so....i have to toot my ottb riley's horn. first i bought him off the canter sight. he raced a dozen times. he was fast but when he got passed he said forget it...kinda cute actually to watch. he was unlike my other guy who stands quietly and just does his job for the most part. and he has the tb opinion about bugs/baths/cold/rain. definitely likes the comfort of a stall and a big pile of hay. and then my "cheap" horse colics and i knew it was bad. new bolton knew within 45 minutes that i had a big decision to make. and it was big in one way..emotional..and yes financial. so that was april. he pulled through that and the subsequent staph infection in the wound. but there are so many moments where i am so thankful he pulled through..like tonight when my friend saw us working and said that is a 10 for a walk. and when my trainer mogie said he should consisently score in the 20's if I do it right. even when he pitched a fit tonight when i tried to trot.
especially when i entered him last min in waredaca's nov ht at elementary and i screwed up the test and was asked to start over...lol..i haven't ridden elementary in 5 yrs. especially loved him with every squeal in dressage for his new pony friends in warm up. and you would have thought we completed rolex when we finished on our dressage score.
Mine has put me through the ringer. But I just can't bring myself to stop LOVING working with him! He has a STRONG personality, can be quite naughty at times, and STUBBORN at other times. He has required several stitched areas due to silly injuries also. But when he is good, he is so good, and he gives me better rides than I have ever had--on any horse--nevermind a green bean. I love the little stinker.
What scubed said. I have a secret wish to ride mine in that parade they have at the Maryland Million. I'm so proud of her, even if we never get past BN.
I love how smart my OTTB is. I love that when I let a friend, who is a far better rider than me, ride her in a jumping lesson, he told me afterwards that she was great, and just did all the work for him. I love that I can put toddlers on her and lead her around.
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
Plus I like that they have had a "real job" since they were babies. I feel both sad and proud of my current guy for working so hard (10+ starts/year for 5 years) and still being such a tough, sound, willing beast. He has earned his keep and then some and I feel I owe it to him to give him a nice rest-of-his-life.
I love that you can know their back story to a degree. I love to look at his pedigree and wonder which part of racing royalty contributes to what makes him up.
I love that he has made me a better rider and a better horseman and probably a better human being.
I love that he keeps me honest as a rider.
I love that when I get it right he would give me the world. On that rare occasion I love that he is athletic enough to do it.
Why do I love my OTTB?
He's a Trier - Really gives it 100% all of the time
He's Athletic - He has the cutest jump!
He's Sensible - Passing trucks on a hack, snow sliding off the roof... no big deal
He's Smart - Smarter than me at times... hehe
He's so Handsome - but aren't they all?
(2) Fabulous work ethic, but because of (1) above, I have to challenge him - this is good: keeps me challenged, me thinking, me honest.
(3) Very nice looking boy!!! (in the first pic, he's on the right - his buddy Bow, also an OTTB, is on the left...summer seems so long ago now...)
(4) NOT spooky. Yes, he enjoys his "TB" moments, but out of the ordinary things don't faze him. One dressage show, all the upper level horses were going bonkers over the flowers near C. My OTTB, me without a trainer, we're Intro/Training at that point, and we're the only one in the arena who's "steady-eddy" getting the job done in warmup.
(5) Here's a great story about his buddy Bow: couple of years ago, Ted gets rabies and strangles vaccine. Had a reaction to one - flu like symptoms (never had happened before). Vet comes noontime, he's fine, but by feeding time, 4 PM, he won't come in from the pasture. BO doesn't see them at the gate, goes down to the run in, Ted's in the deep dark recesses, and Bow sticks his head out: "Hey man, we can't come in to dinner, we're sick." BO had to take off her sweatshirt, gingerly lead Ted in, so that Bow would go in as well and eat. For THREE DAYS. I knew Ted was feeling himself when I came out and Bow was grazing about 10 feet away.
As Ted always tells me, "Once you have an OTTB, you never go back!"
he was my first try off the track. I looked at quite a few horses that day, but he was the only one that came up and said hi and has the ultimate soft eye.
he's nosey and is known to quietly put all 17 glorious hands in the middle of group of people to find out what all the hubub is about.
he always quietly nickers "hello", "treats go here" and "feed me first".
he is incredibly laid back, but gets that spark going when needed.
he know immediately if a rider knows what they are doing without testing them. he can immediately tell if a novice rider is on him and that he can get away with being incredibly lazy and will give just enough to get over that xpole.
he can gallop like the wind and be so sure footed...but has known to fall over at the walk.
he puts up with my bad riding, and bellies up to the bar when i ride well.
he is willing and gives 100%, even if he has to groan about it.
he has never used his size against anyone or anything.
he is a walking disaster and totally pathetic when he's hurt--2009 brought me 2 cuts in his knee that became infected, a wire in his tongue, an abcess the vet named "the worst one he's ever seen in 40 years", and various other bruises and owies that kept him from competing or anything else important i want to do (i'm pretty sure he can read the calendar)..
he is now a packer at the fox hunt. he's only hunted a few years, but is the first choice for anyone who has never hunted to have a safe and quite ride, he takes care of them. He has also saved my butt a few times doing xc at an event...he loves the big jumps, but has gotten us eliminated on refusing a 18" drop! what a goob
he's a grandson of seattle slew, my favorite horse when i was a kid. and that his dam is an Irish TB.
The thing that OTTBs bring to the table is loyalty. When they realize that they aren't going to be claimed or sold, forget it, they will give you the moon and then some.
I volunteer with Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, so I see alot of them, but there is one boy in particular who has my heart, Grandy. He is the love of my life, even ask the boy in my life who knows where he ranks next to Grandy!
Nothing is as good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. Sir Winston Churchill.
Although my two are somewhat different (mare is more fiery; gelding is laid back to the extreme), I trust both of them to deliver when the chips are down. Both are incredibly smart, willing, athletic overachievers.
The gelding, at the ripe old age of four, has already figured out what shows are all about and gives 110%. At home, he will challenge my trainer but looks after me. In a dicey situation, he is incredibly brave and steady.
The mare has made it her mission to teach me how to ride and over the three years I've had her, has gradually upped the ante to introduce me to new challenges without ever overfacing me. She is the best teacher I could ever wish for.
She also carts around my non-riding friends and mentally and physically handicapped kids. Last summer, I leant her to a kid learning to event and although she hadn't jumped a course in about six years, she produced a perfect stadium round, with perfect auto changes and a hunter rhythm, all on her own. Although she had never foxhunted before, she took me out when I had only been riding for a year, and brought me back safely.
I agree with the above posts. I love my OTTB because he:
-has a huge personality
-has a sense of justice and will let us know if we are being unjust
-is not spooky (this is a HUGE benefit over warmbloods in my opinion)
-has a nice "go" button but doesn't run away
-trailers like a champion
-has a natural lead change
-and on, and on, and on...just LOVE him.
On the spooking point, I have a cute story. My barn got a new jump panel one day. It looked plain enough to me, but all day long EVERY horse that came into the ring spooked very dramatically at the new jump. I'm talking, enormous snorting skittering backwards spooks. All of those horses were warmbloods (we're in the TB minority at my h/j barn, lol). Later in the day, I brought my 4 year old OTTB into the ring for a hand walk. He has been on stall rest for almost 6 months, and, yes, he is quite "up" some days. Well, we march into the ring for our hand walk and he looks at the jump with his ears VERY forward and then very deliberately turns his head to me with his ears VERY forward, and then back at the jump, and then back to me. Then we walked around like normal and he did not even look at the jump again. It's hard to describe, but it was just hysterical! If he could talk, he would have been saying, "Now THAT is a new jump. Mom, did you see the new jump? It's right there, and it is NEW. I just thought I would point it out, because it is NEW and very pretty." He just cracks me up sometimes. He used to do the same thing whenever the course was reset. Never any spooking, just an acknowledgement that something had changed and an almost human-like notification to me of the fact. So funny!
Let's see--last Sunday's gallop in the snow! Nothing like a horse that is sensible and well within themselves at speed.
Also that she is also a willing, enthusiastic eventing partner, a terrific trail horse, has a floaty-fun trot, not spooky or stupid, and a personality all her own. We won't mention all of the injuries along the way . . . water under the bridge when you have a lovely gallop through the snow.
You Go Girls. One small request could you let us know who they are so that those of us that knew them when can see how great there doing and how much they are loved now. It's just we seldom here once they have moved on to new carears and some of us do really care and would like to know. Maybe a cross post to the Racing thread would be to much to ask.
Muleskick: Good idea. I'm not sure how to move the post (or does the OP need to do that?) But I will tell you that after I bought my mare I did want to contact her original breeders/trainer (never did) to let them know what a great horse she turned out to be. But I know she sucked as a racehorse so I figured they probably would not care (but maybe they were like you and would have been glad to know she was a star at other sports).
I'll try to condense my list! I'm in love with OTTBs in general, but particularly with my guy!
-He's the perfect balance of naughty and nice
-He's a HAM. Think Jim Carrey in horse form!
-He'll give my 6 year old brother a pony ride, or let a total beginner learn to post on him, and then unleash the bucks on ME
-He's incredibly honest, and will try his heart out
-He's an amazing athlete!
-He's a friend. I feel like I can have whole conversations with him.
And the list goes on. I really love working with OTTBs. That love blossomed when I was a little girl riding ponies - the instructors would always say that Thoroughbreds were for the really good riders, and I was always in such awe. To this day, riding a Thoroughbred feels like an accomplishment, something my whole life thus far has been leading up to. They have a weird power over me
They blossom. You bring them home and they change into their new careers and thrive. It is a beautiful wonderous process and I do believe that the bond and heart that you get is their gratitude. It probably comes from that TB sensitivity that we also get hooked by.
I'm taking care of my procrastination issues -
Just you wait and see.