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Questions for OTTB owners

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  • Questions for OTTB owners

    Hi everyone. I just bought a 16.2 hand, 4 year old, OTTB mare. Here she is.


    Here are some questions:

    1. What do you do to keep your OTTB's feet in good health? Supplements, Topical stuff, shoeing techniques? This girl is getting shoes on the front this week as her front feet are missing a bit of the wall on both sides and parts of her sole are making contact with the ground right now. At present we are only doing really easy stuff in a soft (sand?) arena and we will stop that if there are any signs of soreness. The hope is to grow out the missing wall and then see if she will still need shoes in front. Has anyone ever used easy boots- that would seem like a nice compromise if most of you're riding is in the arena but then you go out on trails every so often?

    2. How do you find out about their race record? Do you have to pay the jockey club for a report?

    3. Her papers say she was foaled in May 2004 so she's four right? If she were racing she would be considered to be 5 years old on January 1st, 2009 even though she really won't turn 5 until May correct?

    4. She has only been ridden about 13 times since she left the track last Spring. She is very smart and sensible and will walk and trot, and drop her head when I give her gentle pressure on the bit (alternating left and right sides). I am teaching her voice commands and have ordered that paperback from Amazon about OTTBs that is so popular. I will also be working with a trainer very soon. The trainer looked at her before I bought her and really liked her. I know all horses are different but what would be some approximate timelines for where she might be in 1, 2, 3 years (what progression might be expected through the lower levels. I am in no rush, just wanting to take it slow and safe. I doubt we would be do any jumping for at least 6-12 months and then only little stuff. Someone thought that based on her pedigree she would probably be good at jumping. I'll try to post a link.


    Thanks in advance to all!!!

  • #2
    1. Like any other horse, hoof care is very individual. There are some common things you see in a horse just off the track- underrun heels and long toe can be pretty prevalent, or lack of depth in sole. Very attentive shoeing and trimming can do wonders. And yes, many people have successfully used boots on TBs. The same supplements and care that applies to any horse applies to them Biotin, or farrier's formula is always good. For topicals, I like keratex or venice turpentine on the soles.

    2. If you have the horse's registered name you can go to several websites and order the lifetime past performances for around $8. I like equibase. If you don't have the reg'd name, you need to call the JC and get tattoo research, which is $35 (and if the match turns out to not match your horse, they'll rerun variations of the number in case you got it wrong, to look for the right horse)

    3. Yep, she's 4, and would be considered five on January 1

    4. I think for a calm horse who learns quickly, it wouldn't be unusual to have them ready for their first competition within the first year (I know several who have gone and done their first introductory eventy things after 7 or 8 months). After that, the progression would likely be similar to any other horse, and based more on you as the rider/trainer
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, and while we are at it can anyone recommend any good books about eventing? Also can anyone recommend a good Biotin supplement where to get the best deal on it?


      • #4
        With OTTB's, I find that the Laminae (sp?) is often not as tight due to the quality of the feed. The first thing I do is stick them on a hoof supplement to try and grow it all out. I like Shoer's Friend. It's the exact same as Horseshoers Secret, but less expensive. If they can go barefoot, I let them. I really do think it's best to harden their feet, and rehab has always gone smoother/faster on a barefooted horse than one I had to shoe because he was so tender. I also use Keratex religiously. For a week, I paint it on the soles (not frog) and walls up to (but not including) the coronet band. Then, I just do it once a week. It hardens the foot, and has made many a tender horse comfortable. It also helps with crumbly feet when you're trying to get shoes to stay.

        And an extra note on hoof supplements: Biotin alone won't achieve much. Copper and Zinc are also necessary to help build a good hoof wall. Shoer's Friend has all of these, and I've seen the best results with it.

        Everything else has been pretty well covered by caffeinated.


        • #5
          If you go to brisnet.com you can access the full pedigree and race record for free.

          Looks like her record is:
          2006: 12-0-0-0 $5,575
          2007: 6-0-1-0 $2,950
          2008: 3-0-0-0 $900

          Total: 21-0-1-0 $9,425


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by equestrianerd View Post
            If you go to brisnet.com you can access the full pedigree and race record for free.

            Looks like her record is:
            2006: 12-0-0-0 $5,575
            2007: 6-0-1-0 $2,950
            2008: 3-0-0-0 $900

            Total: 21-0-1-0 $9,425
            Could she have been trying to say... "Enough of this racing malarky! I want to be an eventer!"

            Also what do 12-0-0-0 (6-0-1-0 and 3-0-0-0) mean?


            • #7
              12-0-0-0 (et al) means 12 starts, no wins, no place, no show (1st, 2nd or 3rd).
              Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


              • #8
                First number is the number of races, second number is the number of times she won, next number is the number of times she placed (2nd place), next number is the number of times she showed (i.e. 3rd place), and the final number is the total amount of money won racing.
                Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks! OK also my vet recommended Platinum Performance Equine. Is anyone familiar with this supplement? How would it compare to Shoers friend? I think she should be on something for her feet and any needed supplements.


