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Your experiences with "refined/small" TB-soundness

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    Your experiences with "refined/small" TB-soundness

    I'm looking at a little OTTB filly. She is tiny though. She's 15.2 and has long, thin legs, small feet and a tiny head. Her body is nice, and although she is tiny she's proportionate. She turns 4 next month, so I know she still has some growing and filling out to do. She raced 5 times, has clean legs and is sound.

    I have a tall, narrow TB who is rangy, but overall just bigger. He's been a good sound horse for the most part.

    Tell me about your refined TB, what you do with them and how they've held up.

    Oh, I'd be getting her to do lower level dressage and jumping, possibly reselling.
    Original Poster

    Refined/small TB's - Video/photo added

    I thought I'd cross post this on the eventing forum too...

    I'm looking at a little OTTB filly. She is tiny though. She's 15.2 and has long, thin legs, small feet and a tiny head. Her body is nice, and although she is tiny she's proportionate. She turns 4 next month, so I know she still has some growing and filling out to do. She raced 5 times, has clean legs and is sound.

    I have a tall, narrow TB who is rangy, but overall just bigger. He's been a good sound horse for the most part.

    Tell me about your refined TB, what you do with them and how they've held up.

    Oh, I'd be getting her to do lower level dressage and jumping, possibly reselling.
    Last edited by Serigraph; May. 6, 2009, 08:15 PM.


      I've got one with light bone and tiny feet. She is also 15.2. Her legs are hard as rock, and her feet are great. Unfortunately, her brain is as airy and light as her beautiful trot!

      Seriously, while I haven't had much luck with her reschooling, soundness is not a problem. She also ran 23 times, and finished clean legged as a 4yo.


        Original Poster

        do you know what her bloodlines are?


          Soundness depends more on bone density, conformation and luck than anything else. I have a very refined TB that has never taken an off step, and a lovely, ideally big-boned TB (he is regularly mistaken for a WB or ISH) that had to retire prematurely from all sorts of soundness issues. He sure is pretty in the field.

          My refined horse is a jumper. He is 8, but is the soundest, least accident-prone TB I've ever had. He's never had the vet out (exc. vaccs/teeth of course) in the four years we've kept him. I had a very refined pony as well that competed up to 4' in the jumpers for many, many years and died during colic surgery at 17 -- she never had soundness issues.

          Of course, my first pony was a conformation nightmare, huge long sway back and short stocky legs, and he was still competing and jumping at 32. He retired from trail riding at 34.

          Actually, I revise my original statement. Soundness depends more on luck than anything else.


            I own a 15.2 QH/TB cross who doesn't have the best of conformation. He is very refined with long slim legs and smallish feet. He has been sound from the get go, with the only lameness coming from picking a fight with the wrong horse in the pasture.
            One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf


              I have a very refined TB mare, just shy of 16 hands. Except for two rounds of lyme disease, and some problems with bad farrier work, she is sound at (almost) 16. I've had her for 9 years. She has (now) rock hard feet--she's barefoot and I ride on very rocky trails. I mostly do dressage now (schooling first level), but have jumped more seriously in the past and now do occasionally to break up the routine.

              I know that for a while people assumed that more bone equaled longer term soundness, but I don't think that is now so frequently put out there as conventional wisdom. Usually with more bone comes a heavier body overall, and I think the heft is more of liability (in terms of longterm joint issues) than the extra bone is a bonus (pun!). Just my opinion though.

              My mare never raced by the way. Here's her breeding:
              "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                I have an 18 yo SWB mare - who is 1/2 TB. She is large boned but slim legged (meaning her cannon bones could use more bone or her body should be more refined). She is still being ridden 3-4 times/week today and going strong.

                Having said that she has done dressage - shown 2nd level schooling 3rd, and done some jumping. Never a lameness problem unless it was an abcess or poor shoeing job. So as long as you pay attention to what the horse is telling you there shouldn't be any problems in the future if she doesn't have them now (unless you don't know some are on the horizon).

                If everything elses is good and vet gives the OK I'd buy her. Just don't jumper her every day - twice a week at most with lots of dressage in between will get you the most for your time.
                Now in Kentucky


                  All three of my TB girls raced and retired sound, and all are very refined and light-boned. Other than the occasional abcess from tender TB feet, they've never had issues. One is 25, one is six and one is 5.

                  I think you'd really have to be competing at the upper levels of eventing before you'd be working them as hard they were when they were racing!
                  "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive


                    My daughter's little TB jumper mare is tiny and very refined. She's 15.1 on a tall day. She doesn't have the best conformation on her front legs (thanks Mr. P) and there's a slight twist and definite paddle on the rf. With that said, she's been very sound. Even last year when she injured her knees in a jumping incident she was never lame. There was huge swelling, and in my mind she should have been lame. The only time that I can remember her being lame was when she stepped on a nail. She's dainty, but she's TOUGH!
                    Y'all ain't right!


