I am thinking of purchasing another OTTB but due to changing circumstances I want to send him to a trainer for 30 days to start him in his new career. I have never done this before, I usually started my own and/or was at a barn where a trainer was always available for help.
I have been to the new trainers barn a couple of times and have taken a lesson with her so I am comfortable leaving a horse with her. What questions should I ask about her training program? I just need her to get the horse started on flat work.
Even if she hasn't started ex racehorses it shouldn't exactly be a deal breaker. It all depends on the trainer. You have taken lessons but what is she like with young green horses? I galloped racehorses for years and have restarted many. Also started many TB's and sporthorses. It's all the same with regards to patience and a basic understanding of how green horses work. Restarting should be no different in that they are all individuals and should be treated as such.
I recently spent months trying to find a pro to deal with my half TB mare I bred myself. I also started her myself but wanted a pro to bring her on as I have been away from riding jumpers for awhile. It's not that she is difficult but she is not a typical kick and tell what to do sporthorse. She has a great work ethic and is willing but is also high maintenance. As in attitude. So any trainer I was going to employ had to be excellent with youngsters and have extra patience. Also had to have a good sense of humor to deal with over protective owner. I asked him loads of questions, watched him ride his youngsters and asked quite a few people what he was like. It worked out great. My mare is super happy and allowed to be herself. She is doing better than I ever thought possible.
Also, this BB is full of people who do ex racehorses, sometimes for a living. Check with some who might be in your area.
COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.
"I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.
I'd post something over on the Racing Forum and get some guidence on that. Alot of those posters do it all the time. I have worked with a few but never for just 30 days.
IMO, 30 days may or may not be worth it. That depends on when he came off the track, any let down time, his fitness level and any attempts at training since he came off the track. In other words, he may need untraining before retraining and can be either racing fit or unfit from no work at all and that would be a problem not solved in 30 days to the point he'd get much out of it.
The only thing I can offer is to be sure the trainer can give you and the horse enough time. Alot of them cannot work 6 days a week with colts or other high time projects as they have too much else on their scheduals. Or they go to shows 3 days a week-or more.
That's why you hear the basic "cowboy" style horsemen come up so often for intensive, short term projects-they are good and have time to actually put 30 days into something. Most show and lesson barns simply don't.
If I had a 30 day limit project needing alot of work? I'd NEVER put it in an active show or lesson barn for 30 days-be lucky to get 15 schools out of it.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
There are some trainers who are just "TB people". I bought a mare OTT a few years back and sent her to a trainer with a long history of breaking and retraining TBs. The mare did very well there and she was even jumping a 2'6" course in thirty days.
The questions I would ask. How many rides are included in your 30 day training? Ask to go and watch her training progress.If your paying for it you should be able to see what they are doing.!!!!
Look at the other horses in her program and watch them go. Then decide if a) there are other horses in her program of your horse's general type and personality and b) if you want your horse to go the way her horses go.
Thanks for the replies. The horse has been off the track for 6 weeks. I am going to bring him to my place for a month to do ground work and if he stays quiet start riding him. I have seen OTTBs that the trainer has started and they were doing well for their level. When I talked to her I did not inquire about riding schedules etc. I just did not think of it. For our area there are few shows at this time of year. One big one but I am not sure if she goes to it.
I will call her and get more details. Thanks for the comments!