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Is it worth getting a OTTB?

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  • Is it worth getting a OTTB?

    Hi All,
    I am kinda in a funk. So humor me..... After reading the thread about managing goals got me thinking. I have no real budget for a WB and I was looking for something else (non arab) I used to gallop racehorses and they are in my budget. BUT everyone I am around says no to the OTTb. I have a great trainer and taking regular lessons. At this time I have no riding horse but I am riding a schoolmaster for lessons and riding anything I can borrow in between lessons...lol and really want to ride my own. My goals are to get to 3rd and my bronze. So are the OTTB out of the question?
    Thanks

  • #2
    For me, it's all about conformation and temperament. A nice ground covering stride is also good. I don't worry so much about the swing on an OTTB because if the conformation is correct, that can be developed. A big overstep is good. Good bone is a must. And I love the TBs mind. Most are so willing and have great worth ethics. If you find one you like and can work with, go for it. I got mine 6 years ago and my UL trainer thought he was a Dutch Warmblood!

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: So are the OTTB out of the question?

      Absolutely not! In fact my former dressage trainer, Christine Betz, tried to get me to look at TBs for dressage (I really wanted a draft cross though). She has all her medals and she's brilliant so I'm thinking her opinion has merit. You need to have expert eyes look at the before to make sure you get the kind of conformation that wil give you the after.

      Paula
      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...=OTTB+dressage

        I rest my case! You just need to know what to look for.

        ETA link to my horse in post 35
        A helmet saved my life.

        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

        Comment


        • #5
          It may not be the norm but there are some very nice TB in the dressage world. Some of the previous threads will list names of well known riders and their successful TB's


          There's also someone on COTH who trained one of their OTTB to 4th level/PSG and even competed him sidesaddle. I keep forgetting who it was, but I'm sure someone will post links.

          People have even competed mules in dressage to great success, so I don't think the breed matters so much. H*ll, somebody on youtube even has a camel doing 1-tempis.

          I think the thing about Warmbloods is all about stacking the deck in your favor. If you would like to get a TB because that's what's in your budget, you may need to look longer to find what you want but nice ones are out there.

          Comment


          • #6
            As the others have said. Definitely possible. It may take awhile. The Canter person for PA was just telling me about a lovely dressage type stallion that was being listed. Here is TB - Sea Accounts doing his Prelim dressage test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMGBz...ature=youtu.be
            Epona Farm
            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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            • #7
              You would be surprised what you can afford in a WB if you save the amount you would have been spending on board, shoeing, etc.

              That said, I'm VERY pro-OTTB. I have an 11 year old TB on his 3rd career. He has emotional scars from his past which are an issue, but particular to him not all TBs. That said, he doesn't really spook and I constantly have to get him to ease up when he learns something new because he will give me so much collection/impulsion/bend/lateral motion he'll hurt himself if I let him. He was taught changes very well on the track so he still throws them if I goof something up then switches back when he realizes I wasn't trying to ask for one. He is very well built and dressage is fairly natural to him, and he happens to absolutely love it. I would definitely say make sure you ride with a trainer who will not try to contain energy, but instead work with it.

              I was interested in getting an OTTB for my next horse, but the nice ones I tried to get all sold almost instantly. Instead I got my WB dream horse who was started under saddle last week. I definitely have different plans for her than I would have for a TB just because being purpose-bred gives her naturally more elastic gaits with more suspension. She does have a lot of TB, though, which was a requirement for all the positives about their temperaments mentioned above. It has been interesting seeing her under saddle and how her gaits and carriage are pretty much good enough after 4 rides for a training level test. Dressage is hard no matter what, but we'll have a head start in some areas.

              It really just depends on what you want, how soon, etc.
              Originally posted by Silverbridge
              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

              Comment


              • #8
                There are many TBs/OTTBs in eventing and Advanced level dressage tests are probably equivalent to about Third Level or Fourth Level (half pass, flying changes, extensions, maybe 1/2 pirouette, but no piaffe and passage).

                Comment


                • #9
                  TB's can do anything, the right TB, you should take a pro shopping with you.
                  Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A good horse is a good horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, its possible. If you buy straight off the track, try to keep yourself from making a timeline. Some of them could do a training level test well in 6 months. Others take that long to stop leaning on the bit for balance. Yet others are still in need of vet, chiro, and time off after 6 months.

                      If you can, buy one that is restarted already, that you can actually sit on and try.

                      Take someone who is good at conformation with you. This may or may not be your trainer or vet. The horse's muscling will be all wrong, so it will take a good eye for bone structure to pick the one that will do the job.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are some very nice TBs out there. Not everyone has awesome gaits in the dressage view, but some do. The first lesson I had with my first OTTB (6yr old, training level at the time), my instructor told me he had FEI potential. Now after 10 years we aren't there yet, but that's not his fault. It's mine; because I've been doing all the training and I am a slow learner. But hey, I'm having fun learning 3rd/4th level. Over the years I've had some good dressage folks ask me if he's a Holsteiner (sp?). Everyone agrees he's got nice gaits.
                        Get one of the nice ones and you can do some very nice dressage. The path of your progress may not be the same as a "typical" WB; issues my arrive at different points in the path, but you can get there all the same. And you'll have fun along the way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A TB could definitely go to third and earn you a bronze medal, but with an OTTB, it is unlikely. The reason is most OTTB have some back issues and other issues that will show up somewhere along the line and very likely before they earn you that bronze medal. Sure some former race horses are super sound and will not have any issues, but most OTTB will. This is a simple negative unavoidable sid-effect of working a horse so hard so young. There is also the fact that TBs are so imbred and are not bred to be uphill, and very often have crappy feet. Oh and I forgot to add that most horses off the track have a history of ulcers. You might get lucky and find a TB with the soundness longevity to make it to third, but statistically you probably won't. If you are on a limited budget and don't have endless money for vet bills, chiro, joint injections etc, I would advise against getting a horse off the track. The price of the horse may initially seem like a steal but likely in the long run you will have a horse with issues that does not make it to third. Plus it costs the same amount to train, shoe, show, etc etc a horse that had a low purchase price as it does to take care of a more expensive horse. My advice it to lease a horse for a few more years and really save up money for the purchase price. Of course any horse regardless of the price can be a soundness lemon but starting with an OTTB you are taking a greater chance of having that be your reality. Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dang, Kellyp, did you just register to say this? Has this been your experience as a dressage trainer, long-time owner of OTTBs or successful dressage horses?

