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converting race horse straight off the track to pleasure horse

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  • Danceronice, no one suggested calling to harass the owner. No one even provided contact information for the owner. IF the owner had wanted to sell, there may have been an opportunity to get the horse out of the situation. Or, someone could claim the horse, which is, you know, how claims races work. I'm not sure why you think that anyone who is not racing a TB or keeping a TB in rough and ready conditions with no "extras" is necessarily jumping the snot out of the horse or galloping at solid obstacles. Blue collar has nothing to do with anything. That's your own complex.

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    • The thing is, FineAlready - you are supposing that your home (or the home of someone who would claim her) is better than the race home that this mare has. You are supposing that your discipline is better than what she is doing now, and I disagree, and think that it's arrogant of you to assume that.

      I'm not sure there is any need for any COTHer to claim her, or "get her out of that situation". Sounds like the mare is doing just fine, and will have a lovely life as a broodmare after she races a few times at what appears to be a "weekend fun race" sort of track (per someone who knows the track). I don't find any of those things to be cruel, horrifying or any less certain of a future than some anonymous COTHer claiming her and turning her into a pleasure horse.

      This is not some owner with 100 racing horses who is cycling through them like potato chips at low end tracks. This is one person, who happens to own 1 racehorse, that is having a little bit of fun with her, and if she does well, plans on seeing if she would make a good broodie.

      I sense nothing nefarious, wasteful, cruel or terrifying about that situation.

      Comment


      • This was an allowance so the claiming part is not on the table. The OP said the horse was out of options. Apparently not.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

        Comment


        • The OP said the horse was out of options before she got her. I'm guessing that means that she wasn't in a good place and now she is.

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          • I took it to mean she could not make it as a race horse any more.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment


            • Originally posted by danceronice View Post

              OneGrayPony is right: How is this any worse than running horses at fences that won't break before the horse does? Injecting joints and showing them into their teens while insisting all the "maintenance" means it's good for them? Work is work and wear and tear is wear and tear. Flipping over a fence and breaking their shoulder kills them just as much as breaking an ankle racing. People freak out because it's racing and at a blue-collar track. If the horse is sound, racing is no worse than throwing them into another job, especially if they don't like it.
              .
              This doesnt have much to do with the OP, but you do know that most "eventers" are just amateur and juniors' horses who are jumping low fences where there is really not much danger to the horse involved, right? It is extremely rare for a horse to flip over a fence that is Pre-Competition (about 2 feet) to Training (about 3'3"), where something like 90% of the eventing entries are. Most likely an "accident" at that level involves a horse stopping and a rider falling off. Prelim and up is a whole nother story but most horses and riders do not have the talent or the guts or the money to get to that level.

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              • Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                This was an allowance so the claiming part is not on the table. The OP said the horse was out of options. Apparently not.
                True, but the horse may run at a claims race at some point. If she doesn't, she doesn't. If she does, someone could claim her.

                And, although it really doesn't matter as I'm nowhere near Montana and not in a position to get another horse - yes, I assure you (not talking to you, Laurierace, but to OneGrayPony) that the life of any horse of mine is FAR better than being run at low end tracks after an already full racing career and then being bred by an owner whose first inquiry here indicated quite clearly that she knows nothing about TBs or how to handle them.

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                • Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
                  Breeding should only be done for very specific purposes or by people who have the means to care for the foal for their entire life. I have a girlfriend who breed a couple foals, but she has the means to care for them their whole life and now she would never breed again.

                  This is what creates more horses that go to slaughter. I just don't understand how people can think breeding just because you cannot ride a horse is acceptable. Go walk through a horse slaughter plant and then post about that being an acceptable end in the life of an animal. I just don't get the lack of responsible horse ownership being condoned on this thread.
                  Danceronice: This is my post regarding breeding since it is unlikely that you bothered to read it, or anyone else's posts that you don't agree with. Breeding because you cannot and will not try to retrain a TB from the track is irresponsible. Since the OP sent the horse back to the track, there is a valid assumption that the horse is not being retrained.

