A versatile and talented warmblood, the Thoroughbred is more than just a racer.
Why Choose a Thoroughbred?
A highly prized horse, the thoroughbred should be a high value animal. However, the racing industry has sometimes turned this breed into a commodity expendable once they finish or fail to prove themselves on the track. We’ve found thoroughbreds to be intelligent and highly trainable with a good temperament. Sometimes it just takes patience and hard work to reverse some of the habits and responses drilled into them in their racing life. Not every racehorse becomes a successful hunter/jumper or trail horse, but many do very well in new professions.
While we don’t breed or buy and sell horses as a business and we don't have the time and resources to run an animal rescue, we have occasionally kept and rehabilitated thoroughbreds. Our daughters' first horse was an off-the-track thoroughbred (OTTB) that someone else had rehabilitated. He turned out to be a wonderful and beloved family horse. Our riders are grown now and we don't have the time after farm work to ride regularly, but we acquired one OTTB and one rescue thoroughbred last year.
We see ourselves as phase II after an off-track transition or rescue by a professional organization. We've kept the horses for an extended time to evaluate their adjustments and socialize them to a family farm situation.
When we've taken in a horse, we begin with pasture downtime and interaction with another horse accustomed to a more normal routine and set of expectations. Then we provide basic practices in ground manners and exercises. We are not professional trainers and our horses are not finished for competition. Neither do they come with the high price tag associated with such training. Instead, any horse we re-home is affordable, spirited yet well-mannered and ready to learn and grow in a line of work determined by the new owner. Horses also benefit our farm by helping with pasture management and rotation, and parasite control. Living with cows, sheep, and dogs, a horse from our farm comes prepared for life on a typical multi-purpose farm or ranch.
Willow (registered name: Willing Fire) OTTB 6 years old 16H
Willow came to us after a racing career in Florida. Her first Tennessee winter was interesting. During our first snow, Willow was perplexed by the cold white barrier between her and the grass. Watching her jerk her head back like the ground had an electric shock in it was quite funny.
She eventually grew a thick dark bay coat and adjusted fine to the weather.
Willow is a powerful horse. Although she is good under saddle and does not buck or rear, we don't recommend her for a beginning rider because of her get up and go. Her athleticism may be good however as a potential sport horse.
Willow came to us in great shape from an excellent trainer that started the transition but she was nervous and flinchy at first. She soon calmed down with extended pasture time and a regular routine with our other horses. She is still alert to new things or changes in her environment, but she no longer exhibits a nervous nature and doesn't flinch when touched or groomed. We've noticed that her muzzle is somewhat sensitive, example her snow aversion, and she sometimes scratches her nose or licks and mouths gates when grazing or eating grain. She has not exhibited any cribbing behavior.
Willow stands well for the farrier and vet and shows good ground manners. Her health has been excellent, no problems. She even has good feet for a thoroughbred. She's up-to-date on vaccines.
Because of her strength and speed, we recommend an intermediate or above rider. We're not looking to turn a profit on our OTTB so the price is negotiable to an excellent home. Helping recuperate some of our costs would be much appreciated.