                            Paula
                            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ^^^ I'm thinking they must have had a bitter experience with an ottb to post all those negatives. Depending on the rider, most horses will move up the levels faster than their owners. (barring soundness issues)
                              Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by kellyp View Post
                                A TB could definitely go to third and earn you a bronze medal, but with an OTTB, it is unlikely.
                                Um, no.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Kellyp's a Debbie Downer. My very first riding teacher (who rode at the SRS for a while) had two horses -- one, a very TB type Appendix QH, the other, a Bull Lea TB mare. I adored that mare!

                                  Before WB's arrived in great numbers here, there were TB's, OTTB's sport-bred TB's. They hunted, evented and did dressage, too. The OTTB that I purchased for $300 RIGHT off the track had some "cow" in her. Lovely mare. Personable, good work ethic, pretty as could be.

                                  I'd do another OTTB in a heartbeat if the opportunity arises!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I was just trying to give the op some "sound" advice. If someone is on a budget and can only afford one horse, then I believe they should go and try to find the soundest prospect they can. Statistically speaking an OTTB is not usually the "soundest" prospect. I am not bitter against OTTB or prejudice against them. I have owned numerous horses off the track. A couple of them were sound and very capable jumping horses. Two had successful dressage careers, one of those to 3rd level. However, a lot of them did have back issues and other various issues, even though these issues did not show up on a ppe when they were purchased. I have also known people who have taken OTTBs to advanced level eventing and have seen horses that have stayed sound for long jumping careers. I have seen many many more however that had chronic ulcers, very very bad feet, arthritis in the back and neck and other back issues, and various other career limiting soundness issues at a disproportionate rate when compared to the average warmblood that is bred for the Olympic sports, not started until it is at least 3 years old and not run balls-out on a track. Personally I have not touched an OTTB for many years for a couple of reasons. Firstly I no longer do eventing or HJ and I am interested in horses that have the competitive gaits, self carriage, conformation , rideability etc to do well at FEI. ( and that very rarely is a TB) Secondly, I have the skill set to start and bring along a horse on my own so I can pick up an unstarted and more importantly not physically overstressed at such a young age warmblood with talent at a price that makes sense to me. I do however know that you really don't know what you have soundness wise with any horse until that horse is about 6. Even with the best bred, most carefully raised warmblood with totally clean xrays and no history of soundness issues, a certain percentage of those horses are not going to hold up to the rigors of a riding career. I am willing to take this risk as from my experience it is a significantly lower risk then starting with a horse that is off the track and was put under great physical stress at such a young age.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Coincidentally, check out the "unsellable horse" in Off Course, kind of a cute chestnut TB that moves kind of nicely. Price is right, all you need is transport from Arkansas/Alabama?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by kellyp View Post
                                        I was just trying to give the op some "sound" advice. If someone is on a budget and can only afford one horse, then I believe they should go and try to find the soundest prospect they can. Statistically speaking an OTTB is not usually the "soundest" prospect. I am not bitter against OTTB or prejudice against them. I have owned numerous horses off the track. A couple of them were sound and very capable jumping horses. Two had successful dressage careers, one of those to 3rd level. However, a lot of them did have back issues and other various issues, even though these issues did not show up on a ppe when they were purchased. I have also known people who have taken OTTBs to advanced level eventing and have seen horses that have stayed sound for long jumping careers. I have seen many many more however that had chronic ulcers, very very bad feet, arthritis in the back and neck and other back issues, and various other career limiting soundness issues at a disproportionate rate when compared to the average warmblood that is bred for the Olympic sports, not started until it is at least 3 years old and not run balls-out on a track. Personally I have not touched an OTTB for many years for a couple of reasons. Firstly I no longer do eventing or HJ and I am interested in horses that have the competitive gaits, self carriage, conformation , rideability etc to do well at FEI. ( and that very rarely is a TB) Secondly, I have the skill set to start and bring along a horse on my own so I can pick up an unstarted and more importantly not physically overstressed at such a young age warmblood with talent at a price that makes sense to me. I do however know that you really don't know what you have soundness wise with any horse until that horse is about 6. Even with the best bred, most carefully raised warmblood with totally clean xrays and no history of soundness issues, a certain percentage of those horses are not going to hold up to the rigors of a riding career. I am willing to take this risk as from my experience it is a significantly lower risk then starting with a horse that is off the track and was put under great physical stress at such a young age.
                                        ironically enough, i've known more high dollar warmbloods ($$$$$$) to be "statistically unsound" than free or less than $500 OTTBs.......


                                        OP, ottbs are wonderful horses and if you like to see progress and make a life-long partner, take a pro with you and see what you can find. a bronze is a great goal to have, and an OTTB can definitely take you there with the right training!
                                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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