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OTTB Prospects?

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  • OTTB Prospects?

    Hello, I have been doing a lot of research trying to find a decent young OTTB for an event horse, and have been surprised by the real lack of good horses for the job. I really don't know where to look for a horse. Tried all the big name websites, and it looks like a lot of the organized OTTB sites rope you into a life long commitment to the horse. Basically all I'm looking for is a youngish 4-6 year old horse, no injuries, ok/good conformation, and not crazy that I could take through the levels.

    My mare tore her suspensory a month ago, and several other problems are popping up that would need expensive injections. So at the moment we are out of the eventing world, but since her career is looking uncertain, I really want to be riding in the mean time. Yet, I'm on a college budget... sooo looking in the $0 to max $3000 range.

    Any suggestions? Should I just drag my trainer to the track and pick one? Any good programs you know about? And my last question, is taking a horse off the track even worth it?

  • #2
    I found a wonderful prospect through CANTER. Sound, great temperament and athletic. You need to check frequently though-- the good ones go FAST (mine was posted on a Friday, I saw him on Saturday, vetted and purchased on Sunday).

    Making contacts through the track is a great way to go, too. Knowing what trainers to trust can be very important, and a good networking tool. There are PLENTY of good horses out there, but you have to be patient and resourceful, and then jump on the opportunity when you get the chance.

    Getting a horse off the track is definitely worth it- I got a fantastic prospect for $2500- but of course, things can always turn out different than you'd hoped. You're still buying an unproven horse for sport; what if he turns out to not like jumping, or water? You just don't know until you try... but that goes with ANY green horse, no matter where it came from! If you pick an attractive, sound animal, you should be able to resell it to another discipline if he prefers another job.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~

    Comment


    • #3
      i just sold a stunning gelding that never raced for a little more than 3k. he was sound,sane and beautiful. they are all over the place down here
      i sell quite a few as well.i work for an equine vet, so most of them i get from the training barns, not the tracks.i know what has been done to them and if they have had an injuries.
      Last edited by maxxtrot; Apr. 17, 2012, 10:55 PM.
      www.camaloufarms.com

      ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"

      Comment


      • #4
        I picked one up from Canter 7 weeks ago for $600. So far, is w, t c, jumping 2 ft and trail riding.... seems sound so far, and a very good mover with a great brain
        http://www.cngsporthorses.com

        Comment


        • #5
          There are many good programs that take horses off of the track and start them. Which have you checked out?
          There are over 400 horses listed on CANTER right now, and they are updated daily.

          Comment


          • #6
            We have a database of many of the OTTB placement organizations and rescues as well as private sellers. You can search by location or by name, etc. LOTS of nice horses out there just waiting for a new and more successful career!

            http://www.retiredracehorsetraining....120&Itemid=148
            Erin
            Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              CANTER is great. Not sure what you mean by being roped into a lifelong commitment.... I'm not aware of any OTTB orgs that do that.

              I've gotten quite a few horses from CANTER sources, Mix n match in PA, AC4H, And know people who have had good luck with A Pinch of Luck, Little Kentucky Farm, and Mapleshade on COTH.... There are others on here who specialize in OTTBs....

              My old stallion I got straight from the trainer at Suffolk Downs when I worked there, and my current stallion I got from a trainer in PA.... I've had great luck with the trackies....

              Jennifer
              Third Charm Event Team

              Comment


              • #8
                I didn't find quite what I was looking for online on the CANTER-type of sites after about 8-10 months... lots of really nice, well put-together horses, appeared sound, etc. But for some reason nothing really stood out, esp. once I saw them in the flesh...

                A day (literally) after I decided to stop looking, a guy (who has known my BO for a long time) came into the barn and said he had "a horse" that they didn't want to go to just anybody, he was their baby so they didn't list him with an agency/organization.

                Lo and behold, whatever I did/didn't think I was looking for, this horse had and so much more. Has been nothing short of incredible under saddle.

                I know a girl or two who works at the local track, next time around I would probably prefer to shop directly off the track myself versus peruse online ads only. Maybe find someone with connections and go take a look in person!
                A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Check out craigslist once in a while. I have found some nice unraced tbs on there. You have to pick through them, but I find some that are owned by trail riders and they are too much horse for them. Some of my nicests finds are from CL.
                  Derby Lyn Farms Website

                  Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I found my two best/favorite OTTBs by window shopping on general websites. One I found on equine.com, the other on a Va based equine classified site. Both had been taken off the track one way or another and had the very, very basics of being a riding horse begun on them. You just have to be willing to dig and observant.

                    Keep checking CANTER etc. It may just take some patience.
                    Amanda

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have bought a lot of mine just shopping on dreamhorse.com and in this economy there are a ton in that price range, many of them well-started. Also, people are often willing to negotiate if going to a good home.

                      Otherwise, CANTER for sure, COTHs own jleegriffith starts some of these and they can be had in your price range when still in the early training stages (but often have already been let down, which I really like). New Vocations, Makers Mark Secretariat Center, and other places listed by RRTP folks are also places to look.
                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Obviously I'm biased, but I'd shop CANTER-owned horses first, because they've had a little retraining and I trust the folks doing that (between fairweather and jlee I KNOW they'd make sure I was getting a really good match, not that I don't trust my own judgement, it's actually proven to be pretty good, but every once in a while my heart overwhelms my common sense, heh). Also it doesn't involve being roped into a lifetime commitment, I like the terms of the sale contract, etc.

                        Second I'd go to the track, but largely because I know lots of people there and have learned what barns to look in, heh. I've learned what bloodlines I tend to like, and who I feel would be fair/honest with me, so I'm pretty comfortable with this option. I think going to the track can be very worth it, but it's easy to get overwhelmed, it's like being in a candy store. So if you go this route make sure to have really good eyes with you, and definitely get a prepurchase exam.

