Ride as many TBs as you can before then. Dont let one bad ride ruin the rest! Accidents happen with all breeds. Ive taken lots of spills off of QHs. Falling and injury is a risk of riding, but we love it regardless!
IMO, this could easily, EASILY end up as a very bad situation for you and the horse. I think you need to spend a LOT more hours in the saddle and become a confident, skilled rider before trying to tackle something like retraining an off-the-track horse as a pleasure mount.
Horses come as either confidence givers or confidence takers. The confidence taker should not be matched with a similar owner…it is not the TB breed as much as the individual horse and you are planning to have help with her.
I’m used to falling but usually I know what I’ve done wrong as soon as I do it so I’m prepared to make a quick exit, I quess not knowing what made him start speeding up as he did at that time scared me, normally I am very confident on a horse. The one good thing from that was that everyone complimented me on my good seat! the trainer will be working with her for about 3-6 months, I’m thinking for on the six month range and Ive been assured that he won’t let me ride until he knows she’ll be alright with me on her. I trust he’ll really do wonders for her and make her a suitable horse thanks to everyone for replying so quickly wow!!
I agree with Dancing Arabian. Perhaps you might prefer to be the 2nd (or even 3rd) owner of an OTTB, rather than the 1st. Depending on the horse, it may take a LOT of retraining before he/she is fit for public consumption.
FWIW, I’m a novice rider and I lease an OTTB; HOWEVER, she’s been away from the track for a number of years. I’m certainly in no position to tell you what to do, but I think your safety concerns are legitimate.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
EDIT* I just saw your comment about the trainer your working with. It sounds like you’ve got it covered.
For future reference regarding OTTB’s, pulling back on both reins will almost always generate an unpleasant response.
You can send her to the trainer for 3 years if you want, but that won’t help you a bit because you are the one who will eventually be riding her. I don’t know if you are familiar with the saying, “every second you are on a horse, you are either training or untraining” I don’t know about other breeds, but a TB mare is a very smart, quick thinking type of horse. No matter how well the trainer trains her, from the second you get on, she will begin sizing you up as a rider/leader and work from there.
Like others have suggested, please take some lessons or leases on as many TBs as you can so you can get an idea of how their brains work. They are FANTASTIC horses with a great work ethic, but they are very smart and need confident and competent riders.
Ride the horse. Not the breed.
Two things – you don’t know enough about breeding and/or racing and/or thoroughbreds to actually breed one. Sorry, but it’s true. I got my TB from a breeder that basically sank herself into bankruptcy trying to follow “the dream” without the means. In contrast, my farrier, who has been involved with racing and TBs his whole life just bought his first two mares this year (he’s in his mid-40s). One is bred (or maybe foaled by now), the other is a young filly and he’s getting offers on her already.
Success in racing/breeding TBs almost always requires experience, contacts, and money. You don’t have any of those things yet.
BUT - I would not want to warn you off of TBs yet. I bought an 11 year old ex-broodmare (ex-racing horse) as my 1st horse ever. Terrible idea! But she was kind, and worldly, and I did learn a lot from her. She’s not super fun to ride because she was retired from riding most of her life, but she’s a beautiful mover and it’s like riding a cloud.
Don’t be afraid of the breed – there are all types out there, just like any other breed. Not all make great racehorses because it requires a certain temperament…so, a “washout” might make a great horse. If you’re working with a good trainer - just ride your horse. Whatever breed it might be.
I’ve fallen off plenty of times, so I’m used to falling but usually I know what I’ve done wrong as soon as I do it so I’m prepared to make a quick exit, I quess not knowing what made him start speeding up as he did at that time scared me, normally I am very confident on a horse. The one good thing from that was that everyone complimented me on my good seat! the trainer will be working with her for about 3-6 months, I’m thinking for on the six month range and Ive been assured that he won’t let me ride until he knows she’ll be alright with me on her. I trust he’ll really do wonders for her and make her a suitable horse thanks to everyone for replying so quickly wow!![/QUOTE]
Not to be harsh, but even though you’ve been riding a lot, it sounds like there’s holes in your riding. Falling a lot doesn’t mean anything when it comes to your riding ability. Red flags are that you don’t know why that horse sped up more than you wanted and that you sound like you lost control at the trot and fell off after you panicked. You have to be MUCH more confident and skilled as a rider before trying to participate in a retraining of a horse. Not just an OTTB - ANY horse.
It’s great that you have a trainer, but unless you’re only going to ride this horse when a trainer is present, you cannot rely on a trainer being there. Things happen. Falling outs happen and you need a backup plan for this horse should things not work out with this trainer. It could be any reason why it doesn’t work out - the trainer could get hurt for example.
