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  • Ottbs

    Am I ready for my first ottb? I currently own an arab and have ridden several ponies for my trainer what do y’all think?

  • #2
    I think we need more information. Like where will you keep it, who will be helping you and how much experience restarting career changing horses or breaking colts you have. It’s not rocket science but horses coming off the track often need a physical and mental let down from the go, go, go career with 7 days a week conditioning to help them readjust to their new lifestyle. It’s not all sunshine and butterflies.

    Are you going to be able to afford somebody with experience helping you pick out a suitable prospect and at least a basic PPE either before purchase or immediately after you get it home so you know if and what physical limitations you may be dealing with and how they can be managed?
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #3
      OTTB vary as much in personality as other breeds, but skewed over to the hot reactive side of course. You can get yourself an OTTB that is comparable to an athletic horse of another breed, or you can get one that's permanently five feet off the ground. A lot will depend on whether the horse developed an aptitude for racing, whether it developed neurotic behavior at the track, and how it has been handled or ridden up to now. Some horses wash out in training and never really figure out the race til you burst thing.

      That said, a period at pasture in a herd to let down is very useful, as is then keeping the horse at a place with good turnout. And the rider needs to have a sticky seat and be OK with forward. It doesn't matter what breed of horse, if the rider keeps choking it back problems will develop.


      • #4
        Trained OTTB? Just finished racing and not restarted OTTB? Have you ever worked with a green horse before? Just riding other horses, regardless of their breed, doesn't necessarily mean you'd be ready for an OTTB... but we have no other details to go off of here. You may be and you may not be.


        • #5
          An easy way to gain experience is to see if there is a local trainer who takes in and restarts OTTBs and ask if you can volunteer. Initially you may be mucking stalls and cleaning tack but over time you may be asked to help with more and more hands on stuff. This can give you a lot of valuable experience under experienced eyes while picking up invaluable training tools along the way. An OTTB can range from very laidback and bombproof to lighting hot and reactive. The more time you can spend around them and the more experience you get, you can better determine whether it is a good option to pursue. Personally, experience taught me that I like specific TBs but am not interested in a OTTB unless it is many many years off the track. Conversely, I know several people who exclusively own and ride OTTBs.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Joking Equestrian View Post
            Am I ready for my first ottb? I currently own an arab and have ridden several ponies for my trainer what do y’all think?
            What does your trainer think? S/he is the one who knows you and your abilities. What does your Arabian think about it? Do you plan to keep him/her?
            Rack on!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post

              What does your trainer think? S/he is the one who knows you and your abilities. What does your Arabian think about it? Do you plan to keep him/her?
              Why does it matter what her Arabian thinks or if she plans on keeping him? People sell horses all the time, especially children, teenagers and young people. They outgrow their horse's size and capability.

              OP- we need more details on your riding ability, your goals, the horse's future living situation and training situation. Are you going to be doing all the re-training, will the horse be in full training for awhile or in partial traing? Are you planning on buying straight from the track? From an OTTB re-homing organization, from a private seller where the horse is retrained and already doing what you want the horse to do? We don't really have enough information to begin to guess if you are ready.

              For me I bought an OTTB that had already been let down. I did not see him ridden or get to ride him myself. He had only been ridden 5 times after coming off the track and that was 5 months before. I will be the first to admit that I got lucky that I really like his personality and he works well for me. He is actually an easier ride than my arab cross. I work with a dressage trainer and a jump trainer who both have a lot of experience with TBs and with young horses.
              Since my arab was such a tough ride I was pretty confident that I could work with a fairly green OTTB even though I had not worked with many young green horses. I bought he from a well known, well respected re-seller. I had both the ground help and if necessary the riding help from my trainers. I have been able to primarily do the re-training myself but if necessary I could have put him in full training for a few months. My riding goals are not very specific so pretty much as long as he was happy doing one of the English disciplines: dressage, hunters, eventers, foxhunting, trail riding, low level jumpers I would be happy. I didn't have a set goal of turning him into Adult Ammy hunter or upper level eventer.
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)