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OTTB critique? Will he make a UL eventer? THE BIG REVEAL IN POST #28

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  • OTTB critique? Will he make a UL eventer? THE BIG REVEAL IN POST #28

    Looking for opinions: this is a 4yo gelding who came off the track in Dec and lived in a field and did nothing for four months. He had 6 career starts at 3, never closer than 4th, all over distance (1 1/16 - 1 1/4 m). Looking through the saddle marks and ratty coat, what do you think of his conformation? I flatted him and popped him over some crossrails and he seems to have the right instincts.

    Edited to add: Goal is for him to make up to be an upper level horse. Is there anything that you see that encourages/discourages that goal, understanding that this is limited information?

    Hopefully the link will work:
    Last edited by Sing Mia Song; May. 1, 2015, 08:53 PM.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

  • #2
    There's a lot to like about him but he's in such a poor state it's hard to see past it.

    What are your goals? If you like his brain, he's comfortable, and willing to do what you ask then get him and feed him some PB&J sandwiches
    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

    The Grove at Five Points


    • #3
      He really seems to be in a terrible state - but it is up to you, as ACMEventing asked you - what are you aiming for?


      • #4
        I agree, lots to like under the rough exterior but he really does not look healthy in these pictures. I agree groceries are in order.

        I liked everything about him (weight aside), except that funny dip along his back. Not the roach, but before the croup. That would have me suspicious.
        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


        • #5
          That poor horse!! Please get him and give him a good life. I am appalled that people will allow a horse to look that bad and still think he looks good enough to sell.

          I like him. His angles and proportions are good. Looks like his neck is set on a tad low, but other than that, he should turn into a swan with a little basic care.
          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


          • Original Poster

            To be fair, he didn't look quite as ratty in person as he does in the pictures! What looks like scurf is really a saddle mark--these pictures were taking right after I rode him. But, agreed, he definitely needs a couple Big Macs.
            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


            • Original Poster

              Morning bump!
              Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


              • #8
                I like his basic structure. He needs a super big upgrade in living conditions. I would have a vet look at his back carefully as noted above. However, some horses get that dip when they are very underweight/have muscle wasting so it could just be body score.

                Also, consider that however quiet he is now, he may very well not be nearly so quiet once he has some groceries in his belly and 200 pounds on his frame. They rarely are. I'm sure that's probably not a big deal if you are looking for the ULs though.
                Last edited by fordtraktor; Apr. 29, 2015, 09:51 AM.


                • #9
                  If you are considering him, I strongly suggest getting his front pasterns and SI/spine looked at. We know he needs groceries, but the back end worries me.

                  It's always hard to predict UL potential in still photos as there is no way to reliably ascertain movement or brain.. even the nicest most athletic built horse is not always a contender for the UL. You need to rate his brain, as that is almost a bigger factor than his anatomy.. Horses can outperform the limitations of their structure if they have fantastic brains, and do so love to prove us wrong, but it is tough to develop the eye responsible for recognizing a brilliant horse in the making behind a roughshod exterior.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                  • #10
                    I agree with everyone. Kinda wonder if it is a dip in front of his croup or a fluffed hair/swelling in front of the "dip" that makes it look like a dip. I bet with weight and work, he will be a jewel. Please update if you get him.
                    "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope


                    • #11
                      He looks promising. He lacks topline. Buying an OTTB is always a gamble!


                      • #12
                        A lot depends on what you mean by "upper levels". Is this the horse I'd pick out of a field to be the next Rolex horse? Probably not - but that's a pretty rare beast, particularly when they are dead green. Do I think he could potentially make up to a useful sort of horse with potential for at least Preliminary? That's a better possibility. I think it's very difficult to know much for certain about how far a horse will do until they run a few Prelims (though there are of course folks with a far better eye than I have who might be able to guess better than I can). That's one of the advantages of TBs generally - unless you see something really glaring, a pretty high percentage of them have the ability to at least go Prelim assuming the brain/soundness/rider hold together.

                        That being said, he's nicely uphill, has a good shoulder, and I like the way his neck ties in. Sweet face, possibly some jewelry in the left front pastern but could be lighting. I don't love his hind legs or croup (a bit base narrow and he's weak up top and through the stifle), but as noted, there's a lack of groceries. He does appear fairly open in his hind angles, but his rump is positioned away from the camera at a slight angle in the conformation shot and I'm wondering if that's causing a misleading view. Would want to see from straight on, and regardless, would want to see him move if I was shopping for myself.


                        • #13
                          I'm use to looking at crappy state OTTBs. I like him. I'd get a good vetting though if I'm thinking UL/resale. He will change a lot in the next year and be very good looking. Only thing I noted is he looks slightly straight behind and I prefer a slightly lower set stifle. But if I liked how he moved when seeing him free (accounting for typical stiffness/sore feet), how he felt undersaddle in terms of brains and how he handled the little jump....I'd vet him and take a chance.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                          • #14
                            I agree with BFNE. There's a nice horse in there. A sound horse? An upper level horse? Can't tell from the photos; that's something you have to judge in person, seeing his temperament and movement (and knowing those will change as he develops). For anything resale or upper level, vet thoroughly.

                            What's his pedigree? If he had bloodlines I was familiar with, I may be more inclined to take the risk.
                            “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                            ? Albert Einstein



                            • #15
                              I like his conformation just fine, and remember--the MIND is the thing you can't make with conditioning and feed. If you "clicked" with him, call the vet for the PP!

                              My first teacher had no problem buying horses thin; he said there are actually advantages to it, since any abnormality of conformation or bone is going to jump right out at you--uneven muscling indicating a hidden old injury, say, or angles that would be harder to judge if buried under layers of fat.

                              Groceries are EASY. Finding one who's mentally ready to go to work with you is harder. It's impossible looking at any prospect to say whether or not he'll make the upper levels of any discipline, but if you're starting with a good mind and capable conformation, your odds greatly increase. Good Luck!


                              • #16
                                +1 that conformation won't hold him back.
                                Can't speak to the 1001 other factors that are more important...


                                • #17
                                  I like him. And for a thin, out of shape horse his back looks good to me. I especially like his hindquarters.


                                  • #18
                                    I also like his eye, his conformation and his overall shape. I can see past his current state. I would xray his ankles. Can you tell what level they will go but you you can do some tests. Ask him to lunge, maybe step over a jump, walk over something scary and gauge how quickly he figures things out. Will he work with you or work against you. How is his natural carriage. Uphill or level? Uphill preferred. I mainly am looking at the balance in the canter and the ability to sort things out by themselves. Free jumping is always great but rarely an option depending on where you are buying him. You can always lunge over some straw bales
                                    Last edited by Jleegriffith; May. 5, 2015, 09:25 AM.


                                    • #19
                                      The only way to even guess if he has upper level potential is to buy him and spend a few years training him.

                                      Half the horses that jogged at Rolex last week would not stand out as anything special if you were able to go back and look at photos of them at 4. That said, there is nothing about the photos that makes me think he wouldn't be a decent eventing prospect. Anything more than "decent eventing prospect" is a flat out guess.


                                      • #20
                                        The question is really have you brought a horse to the upper levels previously? Rider experience and skill is also in the mix.
                                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog