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OTTB ? - How many days. . .

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  • OTTB ? - How many days. . .

    Do you ride your fresh OTTB? I have a 6 year old, off the track Jan. 20, mild let down, and really started in training last week. I would typically ride 5 maybe 6 days a week. In the past this was 3 under saddle in the ring, one on the ground (typically long lining) and another on the trail (which if you count equals 5, typically adding another ground day if there is a 6th day).

    Unfortunately, the gelding's super sensitive feet don't allow for out of arena work right now. If I take him on a trail he's gimpy the next day (yes vet and farrier have been out, x-rays taken, it's a foot issue). So we're stuck in the ring. I can't even work him in the round pen right now because it's too hard.

    So how many days do you work your OTTB? I would really like to be going to shows by end of April (just flat) and looking to be at the Thoroughbred Incentive over fences in Richmond come June.

  • #2
    4-5 days. Never had a problem with his feet or anything though, so I can't say. He's had a week and a half off at a clip (vacations) and he's fine. He's been ridden as much as 6 days a week. Granted, yours sounds like maybe he's a bit better than mine. I've had him since 2010 and we've only hacked around at horse shows, never shown, and we don't canter lines. (We're on the 10 year program)


    • Original Poster

      I should say that I have no intention of winning anything at said shows. This show season is about getting him out and about next year we'll get serious about actually trying to win something!


      • #4
        If he is off the track, wasn't he being worked every day? Just curious.


        • Original Poster

          6 days a week, I'm less concerned about him breaking down, more concerned about his mental well being


          • #6
            Not necessarily, anglotrak. Depends on the trainer and the individual horse. They do get out every day, but some days might just be walking the shedrow.

            OP, is this horse shod or barefoot? Is it his soles or something else?

            When I had one with a similar situation--and who had hoof walls so shelly that my options were either barfoot or glue-ons--I would ride him in EZ boots. I also treated him daily in wet weather with Keratex.

            At this point, with one off the track that recently, I would be just trying to hack 15-20 minutes a day and working on installing brakes and steering, with maybe a teeny amount of lateral work. Whether or not you can meet your stated goal depends on the individual horse.

            I have one who came off the track last July and my goals are pretty similar to yours: start going to some little shows at the beginning of May, hopefully some of the TIP shows later in the summer. But I have been doing this for so long--and with so many varied outcomes--that I am resigned to inevitable alterations in my plans!
            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


            • #7
              4-5 days a week when my guy isn't having feet issues - he also has thin-soles so he has abscess issues in the winter. Sooo ready for winter to be over!

              My horse is so much more mellow with at least 4 days of work than 3.


              • Original Poster

                My gut is that someone somewhere along the ride rode this gelding other than the track. He understands moving off the leg, steers better than my last and has a great tempo, WHEN you can get him to trot. If he gets the least bit confused he canters, a nice slooooow canter but a canter.


                • #9
                  Who bred him? The horse I mentioned above came from a farm that also ran steeplechasers and one of the sons was an eventer. The horses were started in long stirrups and more of the English manner--hacking out and gallops on a downs-like environment, rather than ponied and tracked. Consequently his steering and brakes were pretty good.

                  Yep, there's very few hard and fast rules when it comes to OTTBs!
                  Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                  • #10
                    Since he is 6, I say ride him as much as you want. He is old enough that you don't have to worry about the things one worries about with a 3 yr old, or even a four year old.

                    Just be cognisant of his lack of proper muscles and his feet, since they seem to be an issue, and off you go
                    Unrepentant carb eater


                    • #11
                      I usually give all of mine at least 30 days of downtime (no riding) when they first leave track to let their bodies take a break from the physical demands of being a racehorse. I have found that most (not all) have their feet shod differently then a pleasure/show horse would and it typically takes 2 shoeing cycles to get their feet where you want them. Most (again not all) of mine have always required at least front shoes cause they got foot sore when shoes were pulled for their 30 days of rest. After they have their vacation, we usually would work ours 4-5 days a week. They would also get ample turnout everyday. One work day would preferably be a trail ride or something other then ring work.
                      Happy Hour-TB
                      Cowboy Casanova - Brandenburg


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
                        Who bred him? The horse I mentioned above came from a farm that also ran steeplechasers and one of the sons was an eventer. The horses were started in long stirrups and more of the English manner--hacking out and gallops on a downs-like environment, rather than ponied and tracked. Consequently his steering and brakes were pretty good.

                        Yep, there's very few hard and fast rules when it comes to OTTBs!
                        He's a Medaglia D'oro baby, so bred by a conglomerate and he was a short distance horse. Won a stakes his second race out but hurt his shins early in his next year, they gelded him and he just never came out as strong but he did 4 yrs on the track as a mediocre runner. When he was claimed last year I know he was turned out in a field for 6 months then brought back and never did anything (mainly because the person who claimed him had NO CLUE what he was doing).

                        I've now had two OTTB (not many) and they are so different from each other, although this one is just as sane as the mare was, but he's MUCH lazier. Probably because he spent so long on the track, where the mare was a failure at the track before her first race.