So, Why No OTTB?

It’s a valid question. As someone on a budget, an OTTB can be a great choice for your next partner. And for me personally, the idea of purchasing a retired racehorse and taking it on to its second career seems like such a great idea.

I’ve grown up on Draft crosses, and TB crosses and have loved them. Each and every one. It’s what I know, and what I am comfortable with. If there was an ISH in my budget you know I would get it in a heartbeat. There’s something about horses with large heads, and thick legs, that make me really happy.


See, even as a wee one I liked the BIG BODIED horses…

These “types” (big bodied, a bit behind the leg) are what I know. And what I feel comfortable on. I’m not a kid anymore. Changing habits is getting harder and harder.

What it comes down to, is, I don’t think I’m an OTTB rider.

I don’t think a sensitive OTTB and I would be a good fit. I’m kind of envious of people who can ride the sensitive OTTB well. I think it speaks volumes to you as a rider. And you are rewarded for it with an amazing athlete with tons of heart.


I 100% ogle them however

Now, I realize I am generalizing. Not all OTTBs are sensitive. And some are kick rides. And I bet I could find a really great partner, like many of you have, in an OTTB. But I have seen some really bad matches between riders and their off the track horses, and I’m not really that willing to take the gamble.  At this point in my life, and my riding, I need to stick with what I know. And what I love.

So, I’ll continue the search for the right horse. And hopefully, in the end, I’ll make the right decision!


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17 thoughts on “So, Why No OTTB?

  1. Karen M says:

    This makes SO MUCH sense. Mismatches are painful to witness and it’s even more painful to be a party to one … why dive head first into an unknown when you can find and enjoy what you do know?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Amanda C says:

    So glad that you’re aware enough of yourself as a rider to know what would likely not be a suitable match. Soooooooo many people completely lack this kind of self awareness.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Emma says:

    Picking the right horse is so personal and really boils down to our own styles. Recognizing that is probably (IMO) more important than any other criteria. Personally I’ve always really liked the ottb type ride. I don’t think I’m the best at it, but it makes sense to me. That said tho. If ever you want to try the ottb version of a big boned and behind the leg ride, you can come meet Charlie haha.


  4. Avery says:

    So absolutely right. For the riders they match with, absolutely amazing. However, they are not for everyone. Just like any different type. It not only bad for the rider with a mismatch, it is no good for the horse either. People have their types.


  5. Hahaha yeah good on you for knowing. I generally am an OTTB person because I like a hotter horse, but I’m seriously considering something less so next time I’m in the market.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tracy - Fly On Over says:

    I find that the older I get, the more I learn what I want and what makes me happy. I’m all about grasping that with both hands and holding on to it — different people is what makes the world go ’round and all that jazz 🙂


  7. Hillary H. says:

    I have a lot of respect for people that know their kind of ride. And also appreciate that this post isn’t an “anti OTTB” rant but rather a “I don’t think I’m right for bringing a horse off the track along post.”

    Kudos to you. I love my spicy little ginger but I would love her just as much if she was maybe slightly less sensitive 😂 I have both ends of the spectrum and love them both. Not sure I would personally ever try to run XC at any level again with a horse like Houston though after running with Annie 🙂 If I had the money for a horse somewhere in the middle that was more of a packer I would snatch it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rooth says:

    As a new OTTB owner who paid over her purchase price in vet bills recently due to ulcer issues from the previous owner and not being let down properly, I 100% understand your decision making process

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Liz says:

    LOVE this. Self awareness and being able to pinpoint exactly what you like and why you like it is such a great skill. Better path to success if you’re self aware of how to set yourself up to get there! Your next partner is going to be perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. L. Williams says:

    There are a lot of mismatches out there, but they are typically caused by being unaware of ones own capabilities and you come off as very self aware.


  11. draftmare says:

    TBs are always so tempting because you can get them a dime a dozen, but they certainly aren’t for everyone. I know I will never get another. I have had two, and both had their own challenges. Mostly I found feeding them, keeping weight on them, and keeping their gut healthy was really hard.


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