|RAWR racing C Rage|
If you're considering getting a horse, don't get an OTTB.
(noted: if you're looking at an older horse already going well in a second career, you can skip this post. I'm talking about horses straight off the track or not yet confirmed in new careers.)
|first week off the track|
1) Horse ownership has enough problems to begin with.
If you're reading a blog about what horse to buy or not buy, you haven't been around the block enough times to be comfortable with all the issues that are going to come with a recent OTTB. Plain as that. Horses go lame, get crazy, have issues, and require lots of special management. Then tack on that racehorse past and you're looking at all kinds of things that may or may not be manageable, but are definitely going to add stress to your life.
2) It's a big breed with many, many different sub-types.
I think Courage is pretty damn gorgeous. Conformation experts might harp on his short coupled-ness, which makes him hard to loosen up, and his short neck, which is fun to make shorter and really jam around when he has moment. But Courage isn't representative of all OTTBs.
|aka "short coupled"|
So just because Courage or Icabod Crane or (insert horse name here) is an OTTB doesn't mean all OTTBs will be like that. Ever.
|not short coupled. not green.|
I think this creates the most confusion. OTTBs are specially trained to do one thing and do that thing very well. There's a whole language to it and it's very simple and natural for the horse to understand.
So it's not like starting a green horse from scratch. It's restarting a trained horse to do something COMPLETELY different, like say an intermediaire/PSG dressage horse, throwing it in western tack, and bitching because it doesn't know how to work cattle.
It's hard for the horse and that requires a very tactful rider who understands what to put up with, what to shut down, what needs to be addressed right now and what to try another day.
|life isn't the only unpredictable thing|
A racehorse has a better shot at life than an already-failed ammy horse. A horse is a luxury animal. Life is unpredictable. If things go bad and a horse needs to find a new home, the beloved trained useful horse will be sold for a tidy amount. The green, failed, lame thing goes on a double decker to Mexico. That's hard, but it's reality.
|sexy grey horse|
Be honest with yourself about your goals, your resources, and your abilities. Do it for yourself, but more importantly, do it for your (potential) horse.
|it takes a long ass time to get here|