I have had a few people reach out to me about how I found and chose Annie. The answer I have is that I got really freaking lucky. Finding a nice horse off the track that is suitable for your chosen discipline can be a huge gamble. Even more so is a horse that could probably do will in a bunch of rings. More often than not you are lucky if you can get a video of the horse trotting in hand. A good trot doesn’t mean a nice canter or a fantastic jump though. Another thing to consider is that you 99% of the time can’t take the horse from the track or in a resale barn on trial. You won’t know if the horse has any vices (cough cribbing cough) until you have them home in your own barn. Though that is really a risk with any horse purchase.
The videos above were the only videos that I was able to see before purchasing Annie. I was lucky to see her ridden at all. (Please do not comment on the rider as it is not me)
I personally liked her trot (nice suspension?) in the video and she seemed to have really good head on her shoulders. Her price was pretty unbeatable (though not quite as good as Henny) and I decided to go for it.
A lot of people choose not to do a pre purchase on a horse they buy off the track. For me personally that was too much of a risk. I wanted to have some security in knowing that even if I didn’t like Annie I could turn around and sell her to get my money back.
Where should you look?
- Finger Lakes Finest (Group – Page)
- FB groups
- Dreamhorse.com (where I found Annie)
- New Vocations
- Second Stride
- Bits and Bytes Farm
- Brookwood Farm
The list above barely scratches the surface of places that you could find an OTTB. I would suggest asking for video on any and all of the horses that strike your fancy as the more you look at the more you will know what you do and don’t like.
It can take some patience but I think that anyone with the time/experience (or with the right trainer) can probably bring along a thoroughbred for their chosen discipline. It’s all a matter of finding the right horse for you though. Do you guys have any other hidden TB locating gems?