Friday, November 21, 2014

Why OTTB's make the BEST Riding Horses

Okay, so I don't currently have my own OTTB. And the last one I had I could care less for.... But the reason I don't currently have an OTTB is because all my TBs are at the track being ON The Track TBs. But when they do retire, they will become our riding horses or retrained and sold. Two in particular I cannot wait for their retirement from the track, and one of those two hasn't even been ON the track yet.

So So Worth It, commonly known around the farm and shedrow as "Fatass" is going to be my straight up, blue-ribbon winning Dressage horse. I've said it since he was 2 years old. He is balanced and up hill and like riding a rocking horse. I don't know if he'd be a sound jumper, but he probably totally would jump if I asked him. Now my 2 year old on the other hand has never even raced yet. Never even been to the track. I can't wait for him to start his career as a race horse. He has 'big horse' and 'stakes winner' written all over him. He also has Prelim eventer written all over him! The kid isn't afraid of anything and has a big uphill gallop and already at 2 knows how to best use his body efficiently. And he has attitude to boot!

So here is my list of why OTTBs make the best riding horses after racing retirement. I had someone tell me one day online that she would NEVER use and OTTB in her riding lesson program. Well that's her loss. Because OTTBs are awesome.

1. They have literally seen it all and done it all.
Behind this wall is a junk yard. Smashing, banging, loudness ALL morning

2. Trailers are no biggy. They trailer to and fro constantly
My 5 year old and 2 year old get on and ride better in a trailer than does my 10 year old QH....

3. They tend to have awesome up hill gallops, even at fast speeds

4. Having tiny little riders on their backs is not unusual!
5. They are versatile. They can do anything from trail ride, to event, to barrel racing.
Unraced OTTB turned trail horse. He's been sold since this photo and is now being used at a pony for a string of polo ponies!

6. No matter what they're doing they love doing it. TBs don't like to sit around. They are used to regular work schedules and love to get out and move. If you're TB starts to crib or chew wood or beat up their buddies, it's because he's bored! Work that horse out!
7. They DO know all the gaits, believe it or not. Go watch training in the morning. TBs are doing everything from walking in the shedrow to jogging down the track to having a nice canter to a hand gallop to a full out gallop. They do it all. Not just go fast.

8. They are (mostly) smart animals. They can learn new jobs quickly, with steady, consistent training.

Can I eatz it?

9. 90% are used to being controllable at all speeds, including having breaks, in an o ring or d snaffle, which is more than I can say for a lot of barrel horses, jumpers or endurance horses.
Horse seen here is training in a french link o ring snaffle
10. Most know how to properly use their bodies. 

Feel free to add your own reasons!!


  1. great post! i love ottbs, and my future horse will more than likely be of that variety. in a past life i had the pleasure of introducing ottbs into a riding lesson program: 'slow down, and jump over that stuff.' sooo much fun - and such willing creatures!

  2. The horse I had in my teenage years was an OTTB. He wasn't perfect but he really put 100% effort into everything. Being naturally athletic and trailering like a dream didn't hurt him either :)