But, lately I've been going back and forth about whether or not to write this post, and I've finally decided to just do it. Thoroughbreds are becoming the new trend, and I think that's great! That being said, they are not always for everyone. There is a difference between a horse that has been raced and home bred to be a sport horse, and you can also add in x-type of sport horse into the mix, too. I understand that everyone is entitled to their own way of doing things, but there are some things I feel strongly about that I will voice here. It's not me saying others are wrong, right, etc. I'm sure we all follow different paths and reach the same places eventually. But here's my "rant".....
I think what sets Thunder Crest apart from every other OTTB sale barn (at least that I have seen advertised, or follow...I'm not in these other barns, I can't see, nor do I know what happens) is the amount of time we give our horses. You can follow along on my facebook page, there are some horses I can bring in off the track and I'll hop right on, it's either owners request, or some are just ready. Most, however, we yank their shoes and turn 'em out. Sometimes we add in some lunging, hacking, ponying on trails, some sort of light exercise to help them relax, but most head right out into a small group in a large field, come in to eat, get an occasional grooming or bath, daily check over and that's it.
The bottom line is horses aren't machines. Really, let's think about that statement in itself, for a second....even your fancy iphone, computer whatever, needs to be powered off sometimes. It drives me completely bananas!!! to see some young OTTBs head straight from the track into a full work program. Most horses in a sport horse program aren't even backed until 3, sometimes 4 years old. Those OTTBs you're collecting off the track are retired by 4, 5, and 6. One career, done and over. Most are backed by the fall before their 2 year old year, training as early 2 and some racing by late 2..... That opens a whole different area of controversy, one that I won't get into here right now. If you examine race records of most of the horses you get, they are racing every other week, or even once a month from 3 years old and on, some traveling up and down the coast to different tracks, or back and forth between tracks. It's a lot!!! And, remember, racehorses don't get turnout. Some will get a break in an off season, and I applaud the trainers that do that, it's more beneficial than they really know. So that's traveling from box to box, running in a giant circle day after day after day. That herd, grazing animal doesn't get to see a lick of grass or anything but a 12x12 for 2, 3...some even 5 years..Point of all of this being...if your horse is being retired because it's done, sour, body sore, whatever...WHY put it directly into a program? Yes it's a different program but they don't know that. As far as they're concerned you're the same two legged people with the same agenda (doing something they don't want to be a part of!)
Insert here as much turnout and time off as needed. I have some horses that have been on my farm off the track for a year, and you know what? I'll never make back what I've put into them. I know this, and I accept it. But it would have to mean life and death before I sacrificed the well being of a horse coming into my barn just to turn a profit.