                  • #10
                    I want to mention that hoof supplements don't improve the current hoof, but do improve the hoof growth that occurs after starting the supplement. Therefore, since it takes a full year to grow out an entire hoof, the supplements won't be fully working for a year. However, I remember when I had been using them for a while, you could see the line of healthy hoof that was with supplements.


                    • #11
                      I have two OTTBs - both have wonderful feet. They both get very little feed, lots of great hay, and FARRIER'S FORMULA - I have used it for years and swear by the stuff. Only supplement I feed (unless you count carrots! ) oh yes, least I forget, my farrier is EXCELLENT - keeps them both trimmed and shod correctly per horse.
                      ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                      • #12
                        We had great luck using Reducin on the coronary bands of an OTTB who simply would not grow hoof. Once he started growing some foot my farrier was able to make the corrections needed to balance him up. (which also helped tremendously with hoof growth)



                        • #13
                          OK question...

                          What does your farrier say about her feet?

                          Thats the opinion I would stack my base of future hoof care on. Opinions on here are great, but they're going to be diverse depending on what each of us interprets from your original description of her feet.

                          Me, I figure she needs a trim and her new shoes and then I wouldn't worry about it. Pick her feet daily, and leave them alone.

                          Hooves grow. Yes many feeds could be better balanced but I would feed supplements as needed and dictated by a vet or farrier. Not b/c Jane from next door says she likes them for her horse. All our horses are different. So I consult with the professionals that I employ before swapping a horse onto any additive to their feed. You never know if the taste will throw them off their feed entirely, and if his appetite is compromised while trying to improve his feet, well then we have a new issue.

                          Just my thoughts.

                          "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                          • #14
                            Emily is absolutely right, as usual. That said, I'd tell you I LOVE Farriers' Formula and Platinum Performance Equine. Plus, if your vet recommended PPE, maybe it is a good idea to go with it since you are trying to build a working relationship with that vet.
                            Your mare, BTW, is lovely. Where'd you find her? I think you are on the right track, training-wise. Get good help and take things slowly. She's your horse, there is no hurry.
                            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                            • #15
                              Good advice. Just to follow up:

                              Reducine is an excellent hoof growth stimulant, recommended for growing hoof wall faster. Be aware, tho, it works because it's an irritant, so use it properly.

                              Highly recommend good biotin supplement with proper balance of things like methionine. I've had best success with Farrier's Formula/Horseshoer's Secret but I'm sure there are many others. How do you know it's working? Sometimes you can see it in the hoof (usually more diet related), but the absolute indication is improved hair coat quality. Mane and tail will improve too, but again that's from the root not the ends so it takes a while.

                              Repeating earlier comment about where hoof growth occurs -- at the coronary band. Again, it takes about a year to get to the ground, sometimes more.

                              Keep the proper moisture balance in the hoof to prevent cracks. Cracks propagating from weak hoof wall at the bottom can destroy/damage all the good work you're doing up high.

                              Keep proper trim.

                              EXERCISE. The #1 stimulant for hoof growth and leg health is exercise. Keep that frog pumping.


                              • #16
                                Is brisnet.com free? I can't seem to find a place to enter the horse's name. If someone has a subscription see if you can find any results for Acey by speedy nijinski. (don't worry I changed his name) He has a tatoo but I have never seen a race record for him.



                                • #17
                                  Your mare looks really nice! You can do a search for PPE, there have been some recent threads. For feet - a good farrier is a must! For my thin soled OTTB - I use PPE supplements. This was my vet and farrier recommendation.


                                  • #18
                                    Here are the free reports:


                                    And thanks for the tip, I just learned that my girl ran 7 times (not twice as we were told) and won a grand total of $1110. No wins, places, or shows. She was definitely telling them she wanted to have a new job as a carrot tasting specialist.
                                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                    • Original Poster

                                      A little update for everyone. Angel is doing just fine. I think she is the best horsie ever!!! She will race around and kick up her heels in the arena but under saddle she is as mellow as can be! Haven't asked her to canter yet. Will consult with my trainer before we add the canter- and I'm in no rush. Right now it's all about getting used to each other.

                                      I just ordered 3 months of the Platinum Performance (as recommended by the vet). It is pricey so I hope it works- it is supposed to include everything they need (feet too).

                                      She has not yet been seen by a farrier. I am probably going to call a good barefoot trimmer who was recommended to me and look into getting her trimmed and into some horse boots. Seems like it would be healthiest to keep her barefoot unless she needs protection. Also that way we avoid any nails in her hoofs.

                                      Thanks again for everyone's responses and any more to come.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Mukluk View Post
                                        Thanks! OK also my vet recommended Platinum Performance Equine. Is anyone familiar with this supplement? How would it compare to Shoers friend? I think she should be on something for her feet and any needed supplements.

                                        hi there, sneaking over from the dressage board, (and a proud OTTB owner ) Platinum Performance produces many excellent and vet recommended supplements, the general vitamin/mineral supplement is a flax based product that covers pretty much anything you may need. It's a great start. You can look it up here: www.platinumperformance.com/animal/equine

                                        My Tb ( http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...tthecamera.jpg ) goes barefoot and is doing great. I don't ride him over gravely areas (handwalk) but on any general arena or turnout footing, he doesn't even need boots.

                                        Good luck and have fun! : )
                                        "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht