Things You May Not Have Known About Your OTTB
- They’ve seen A LOT. The track is a very busy place.
- They need about 2-4 weeks to readjust. A week to let the drugs out and the rest to be a horse. These horses are used to the track being their only exercise.
- You can’t just turn them out right away and let them be, remember their only exercise was the track, they don’t know how to be horses and can go a little crazy. Take it slow, give them a good babysitter horse for their paddock/field.
- Horses that have run on dirt will need longer. Running on dirt makes a horse contract their muscles and tuck up their legs. Turf horses stretch out and glide over the turf. If it’s your first OTTB, look for a turf runner.
- Don’t put your foot in the stirrup to begin with, put your hand on the pommel, jump and slowly lower yourself into the tack. Then put your feet in, putting your foot in the stirrup is something they aren’t used to and it pokes them in the side.
- These horses are taught to pull and lay on the bit. It’s very important for running. So if you pull, they pull harder. DON’T PULL. Slowly get them used to a different kind of contact.
- The track changed their personality. When they’re being broke they are the sweetest, loving, chilled(most of them) creatures. We teach them to go, they don’t just instinctively go because they are TBs.
- They all have a side that moves better than the other. It isn’t the track that does this to them.
- They’re already used to putting their haunches to the inside whilst working.
- They are going to continue to paw/be cranky/etc it’s a track thing now ingrained in them even when the tension is removed. Remember that was their only exercise.
- The reason they are spooky or trip etc is because when they’re working at the track it is the most mindless task they could do. Our babies have to hack out and work on grass and have to deal with the terrain etc. When they go to the track, the footing is always the same, the work is usually always the same or at least they’re pulled up in a similar spot. So they zone out, stop paying attention to their feet and the task at hand and look at what’s going on around them.
I’ll add on to this as I think more. Make a Part 2 or something.