‘They Give You Their All’: OTTBs Becoming More Common In Western Disciplines – Horse Racing News

Off-track Thoroughbreds like this one have developed increasing visibility across Western disciplines

Off-track Thoroughbreds have developed increasing visibility across Western disciplines, according to horseandrider.com, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of the Thoroughbred Makeover which includes competition in ranch work, barrel racing, and competitive trail.

Dale Simanton of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, explained that  a fair number of ranchers have been riding their dual-purpose racehorses during winter ranch work for decades.

“Thoroughbreds probably have more natural cow in them than any Quarter Horse I’ve ever ridden,” Simanton told horseandrider.com. “If you get one that’s about half scared of cattle, but still has the natural aggressiveness toward cattle that most horses have, then he’ll never lose focus when working cows because he wants to know where that cow is at all times.”

Similarly, Richard Weber III of Ridgway, Colorado, likes Thoroughbreds for both ranch work and winter skijoring competitions—an event where a horse pulls a skier through obstacles.

“To say there’s any task an OTTB can’t do is crazy in my opinion,” said Weber. “Especially working up in the mountains, roping 50 calves in a day, and working a branding, that’s where they shine. Thoroughbreds are like the Energizer Bunny, and I love that they have that marathon aspect to them.

“For me, to have a horse whose heart won’t stop means everything. They don’t quit you—they give you their all.”

Read more at horseandrider.com.