Gotta Love Those OTTB’s

With my pinto-colored gaited horses in my backyard, you may be surprised to know that I am a Thoroughbred fan.

As a child/pre-teen, I rode my fair share of Half-Thoroughbreds in huntseat and jumping lessons at various barns and camps. My aunt also bred her Appaloosa mare to a Thoroughbred stallion. The resulting foal went on to place at the World Appaloosa Show in Green Working Hunters under professional tutelage.

My most recent experience with a Thoroughbred took place when I fostered several years ago an aged TB gelding named Henry for the Indiana Horse Rescue. He had a lip tattoo that was unreadable at that point, but it certainly indicated he had a racing history of some sort. Tall (about 17 hands) and lanky, Henry presented as a gentle giant. I really enjoyed getting to know him for a brief time before he was adopted.

Here was OTTB foster horse, Henry, and my horse, Bear. You can see a bit of a height differential, yes?

I myself am short in stature, put together with short arms and short legs. While I am happy to ride pretty much any kind of horse (or mule or donkey!), I unfortunately don’t see myself buying/adopting a thoroughbred even though I admire them. Over the years, I discovered that I just feel a lot more comfortable and confident when mounted on a short, compact horse. Short and compact doesn’t describe most TB’s.

Even so, I enjoy reading information about various Thoroughbred makeover events and about the non-for-profit organizations like CANTER ( and Friends of Ferdinand ( that work in finding new homes for OTTB’s (off-the-track-thoroughbreds).

Eariler this Summer, I received a free copy of the Summer 2020 issue of Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine and was thrilled to read it. It was very informative, well-laid out with really interesting articles.

If there are any OTTB fans out there who haven’t seen this magazine, it is definitely worth a look. Find out more about the magazine or sign up to subscribe at

3 thoughts on “Gotta Love Those OTTB’s

  1. I got a TB off the track when I was a teenager. I went to try him at the track and wanted to know if he could jump at all. I asked them to set up two straw bales end to end and I jumped him over them. I told my Dad to look at his front legs and see if they were neatly together or not. He gave me a thumbs up and we bought the horse. I had no idea what I was getting into and I fell off him at least one a week for the first month. He was a good guy though and he taught me a lot.

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    1. That is quite the story, Anne! You got to try your horse while he was still ON the track. I don’t know how many people can claim that experience. I am sure your time with him did contribute to your being the accomplished rider that you are today.

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