What is an ottb? possibly your new bff!!!

Off the track Thoroughbred

 If you’re a horse person or just love to look at them and bask in their beauty, then you have probably seen the term OTTB and have wondered what it means. I myself have wondered what the big deal is behind owning an OTTB, so I found out.

OTTB stands for Off-Track Thoroughbred. Meaning, they have done their time on the track and now the owner for whatever reason no longer wants to own it. Which means possibly a cheap price on a great horse for you. The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

Shelbie Sibbald who has owned OTTB’s for almost 13 years and has never looked back, spoke with me and told me what the big deal is behind them.  When you buy an OTTB they come with a lot of great things. Their registered, they're broke to ride, they’ve been hauled all over the place, receive regular farrier work and are up to date on all shots and vaccinations. Most OTTB’s become available at the end of race season which in Alberta is the end of September into October and can be purchased online through Facebook, Kijjii or any other site you can google to find one.

What kind of training or retraining is needed for an OTTB? Well like any horse, it all depends on the horse. It could come off the trailer on two hind legs ready to kill or it could come off so quiet and calm that you could throw your kid on it to go for a ride. Patience is the key when wanting to purchase an OTTB. Some have issues of impatience, won’t stand to be saddled, paw because their bored or frustrated or not much for ground manners.

When you're looking into purchasing an OTTB, find out as much as you can about where they’re coming from. Talk to the trainer, find out every detail you can about their feed program and their quirks and such, just like you would any other horse. OTTB’s are usually fed high energy feeds and all the oats they want, so to come off that might take some work. Shelbie suggested giving them an ulcer treatment of some sort and also a stomach calmer for acids and anything else going on internally that you don’t know about. 

Obviously, for whatever you plan to do with them, they don’t need to be on all those oats and high energy feeds, so decrease them off all that slowly until their only eating good supplements if needed.

5 Suggestions for purchasing an OTTB:

  1. Patience, these are not getting on and go ride em cowboy horses, that’s an accident waiting to happen.
  2. Shop around.
  3. Go see them and spend time with them. Get to know them before bringing them home
  4. Be smart about it.
  5. If your unsure about anything, take someone with you.

I’m now interested in possibly looking for one now that I know this information. I always thought OTTB meant a rescue for thoroughbreds. When it actually means a horse wanting to work and someone giving them that chance.

OTTB Mare Barrel Racing. Shelbie Sibbald of SMS Performance Horses

OTTB Mare Barrel Racing. Shelbie Sibbald of SMS Performance Horses