Are ex-racers as high maintenance as its claimed?

Wishfilly

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I do think it is a case of maybe not comparing like with like- TBs are performance horses. They've been selectively bred to run fast. Whereas natives and cobs have been partly bred to survive with less food, to work slowly but regularly, to cope with British winters with minimal maintenance.

I do think that if you compare a TB in terms of being high maintenance to e.g. an Arab or a warmblood, they probably need a similar level of feed, rugging, stabling etc in the winter.

I do think racing and being backed young can take a toll on their bodies, but again that could be said for continental warmbloods that are backed young.
 

Noble

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I have only had 1, he was an amazing stunning horse with good feet and at 17h barely needed any feed other than good grass/hay. Unfortunately having been broken at 1.5 years old his body was a mess and once in work KS, PSD and SI reared there ugly head, it was very subtle to begin with but I am surrounded by a great team. I operated on 2 and had the 3rd injected, he was still uncomfortable when coming into work after careful rehab over 3 years and towards the end I struggled to keep him field sound. He was PTS at 9. My vet/chiro who is well respected says she would struggle to find a completely sound ex racer out of 100 presented to her although to the untrained eye they may appear so.
 

paddi22

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any I've had over the decades have all ended up with is, sciata or kissing spine issues. I think if you are pottering around on a quiet one it's fine, but once you put them into serious work you start seeing the issues/resistence come up. I always hack them out for ages when I first get them and they feel great, but then as soon as you start asking them to take weight behind, work in a frame, I find the questions about SI, KS and sciatica and stuff come up. I also find they take a lot more rugging/feed/supplements than my others and seem more accident prone. A brush against a hedge for my cobs is nothing, but will result in a large bleeding tear along the body for my tbs!
 
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windand rain

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I don't recognize that in any of mine they were eventing fit and sound only trouble we ever had was being underweight on arrival soon corrected by correct feeding mostly they were nh horses and broken later. Had a flat bred and raced one but again his only issue was being too thin. The ones I sold to go eventing all lived and worked into their teens. My farrier is a master and has a masters degree in horse locomotion so trust his view
 

Mule

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They have the reputation of being fragile for a reason. Even my crossbred is becoming increasingly troublesome as he ages.
 

Willowbankstables

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My 21 year old ex racer (had since she was 16) is an absolute dream. She can be stressy but hardly ever is because she has a chilled lifestyle and a good routine. Plenty of fibre, hay in field, decent rugs (although she doesn't need very heavy rugs at all. Max weight 100g) and she's a chilled, affectionate, safe happy hacker :)
 

Velcrobum

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I have 2 out in the paddock one is retired age 23 is a dope on a rope TB passport was lost but he went through Malvern sales and his vetting stated TB passport. Was bought for my happy hacker husband until he developed over the course of 3 months a severe grade 5 aortic murmur. Other one Irish bred NH giant was started at 3 by Small trainer who starts them properly owner wanted him to run in a bumper trainer said not strong enough yet. Owner did not back down horse ran but very badly never enjoyed racing. Ran 7 times pulled up 3 times had all the ability just did not want to race. He is a chilled 17.1 cuddly giant does well both come in at night in winter. My ex competition horse became a money sink after he retired from eventing his dam was IDHxTB sire was Dallas he is more fragile than the TB's and much sharper!!
 

Slightlyconfused

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No more than normal horses.

My big appy has had more time off and problems than my sisters ex racer. Thought the ex racer became allergic to grass and basically anything a hoese can eat while being rested for an SI problem. So he was pts as he couldn't eat. But he would have been retired otherwise

Big lad has done three out of four suspensor branches, just waiting for him to do the fourth. He is a big kid who likes to injure himself. Has bad skin, ulcers, ocd in his stifle.


It's pot luck what you get, you know with an off the track tb there will probably be more issues due to how they were backed so early etc....
 

oldjumper

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Only had 3 (straight off track) and all other horses I’ve owned have been part TB so can’t compare to cold bloods but I think it as a bit like buying on hire-purchase….small initial payment but continuing instalments!
However, each one has been a pleasure to own and nothing equals a TB to ride!
 

GSD Woman

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I rode a few ex-racers who were basically sound. Have a friend who gets her horses next to free, if not free, rehabs them and has great horses. Another friend won't touch an ex-racer again. Hers literally broke down while she was in the saddle and had to be destroyed on the spot.
 

Frumpoon

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I think if you know one ex-racer then you know precisely one ex racer

I’ve ridden and owned a few over the years, both in training, in rehab and as riding horses and they are all so different

I think flat horses might end up being more fragile because they are started far too young and their breeding lines are different but then again you get some absolute tanks that mature really well out of flat horses
 

Millie-Rose

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I've known a few quite tough ones and all the ones I've known have been sound. Sadly as a livery yard owner I find people get them as they are cheap or free. Then can't afford to feed them. We have good grass and adlib hay here but often not enough for them particularly as they get into their later years. These budget horse owners would often be much better off buying a native type which would then be cheaper to run over time but they can't see it as the tb was free 🙄
 

Mrs G

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Ive had my TB 10 years, he raced on the flat 3 times, retired as too slow and I got him at 4 for £1500 (so not as cheap as some OTTBs). Hes been barefoot for the last 6 years, the only times hes ever been lame was due to pulling off shoes in the earlier years and a couple of over zealous barefoot trims when we first transitioned. He does cost me more in feed and hay than say my friends ID or Connie X because hes fed ad-lib hay and is on a cereal-fee diet (my choice) BUT compared to other friends expensive WB's hes been a total bargain - he's only ever had the vet out for routine jabs and he grows a winter coat a yak would be proud of so I rarely need more than a medium weight rug. He lives out 24/7 in summer and is stabled in winter but that's only because our clay land couldnt cope with the horses out all year. In all honesty though - I think its just luck - it doesnt matter what breed or type of horse you have - none are guaranteed!
 
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wiglet

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My TB mare was trained but never raced (far too slow an no desire to be in front!) She was given time out then came to me and was the laziest horse I've ever ridden.
She colicked a few times during our first winter - impaction colic but nothing too serious. This was easily sorted with some changes in management and never happened again.

After that, it was plain sailing until she got to her late teens. Her tendons and a knee began to cause her discomfort. She was treated with steroid injections and was fine for a while but we had to retire her in the end. She was 22. Then suffered a bacterial infection and was very poorly but, she pulled through and lived her life as a professional field ornament until we pts (she was arthritic and Bute wasn't helping enough) at the age of 27... not a bad age for a TB, IMO...
 
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