• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Older OTTB's

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Older OTTB's

    So I have always taken OTTB's no older than 5. What is anyone's experience with older ones coming off the track, like 7? Do you find it harder to "take the track" out of them?

  • #2
    I've had really good luck--horses that are sound and sane enough to race that long have a lot to offer. My soundest horse raced on the flat until 7 and o/f until 9. My current guy was 6, almost 7 when he came off the track, was not particularly tough.

    They are a resale disadvantage though. If your horse is starting their event career at 8, it will be worth less than an equivalently trained 4 yo.


    • #3
      I have done great with the older ones, especially for myself. Gizmo (now 21) was 7 when I got him. The great thing was that he was already quite "grown-up" and we could just move along. He did his (and my) first preliminary 15 months after I bought him. Current guy is now 8. I bought him toward the end of his 6 year old year. He (unlike Gizmo) was actually a winning race horse, but has been very easy to retrain. I do agree with the resale thing, although I largely think many people are just wrong on this topic. A lightly jumped 8 year old ready to go prelim is to me just as good as a 5 year old. For the vast majority of riders, it isn't as if they come to the end of their competitive career at age 14 (as so many seem to believe/imply/shop based on).
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


      • #4
        One of our 100 Day Thoroughbred Challenge horses, Suave Jazz, raced until he was 9 and he is FANTASTIC! Nothing phases him (well, except maybe for stream crossings). He's a perfect gentleman and picks things up quite quickly. He is tight in his back from all the years of racing, but even that is getting better. Here are some videos of his progress so far:
        Day 1 of the Challenge: http://youtu.be/NugNT2PlY-g
        Week 2: http://youtu.be/r6vjKac99Sc
        Day 30: http://youtu.be/m1Xjz92TMJw
        Free Jumping (last week): http://youtu.be/yVflIjt52xE
        Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook


        • #5
          Please stop posting videos and training reports of Suave Jazz - I dream about buying him!!!
          Especially for less skilled/bold amateurs doing low level eventing and schooling shows and trails, an older horse seems such a better bet than a youngster. I swear, even the best minded youngsters are going to test your will sometime in that 4-5 years range.
          Personally, I think I'd rather manage some physical needs (not lameness but more maintenance) than work through the unknown mental quirks of young ones.


          • #6
            I echo what Dinah says. I am back to riding in my 40s, and very happy to stay at low level eventing, schooling shows, trails, and some dressage work. My OTTB was 7 when I took him off the track. He is just turning 10 and going strong jumping, loves dressage, and is an all around sound, mature, and reliable horse. He was very mature and businesslike coming off the track, and keeps improving. He had NO problem leaving the track behind and starting his new career almost immediately. I think that if they are still racing at these ages, they have proven that they hold up well!

            I am in the process of taking a 9yo OTTB off the track now!
            "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
            as a thoroughbred horse."

            -JOHN GALSWORTHY


            • #7
              I'll ditto everyone else. I've gotten 3 who were 6 or older with 40+ starts and all transitioned very well. If you are not buying to re-sell I wouldn't hesitate to get an even older one. The "oldest" one I've had was 8 though and he was the only one I sold on. He vetted clean and loves his new job as a foxhunter.
              If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb


              • Original Poster

                Wow Erin thanks for those videos, I wish more people would take that approach with the ottb's there is an amazing difference in that horse! Thanks ! )


                • #9
                  I think it has more to do with the individual than the age. A lightly raced, high-strung 4-year-old can be far more challenging to "take the track out of" than a more even-tempered veteran campaigner.
                  I evented just for the Halibut.


                  • #10
                    I have a constant stream of horses coming in for retraining and some of my absolute easiest are the older horses because they have been there and done that in terms of seeing the world. If they are truly coming off sound it often means that the horse is built to last and that they use their body in a smart way.

                    I may not buy them for resale purposes but my own personal horse that I bought via CANTER Mid Atlantic (he was one of my retraining projects) raced until he was 8yr old and had 58 starts. He may not be the easiest on the flat but he is sound, smart and very talented. Excellent at hacking out, paper chasing, hunting, cross country schooling and just generally a very sane horse. He is probably the toughest older horse that I have had to retrain on the flat but that is more of his attitude (tough old stakes horse who thinks dressage is STUPID!).

                    I find that most of these older racehorses make wonderful ammy horses and tend to be very adaptable to retraining. It can take longer to get their bodies reshaped for the flatwork but it typically is worth it because they tend to have such good brains.