                  I also suspect that with the racing industry breeding way more TBs for the track than is necessary that the demand for TBs from a QH person is rather low. Just because people are entitled to do whatever they want, does not make what they do responsible. I know that there is a breeding forum, what that has to do with this thread is anyone's guess. By the way, there are many other people on this BB with OTTB experience besides yourself.

                  Comment


                  • FineAlready, you don't think he/she is going to get an education re: TBs on the track from the race trainer that is managing the horse?

                    The contempt, panic and arrogance in your tone is quite frankly pretty off-putting, even if your intentions are good.

                    Again, people who KNOW this track say it's a fun place to be.

                    I know some people in VA who run 12+ year old timber horses on "low end" tracks...well, friendly and fun weekend races anyhow. Am I to assume they are horrifying awful people?

                    Kind of funny that you'd assume that, since they are some of the most genuinely awesome people that I know, and who have considerably more equine knowledge than you do. Yes, they know TBs, but I'll bet not all of the owners do, when they first get them.

                    Stolen, that's once again, not how the posts read. She/he didn't go soliciting trainers to send the horse back to the track because they "refused" to give it a new career. They stated that a jockey and trainer saw the mare in the field, and said they should try her. She ran well.

                    To put that into perspective for you - I have a horse that needs some retraining in my pasture right now. If someone came to me and said "you know, that mare might make a really good hunter, and if she does really well, we'll breed her - let's take her to my place and try her out" does that make me unwilling to train her?

                    Racing is a valid occupation for a horse. And I'll continue to defend the OPs right to race and breed this mare until I see significant evidence that he/she shouldn't be Doing either activity.

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                    • OneGrayPony, you have no idea how much horse experience or knowledge I have. I've actually had horses, primarily TBs, for the vast majority of my life - approaching 30 years.

                      And I'm not panicked. I am disgusted and sad that this horse whose racing career has been long and productive is now in the hands of someone who is going to squeeze more races out of her and then breed her despite admitting that the horse is too much for her to handle.

                      I'm not anti-racing. But I do consider this to be a bad outcome for this horse. I do not particularly care if you find me off-putting. We can agree to disagree. I am never going to agree with you that any of this is a good idea or fair to the horse.

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                      • Actually, FineAlready has always provided sound rational advice to those of us who have OTTBs on the Hunter/Jumper forum. She is one poster who I hope responds to my threads/questions and I read most everything she posts on that forum topic. She also is very realistic about TBs and many of us have had several OTTBs and do understand the stresses that racing puts on TBs. Racing is never meant to be a sustainable career for any horse, and most race trainers would tell you that as well. The struggle is to retire them BEFORE they breakdown because they will breakdown from racing, I am quite surprised that someone would think that racing is a sustainable career for a horse.

                        Comment


                        • You're right FineAlready - that tops my friend's experience who races more than 54 years. And I'm no newbie horse owner either.

                          Horses are in the moment. They don't care particularly whether they live tomorrow, because they don't have a concept of tomorrow. As long as they have full bellies, well trimmed/shod feet and caring hands on them, they are happy. They love to run.

                          I'm not into racing, though I enjoy watching it and I have been to many tracks. Even at some of the tracks that aren't wonderful, I saw better treatment than many pleasure homes. The uncertain future part of it seems to be largely gone, as this owner has indicated his/her desire to keep the mare.

                          We can agree to disagree, that's fine, I just don't like to perpetuate the myth that racing is so awful and one has to "rescue" a horse from the track.

                          Comment


                          • stolen, tell that to the oldies who are continuing to go on well at the timber races!

                            I don't believe that the breakdowns happen because they are old . And 7 is hardly old. The oldest racing TB to still be racing is 15. They quit racing largely because they get slower, just like a 21 year old is probably going to be able to beat me in a race, even if I get to be in the best shape of my life.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by rustbreeches View Post
                              I've often wondered what sort of mounting block some posters use to get on such high horses

                              Disclaimer: I'm pregnant, cranky, trying to get my garden finished in the remaining 5 days, prep for a 3 day cow show next weekend and I'm down to only being able to get my husband's slides on my feet
                              This cracked me up no end. Thank you for the levity. And per disclaimer - sorry you are going through a cranky spell. Jingles that it passes quickly.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                                stolen, tell that to the oldies who are continuing to go on well at the timber races!

