Howell: The High Maintenance Moniker Is Unfair — And Untrue — For OTTBs

While off-track thoroughbreds (OTTBs) have gained increasing popularity among amateur and professional sport horse riders in recent years, there are still some who avoid them. Allison Howell, a 2016 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover competitor, writes in The Plaid Horse that one of the reasons is that people sometimes perceive the breed to be “high maintenance” which she finds unfair.

All performance horses are high maintenance, Howell says, but she notes that for OTTBs to have homes prepared for their needs and successful second careers, their owners must be honest about the horses themselves – including how they are both similar and dissimilar to other breeds. Retraining a retired racehorse can take a lot of time, effort and talent, but in many ways, they are just like every other breed of horse.

It’s not unusual for upper-level athletes to have custom tack, long and involved grooming sessions, alternative therapy treatment and many other methods to keep them feeling their best. Few horses, no matter their breed or discipline, thrive in a heavy training program with just minimum care, Howell says – Thoroughbreds are not the anomaly in this respect.

Yes, it sometimes feels like a fresh off-the-track horse is a ticking time bomb between disasters … but truly: what horse isn’t?” she writes. “If you think about all the people you know who have experienced heartache right before a show, clinic or big event, I think you’d find that it happens to every horseman, in every discipline, with every breed.”

Read more at The Plaid Horse.

The post Howell: The High Maintenance Moniker Is Unfair — And Untrue — For OTTBs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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