Learn the one way stop, practice until it is 2nd nature, ONLY ride horses have been trained for it.
Will really help your confidence to be able to stop a horse by just pulling back one rein.
Whenever I ride a new horse, I always practice it to see it’s response, isn’t something I would NOT have if needed.
You pull to your hip, hand NEVER crosses over their neck. Inside leg comes back to disengage their hip. Release once they stop, practice at the different gaits, practice often until it is a second thought.
I worry a tad that the lady giving lessons never taught you that…I may suggest you find a different trainer…
he started trotting faster than I wanted and when I signaled for him to stop (said woah, easy) he wouldn’t stop
I think we have a complete disconnect here. The vast majority of horses aren’t trained to respond to the cues that a tiny minority of quarter horses are trained to respond to. Spur stops come to mind, as do QH’s trained to trot, canter and stop dead in response to verbal cues.
I suspect the OP hasn’t actually been taught to RIDE and has instead been put up on these “Trick trained” type horses. Nothing wrong with training horses to respond to cues, but they only work on trained horses. Learning how to ride- using body weight, seat, and natural leg/hand cues- is very different and it works on all horses.
The other thing that may have also enhanced her speed is if you ride with a lot of thigh pressure. I grew up riding saddle seat and alsobhad a bulldog QH and little short legs whom I ONLY rode bareback on as saddles were of no use on her. So my first instinct when a horse acts up is to grab with my thighs…tends to be where jocks feet are sooooo not so good in a runaway ottb. I had ridden ottbs before and the one that took off with me was a 27 year old! He had a bigger canter than I was expecting so by habit I started using my thighs. Well that was a mistake. My friend is yelling stop with the thighs. I had to talk myself down hard as it was but once I got my thighs off of him he slowed! She had ridden him for 10 years or so and didn’t know he still had that much speed in him!
Pole and barrel horses aren’t trained with spur stops so I don’t think that is an issue here.
I think since you have a trainer, you need to make sure you confide this issue to him as well.
I think it was just the lack of what she percieved as normal brakes that upset the op not so much the speed. Going fast is pretty much a given in poles and barrels.
TB’s are not “Entry Level” first time horses. This sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Especially when breeding for a race horse is part of the plan. Learn, learn, learn…on “Good Old Boy” types until you are REALLY good!! A TB mare is not the place to start. IMO.
Others above have covered the riding aspects very well.
I’m going to implore you not to breed. Please.
Or at the very least, go spend an evening at the nearest horse auction and see how many unwanted “young prospects,” most not even started, get sold most nights of the week because somebody got in over their head. If they don’t go to be starved bony in Craigslist-type homes full of barbed wire and ignorance, far more likely they’re bought for $25 to $200 each and crammed onto a sealed semi bound for the Mexican or Canadian slaughterhouses. This is the shame NOT of the auctioneers or the kill buyers, but of OVERBREEDING surplus equines. This is the reality–that winner’s circle at the Derby stuff only happens in the movies unless you’re a zillionaire, and the rare exception proves that rule.
We have FAR TOO MANY horses that have no prospects of competent ownership already for any caring horseman to condone beginner-backyard breeders producing more. PLEASE learn to ride, train, maybe even show for a LONG time before contemplating any such thing. And talk to many with the true qualifications for breeding, for maybe 10 years, before revisiting the question.
Thank you for the concern about the breeding, I have been researching, talking and researching even more about all the aspects of breeding and raising a foal. I know that even if that foal has absolutely no love for running I will be ok with it. I am financially able to care for the mother and foal properly even if the foal never becomes a racer. I am not breeding for the money, I’ve just always been fascinated about the fact there hasn’t been a triple crown winner for so long and I’d love to get a shot at raising a triple crown prospect myself. I have talked to many MANY people who breed, show, race and own racehorses and I know just about everything that goes into it.
I am a huge fan of TBs - Off the track, breeding, racing, whatever - BUT - this really doesn’t sound like a good plan. If you want to breed a triple crown winner, you need to get to know TBs - not quarter horses, barrel racers and western riding. You would serve yourself better by getting a job in a racing stables or even spending a week with a trainer - so that you really know what TBs are all about. As others have said, there are novice friendly TBs and other TBs. The winners of the Triple Crown tend to fall into the other category. They will be highly strung, quick to react, want to move fast all the time. You need to get used to handling and working with this sort of horse, rather than handling horses who will tolerate novice behaviour.
And - DO NOT BREED THIS MARE!!! If she came off the track at 3 and hasn’t been bred then she is not a TB brood mare prospect. If you want to “have a go” at breeding, you would be more sensible to breed a breed which tends to the more placid. Mare and foal will both be easier to handle for a novice.