                                I don't believe that the breakdowns happen because they are old . And 7 is hardly old. The oldest racing TB to still be racing is 15. They quit racing largely because they get slower, just like a 21 year old is probably going to be able to beat me in a race, even if I get to be in the best shape of my life.
                                The occasional horse racing in their teens does make any point with me, and likely others. Racing is not a sustainable career for a TB and that is a fact. You don't seem to understand that once a TB breaks down, it is very unlikely that it will have a second career, THAT IS THE POINT. Don't race them so long so that they break down. Thinking that TBs can race into their teens is a fantasy. One racing TB at 15 does not support that argument.

                                Comment


                                • There's quite a few tbs that race into their teens and retire sound. Honestly what makes tbs so special from other breeds? The way everyone carries on about them is like if you sneeze on them they will break. Give it a rest. They are not different from any other breed. They walk, trot, canter, gallop, go left and even right just like every other horse. They are just ridden differently. I know because i work with them. I have done sales prep, worked on major breeding/racing farms, layup farms, training centers, tracks, and now i work for a trainer at his farm taking care of his racehorses, broodmares, and yearlings. Just like any other breed there's some horses that are in your pocket lovey dovey and there's some you have to fight with. So seriously what is so special about these horses that people have to cry out about and make a big deal over it especially when they really don't know much about it to begin with?

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by stolen virtue View Post
                                    The occasional horse racing in their teens does make any point with me, and likely others. Racing is not a sustainable career for a TB and that is a fact. You don't seem to understand that once a TB breaks down, it is very unlikely that it will have a second career, THAT IS THE POINT. Don't race them so long so that they break down. Thinking that TBs can race into their teens is a fantasy. One racing TB at 15 does not support that argument.

                                    I'm laughing... Are you getting your statistics from Joe Drape? Not every racehorse breaks down. Very few break down. Lots of them have wear and tear when they retire, as do lots of horses that were ever serious competitors. Horses get older, some get arthritic, lots of them get put in races that don't fit their conditions, which in turn sours a horse quickly.

                                    Maybe if show horse people had more experience with consistency they'd understand that a horse doesn't have to "break down" to be eligible to retire...

                                    "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

                                    Comment


                                    • Stolen, you are ignoring the fact that it is the juvenile horses who break down most often at the track. Of all the factors contributing to breakdowns, old age isn't even mentioned.
                                      Last edited by OneGrayPony; May. 26, 2013, 10:06 PM. Reason: Missed a word!

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Angelico View Post
                                        I'm laughing... Are you getting your statistics from Joe Drape? Not every racehorse breaks down. Very few break down. Lots of them have wear and tear when they retire, as do lots of horses that were ever serious competitors. Horses get older, some get arthritic, lots of them get put in races that don't fit their conditions, which in turn sours a horse quickly.

                                        Maybe if show horse people had more experience with consistency they'd understand that a horse doesn't have to "break down" to be eligible to retire...
                                        Glad you could have a chuckle but if you actually read for comprehension you might have understood that the concept was to retire a racing TB BEFORE they break down. But hey, by your logic and onegraypony's, cancer is cured since some people actually recover from cancer. The argument that out of hundreds of thousands of TBs racing maybe 25-20 race into their teens with no disabling injuries, so therefore racing is a completely sustainable career for all TBs. So glad that I have been taught logical arguments by others that actually make some sense. Also, "very few breakdown" that would depend on age and time at the track, but gee delusional thinking is so much better when you can chuckle reality away...

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
                                          Stolen, you are ignoring the fact that it is the juvenile horses who break down most often at the track. Of all the factors contributing to breakdowns, old age isn't even mentioned.
                                          So what is "juvenile" under 8 ? You people are just not able to accept the realities of racing. "Horses can race their whole lives........except for the ones that break down. " That is true delusion....

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