                        Thirdly I'd look around at other area orgs (like Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue) or trusted sellers (places like Maple Shade Farm, or folks like jleegriffith who may have some awesome horses besides/in addition to canter prospects).

                        I have been doing a lot of research trying to find a decent young OTTB for an event horse, and have been surprised by the real lack of good horses for the job.
                        Honestly, I'm going to disagree with you here. There are TONS of horses out there who are GREAT for this job. It just takes good eyes to see the potential sometimes (through bad photographs, track muscling, track stiffness/hinkiness that is not really a soundness problem, etc). Maybe it's because I'm putting up the listings on a regular basis, and have learned to see past bad photos, or see all the really nice beasties coming into our program, but I think there's certainly no shortage of REALLY nice horses out there.
                        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                        My CANTER blog.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I also think there are so many lovely horses out there but in that price range you have to be prepared to look at some diamonds in the rough. When I did resale for myself I tended to look at dreamhorse, equine.com and all the local resellers who were experienced in letting down and restarting ottb's. I was always more comfortable buying something let down because I felt it reduced my risk of ending up with the wrong horse.

                          I think buying from the track is perfectly okay if you are willing to take a risk. You will need to let the horse down and only then will you really know if that horse is going to like eventing. You have to be prepared to accept that a horse you buy at the track might not love the discipline that you intended for it so if you don't want to resell the horse than buying from the track may not be the best option.

                          I understand the fear of being stuck into a contract that doesn't allow resale. There are many great organizations that have realistic contracts. There are also many people who specialize in retraining and reselling ottb's. If you do a search on this board you will find lots of input on where to shop.

                          I love that the Retired Racehorse Project has put together a nice list- http://www.retiredracehorsetraining....=66&Itemid=292
                          http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
                            CANTER is great. Not sure what you mean by being roped into a lifelong commitment.... I'm not aware of any OTTB orgs that do that.
                            Bright Futures Farm does it... they retain the horses papers, rope you in to a contract and require yearly updates. You are the "life foster parent" not the adopter. You never legally own the horse on paper, cannot ever sell said horse and if you cannot keep the horse for any reason you have to send the horse back to them. While I love my horse dearly and wouldn't give him up for the world, it's not something I would ever do again.
                            Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                            Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                            "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
                              CANTER is great. Not sure what you mean by being roped into a lifelong commitment.... I'm not aware of any OTTB orgs that do that.
                              Akindale does. Mandatory annual vet reports to send in & you can't ever sell the horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I always get so confused when folks show up and say they can't find an eventing prospect There are so many out there, I am always impressed I don't have 12 of my own :P
                                What I find most interesting is when we will advertise a lovely horse at a great price that amateurs will come out and say "no way", but a professional upper level rider says "SEND HIM IMMEDIATELY!"
                                You have to be realistic about what you are looking for in the price range you are looking. Look past the fuzz, the bad trims on feet, the skin funk and find yourself a really polish-able diamond!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by FairWeather View Post
                                  I always get so confused when folks show up and say they can't find an eventing prospect There are so many out there, I am always impressed I don't have 12 of my own :P
                                  What I find most interesting is when we will advertise a lovely horse at a great price that amateurs will come out and say "no way", but a professional upper level rider says "SEND HIM IMMEDIATELY!"
                                  You have to be realistic about what you are looking for in the price range you are looking. Look past the fuzz, the bad trims on feet, the skin funk and find yourself a really polish-able diamond!
                                  I know....give me a month and I could find 1/2 a dozen very nice prospects (from mostly private sellers). I do think sub 3K is tougher (2500-4500 is a better range) but still very possible. But for that price....you do have to be able to see a dimond in the rough. If they are already polished diamonds (with still a bit of a rough cut)...they will likely cost more
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Check this guy out...
                                    http://www.canterusa.org/index.php?o...ainer-listings

                                    I know he doesn't have the most attractive noggin on the planet, but look at the rest of him. I bet he would be an awesome event prospect!
                                    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                                    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                                    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I took a friend out to one of the CANTER layup farms and I was gushing about a few of the horses there that I just know are going to be really special. She thought I was absolutely off my rocker. All she could point out was that they had no muscle, ugly coats, cuts and scrapes and were foot sore. I can bring those same horses back to my farm and several months later you won't recognize them but they won't be priced cheap

                                      I think that one reason the horses at the track sell well is that race horses are kept in beautiful condition with lots of feed and a good workout program. It's hard not to find them beautiful because they look as good as show horses (well those in good barns do!).

                                      You take a horse that is gorgeous on the track and give it a month or two off to be a horse and they lose that condition. Some of them transition better than others but when they do the big crash they can be almost unrecognizable. You have to be able to look at the basic conformation, rideability and raw talent.

                                      If you want to really get an idea of how they can change take a look at these before and after pics.
                                      http://dixierumble.wordpress.com/before-and-after/
                                      http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I always get so confused when folks show up and say they can't find an eventing prospect There are so many out there, I am always impressed I don't have 12 of my own :P
                                        I actually currently have 6 of my own and just sold one. I see horses every day that I wish I could buy and am pretty sure will make good eventers. I agree about the big crash thing. That said, I'm all about basic conformation and a good brain (though I do have a soft spot for a cute face and all of mine do have cute faces too ). Admittedly, as BFNE said, under 3k a bit tougher, but be aware that many horses advertised at 5k (or even more) are available at half that price in the current market or if you are buying shortly after listing. For example, I bought one from MapleShade that she was willing to sell at less than the listed price (for a limited time) before she put more work into him. In today's market, many reasonable sellers are happy enough if they can sell quickly to a good home
                                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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