                      I was lucky enough to lease a small (15.2h on a tall day), fine-boned, narrow-chested TB in my youth. He was 23, actively eventing at training level, won in every dressage ring he stepped foot in, and was incredibly sound. And those were the days before joint injections.

                      For resale, look to the pony club crowd! Make sure she will be kid-friendly - otherwise you will have a smaller buyer pool with her small size.
                      where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


                        My 12 year old connie/tb is 14.3 and dainty - a friend of mine says he has "Dixie cup feet." He's showing 3'6" and is sound, sound, sound. He is a suck, so he makes the most of the occasional dings he gets rough housing with the other boys, but as a rule, he's good. I think that the lighter horses are just easier on themselves and don't get as much of a "natural" pounding with each stride. One of our TB mares looks like an old style heavy hunter, and she's arthritic behind (despite living the life of luxury). I often wonder if some of her issues can be attributed to the fact that each one of her footfalls is naturally so much more forceful than the lighter horses.


                          Serigraph-she is by a Deputy Minister stallion out of a Cryptoclearance mare. Vice Regent is also her 2nd dam's sire. Mr. P is in there twice, too, just not quite that close up. So, I guess that makes for a lot of Native Dancer in the long run. She is a beautiful mover, and a jumping freak, and very brave. I think she holds her breath the whole time she is under tack-you can even feel her fighting to resist Ace. I've stopped trying to ride her, it just makes her miserable. But soundness-not a problem.


                            My TB mare is petite, 16H, 00 shoes when she is shod, maybe 1000lb. Didn't put shoes on her until she was 12, needed them then because the ground got too hard from the drought. Did trail riding and real low level dressage until she was 12, started doing higher level work (some 3rd and 4th level work) from 13 - 17. Except for age related arthritis, she is sound at 18, again without shoes. Sometimes I swear you could cut off her leg and she would still be sound!!!! (knock on wood)

                            Was broke to ride on the track, tatooed but never raced.

                            I feel really lucky to call her mine.


                              I guess how "long and thin" the legs really are would be what I would look at the most. The feet may spread a bit if the racing plates come off and the heels get a chance to spread. That said, my mare's feet are still very small though they have a nice sizable base to them compared to when she was running and shod long and low.

                              I've a 15.2 7 year old mare with a head so dainty she's on the top holes in her cob bridle and the rein length is perfect for her neck. But she's in great proportion. She too is tough as nails and built right. The only lameness I had with her is she popped the smallest little bow I've ever known the day AFTER exercising at the track, and was walking sound on it the same week and was dissapearing in no time. We still gave her 3 months stall rest but it's healed so well (almost a year now) that I bet you would never be certain which leg it was that did it. It is tight tight tight. We're schooling dressage, riding rough trails, running over rocks barefoot with her two white feet, moving my cows around, nothing ever blows up, has heat, or anything, and she's not a hard keeper either. Lots of pictures of her on her blog. Barely Escaped by Wild Escapade (Wild Again) out of a Naked Sky mare, 32 starts. And she's a love to boot! I love her dainty little head and her dainty little ears and her dainty little nose....


                                Size and overall build have nothing to do with it, in fact the Cryptoclearances are not that big, neither are most of the Mr Ps. Specific conformation does have everything to do with it and some lines produce, for example, the notorious bad feet and run out heels more then others.

                                Depends on the individual. If you like her and she has decent conformation-especially from the knee down, buy her. Take some pics of the feet to be safe and take somebody with you who can give a neutral second opinion in case you are missing something obvious.

                                Some good care, less demending work and some groceries will make her a new woman. If a small one.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  I have a refined 15.2 TB mare, size 0 feet, she is only five and currently competing at Novice. So far very sound. Her dam, who is a refined 15.3h, competed at Intermediate and had no issues.

                                  Third Charm Event Team


                                    On the extreme side of things, Headley Britannia is a 15.2 refined mare! Shes not all TB, but she's still the body type you are talking about!

                                    I actually have a giant stocky TB that I think is really a warmblood!
                                    but my last mare was tall, and quite refined and held up well at training level despite having structural issues like a club foot.
                                    I am small so I prefer little horses, however the resale market can be more difficult for them, people tend to pass over the ad when it says mare, and if its not 16+. I would try to find other small adults for her or make sure she can be ridden by kids.
                                    \"It was a relief to me to know that loud talk, red faces, and public drunkenness are still a part of the eventing scene.\" -Jim Wofford


                                      Funny. 15.2 used to be kinda average.


                                        While harder to re-sell in some markets, I have found that those elegant refined light on their feet horses stay sound.
                                        Its finding a re-sale customer thats the hard part.
                                        But in dressage there is that emergeing market for younger riders coming off ponies who aren't ready for the huge WB and need an interum mount,
                                        as well as already posted the PC market.