she's starting to get using her hind end, and we're both learning that the Long Spot Is Not Our Friend She does have a pretty decent front end, so I think once we get that "round" thing down, we'll be good to go for the VHSA stuff this spring Plus, the cute face I'm hoping will really work in our favor!
Does my mare qualify as an OTTB if she got thrown off the track before she raced? Actually, I'm kind of proud of her for figuring out how to get out of there.
I am too wussy to have been her first off-track owner and thank a nice lady in PA for teaching her everything that she's now trying to teach me.
I'm amazed at how many are just discovering the TB. But, again, I , like a few others, are old school and grew up with the TB being THE horse to ride. Don't know how those imported warmbloods got to be so popular. Not to say that some of them are not lovely animals--they ARE. But the TB is first and foremost in my heart as the horse of choice. To me, they have the most class. Then again, I have had the opportunity to ride some fabulous Arabians. They too are an amazing and wonderful breed.
I wouldn't kick any wonderful horse out of the barn, but boy oh boy, the TB sure is special to me.
My guy is my first horse ever, and I have been in the business teaching now for over 10 years. I got him from Laurierace's thread about desperately needing to place ottb's. I drove up to Maryland, loaded him up, and never looked back. His racing name is Roy's Legacy, currently renamed "Ricochet". Holy crap, I love that horse. He is just AWESOME. The farrier commented that he is way too sane to be so fresh off the track; I just got him the end of August. He's 5. SUCH an awesome boy. I've popped him over a few teeny jumps, and we've galloped across the pasture once ... wow, what a rush! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...dbeautiful.jpg
HAHA! As if. They are the greatest creature known to man. I'm on my 3rd one of my own, and I've lost count of how many I've ridden over the years. I grew up riding them, since that was what we could afford. There is nothing like taking a 3 year old to a show and having it be the best behaved one on the grounds. Even my stupid one was smarter than everything else.
I had the good fortune of being offered a job working with some track horses while I was in high school -- at the time I just wasn't strong enough to be a useful member of the team, but I lasted long enough to get hooked for life and picked up some very useful skills which landed me my next job at a barn full of OTTBs.
There I had the absolute privilege of riding a horse named Wheeling Free, a lovely bay who showed me how truly generous and athletic TBs can be. I also fell madly in love with a little grey mare named Pynch 'N' Wait, the first to teach me the rewards of tact and patience.
Also from that job, I acquired my first TB of my very own: Paula's First, aka Sweet Pea, shown here about eleventy billion years ago when we were in college. She's still with me today, and we know and trust each other implicitly.
Along the way I've ridden and worked with tons of OTTBs, and I've found they often make the best school horses, be they packers that take care of you no matter what, or true school masters that point out all your flaws until you learn how to ask correctly and then -- wow! I wish I knew the Jockey Club names of all the ones I took lessons on so I could pay homage.
When I was teaching for another farm, two OTTBs --E. J. Wallace and Dancers Charm-- were the core of my lesson program. I also had use of an appy, a QH, and a neat drafty/Saddlebred cross...but it was E.J. and Dancer who I could use for anyone and trust to remain steady even if the little body up in the saddle wasn't or if there was snow sliding off the roof.
These days I help out at a farm which has several TBs, some still running, some retired. I've been working the most with this one -- if it looks like we're having fun, it's because we are!
I also currently own two CANTER cuties that I wouldn't trade for the world.
Salty's Actress has been with me a little over a year, and I am blown away by her potential. She is so smart and so cat-like. I see her move out at pasture and wonder if I can do her justice...
Rasor D is the epitome of TB heart. He retired at age ten with 130 starts, so suffice to say he has a lot of track in him...but in the two years since I've brought him home little by little he's been unlearning some of his less desirable racing habits --like tension and anxiety when he *thinks* he should be winding himself up-- and replacing them with new skills. Yes, we can have a flat-footed walk in the woods! And yes, we can bend! Well, sometimes we can. Though he's a long-term project under saddle, Rasor is always a gentleman, and a peach to work around. Oh, and devastatingly handsome too if I do say so myself.
They are all individuals --I think that's important to remember-- and they're not necessarily for everyone. So far, though, I have yet to meet an OTTB that I didn't like.
Last edited by Barnfairy; Dec. 20, 2008 at 12:45 AM.
Whoile I LOOOOVE OTTBs and THOROUGHLY enjoyed the on I had, I have to say I consider them to be a "money pit." Like a boat is "a hole in the water you SHOVEL MONEY into".
This has certainly been my experience, unfortunately.
Ya-ya came off the track with 2 chips in each front fetlock, and no cartilage left in one. I was green and had only bought horses out of the field...cold, clean legs MEAN something when you buy something in the field. Cold, clean legs don't mean a DAMNED thing when you buy off the track. Learned the hard way!
Ms Blush saw the vet before I bought her, but HER fetlock chip was in a weird place and not viewable on the lateral rads. Surgery to remove the chip showed depo deposits, which were debrided but caused significant pain following surgery. IRAP solved that problem, but she popped with impressive changes in her neck a year later. She's sound now, but it's been expensive, and I don't know how long she'll be comfortable.
I love love love TBs, but I've had a crappy track record with them.
Thanks Linny! I wonder where you saw him; Rasor's been up & down the east coast from Calder to Woodbine but I know he never raced in NY. I'm pretty sure the trainer that had him the longest, back around 2000, is based in the Finger Lakes now but he used to go back and forth between Suffolk and Fort Erie.