                    Some of my absolute favorite and easiest CANTER Mid Atlantic horses have been the older campaigners. I absolutely love them and they really should not be overlooked! I have two that I sold to members of Wicomico Hunt that are leading 2nd field in their first season of hunting. They just had amazing brains. One of horses that we sold raced until he was 12yrs old!!!!!! He went right to foxhunting as well and was an amazing hunt horse and would have done any other career.


                    • #11
                      I got my guy off the track at the end of his 11 year old season. He's one of the easiest horses I've ridden. He's obviously green, but very good and obedient and he tries.

                      (Watch, he's going to be a nightmare next time I ride just to show me up.)

                      I think TBs retiring after a long career are the best. You know they're well put-together. You know they're sound. You know they're tough. You know they've got a good mind. They've passed the test of time. They've seen and done it all.

                      The only possible downside I see to getting a horse after a long track career versus a short one is I imagine horses who have been on the track for a long time have a more pronounced left-sidedness.
                      Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                      Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                      VW sucks.


                      • #12
                        I agree -- and I used to think completely the opposite, LOL. But I realized that if they have come off the track sound after a solid racing career, they can take a pounding and keep on going. They are, as pointed out by my jumping trainer, who has taken horses to ****, tough enough mentally and physically and have already proven that they are brave and consistent.

                        I got mine as a 7 year old, although I guess he came off the track at 6. He raced for three years, at any rate. Of course, I shop solid legs and feet and good conformation/mind anyway, but knowing he had prevailed under pressure made me feel better about longevity than a 3 year old who had raced once or twice.

                        And for the record, his hock and stifle rads are pristine. :-)
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          Mine is not really "older" but she came home to me at the end of her five year old year, in November. She just turned six. My coach has worked with a ton of younger off the track horses, but with Jess, she's been thrilled about how quickly she has progressed.

                          Although she's green, we don't have the "baby" issues to deal with. She can handle a lot more pressure than a 3 or 4 year old could. She's been in our program less than 90 days and is going to her first combined test next month.
                          So she's too old to get her ready to compete in the YEH classes, but we think it's realistic that she'll be running novice this year... In the grand scheme of things, not too terribly behind. We don't have to go into a holding pattern with her training to give her time to grow up.
                          The rebel in the grey shirt


                          • #14
                            I think - as others have mentioned- that each horse is an individual, so its hard to make sweeping generalizations.

                            That said, when you buy an older horse, over 5 yrs old, what you got is what you got in a lot of ways. Sometimes that's good (miss the terrible fours) but if the horse has some tough tendencies, your not going to be able to mitagte those as thoroughly as you can with a younger horse.

                            So my advice in buying an older race horse is to really pay attention to the attitude and temperment, because that's who he is.

                            And absoultley, if the horse has a bunch of starts and is still sound, there you go

                            BTW- I LOVE Suave Jazz!
                            Unrepentant carb eater


                            • #15
                              Add my voice to those who say the older veterans are easier to retrain. I galloped TBs when I was younger (much) and loved when I got to have the rides on any of the "older" guys, they knew the game and were generally all business. Interestingly, those same horses took to new careers easily because of that mindset. . .all business. One time owner decided to retire his racehorse, a nine year old, low level claimer with a ton of starts, but sound. Buyer came to the training farm with his polo mallet, got on, swinging that mallet on both sides, neck reining that old boy without a thought. This horse was still in training on the track! Buyer Decided he was too big, I got on the phone to a H/J trainer I knew and told her bring the trailer!!


                              • #16
                                i have a lovely grey 17.0 7 yr.old geld that won over 60k at the track and i am retraining him to resell. he is really starting to understand the whole dressage thing, still green and really taking our time. but is a wonderful horse. loves people

                                ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"


                                • #17
                                  The horse I have now raced until the end of his 6 year old year. He is, strangely enough, one of the easiest horses I have ever had for the dressage. He has a lovely soft mouth and a natural self carriage. He is not spooky and has a lovely rythm to his fences. But what I love about him that I think really is related to his time on the track is that he has the best work ethic I have ever found in a horse. I swear sometimes he complains about my work ethic. I think he would be a wonderful mount for a rerider or a junior that financially needed to train their horse themselves.


                                  • #18
                                    Don't get me wrong it isn't just the sire, but I am loving a lot of the old MD bred mares that went to him. Mostly due to Dr. Bowman, but there were some other lovely ones who were serviced by him.

                                    I love my MD bred Slew grandson, Code Wind, by Slew Dancer out of Code Du Marche (Lost Code). I would buy one of his siblings in a heartbeat.
                                    He retired sound at age 8 with 75 starts, and is now 19 years young, packing my daughter around Area1 events. He's honest as the day is long, with a great brain, and an even better work ethic. The worst thing I can say about him is that he's a bit hot, but always very sensible, he just likes to GO.
                                    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville