Sometimes Forgotten?

Subject for the day: Off the track quarter horses.

I find myself mulling this subject over more and more lately as we approach show season. I am the proud owner of an off the track quarter horse. On her papers, O is an appendix quarter horse, and she was bred and trained to race. Although she only made it to the track for one race (she was horrible=see video below), she lived the racehorse lifestyle for years. After her failure on the track, they utilized her as a pony horse for training.

While I am so pleased to see the the OTTB has caught the public’s eye and is helping so many of these brilliant equine athletes find new jobs…I guess I’m a bit confused why people are not pushing this for off the track quarter horse racehorses as well. There are numerous quarter horse races in the US. And from personal experience, I can say that they are great athletes as well, and also need second careers.

I will say that when I hear about the only OTTB classes at shows, I get a little jealous, because the off the track quarter horses seem to have been forgotten. Of course it doesn’t make me cheer any quieter when I hear an off the track horse is competing in one of the big shows. I still feel a kinship with other off the track owners no matter what the breed. I just wish that there could be a more general off the track class versus the thoroughbred only classes. But again, maybe that’s just me. 🙂

I understand that the quarter horse racehorses numbers are smaller, but it shouldn’t diminish the importance of finding them second careers as well. And why not use them in the English world? In my mind, O is a perfect combination for me. Her genes bring out the size and movements that thoroughbreds are prized for, while her quarter horse side presents a solid body and quiet brain that is ideal for hunters. Both breeds are equally athletic. So why I wonder, is O the only off the track quarter horse I’ve ever run across in the hunter/jumper world? I have to believe there are many more OTQH’s like her that need a job.

Anyway, I’m off my soapbox for now. I just wanted to share some thoughts!

Quarter horse in dressage.

Quarter horse in dressage.

However, I did collect a few cool sites if people want to learn more about quarter horse racing!

Statue of Refridgerator, one of the best sprinters of all time.  He was an appendix as well.

Statue of Refridgerator, one of the best sprinters of all time. He was an appendix as well.

This organization re-homes both QH’s and TB’s from the track in Texas:

Or this Facebook group who focuses on QH’s as well: Group

Does anyone out there have an off the track quarter horse?

And now for some humor….my horse’s race video. Go to about 2:12 to watch her race. She breaks from the 6 post.

She was incredibly slow, and I’m glad! That brought her to me!

23 thoughts on “Sometimes Forgotten?

  1. I think that is a valid question. I also agree that the numbers is probably one of the biggest factors. I also wonder if the fact that there are so many QHs that aren’t bred for racing available that people don’t really think about the OTQHs. Whereas with the TB there just aren’t that many breeders out there that breed for something other than racing.

  2. Totally agree! Arabians also race–I volunteered putting miles and retraining on several off-track Arabs last year. OTTBs are awesome (of course, seeing as I have one, lol!) but I definitely don’t feel like they’re any *more* special than any other re-trained/re-homed special horse!

  3. I’ve actually thought a lot about this too. It doesn’t really make sense that they aren’t promoted more in the English disciplines. A lot of them go on to be barrel racers, so that’s good at least. They really should offer OTQH classes at shows/have shows. They’re awesome horses! I do think the way modern day racing QHs are trained and medicated at the track, that fewer stay sound and it tends to scare people off of them a little. Also, it makes it so a lower percentage can have second careers. I’m certainly not bashing the entire QH racing industry here (TB racing has it’s bad side too).
    Anyway, I love the blog and your horse looks really nice! I’m looking forward to reading more!

    • “I do think the way modern day racing QHs are trained and medicated at the track, that fewer stay sound and it tends to scare people off of them a little. Also, it makes it so a lower percentage can have second career”
      Absolutely, the AQHA is pro-slaughter, so breaking horses down and selling them for meat before they are three is perfectly acceptable. I was shocked at how often the AQHA shows up behind the scenes:
      There are QH people trying to change things, but the more voices the better. Please SPEAK UP!

    • So true that every sport kind of has that dark side somewhere in it! I am glad I’m not the only one who thinks they’d be great English horses 🙂

      Thanks for compliment and for reading, I checked out your blog too-very jealous of some of your experiences! 🙂

  4. haha, she was so slow, poor thing… My first horse (and heart horse) was a quarter horse. He was not off the track, but boy, he should’ve raced! HE WAS SO FAST. And he would have made an amazing event horse if I had known what I was doing back then. I was actually reading something about Off the track quarter horses the other day! I definitely agree, they need a little more loving 🙂 I guess there are just more TBs out there going to slaughter etc just because of the sheer number, so that’s where the focus has been. But quarter horses have a brain you just can’t beat and that’s what’s so great about them.

    Also, I’m still watching this video and QH racing is absolutely crazy.

  5. and omg that race at the end, with #4’s jockey falling off- and that little gray just races it’s little heart out anyway!! And comes in like second. HOW FUNNY. I’m going to have to share on facebook.

  6. You make a great point here, and it’s a shame that there isn’t more attention on saving Off Track Quarter Horses, or any of the other racing disciplines. Like you said, Thoroughbreds may have higher numbers, but all racers and ex-racers face the same potential fate! They are still my brethren, and I’d like to help them out, too! Do you mind if I reblog this on Misadventures of Icarus?

  7. Reblogged this on The Misadventures of Icarus and commented:
    Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of attention. (Okay, okay… I always get a lot of attention. But that’s not what I mean!) I’ve been getting a lot of attention because I’m an ex-racehorse who has achieved some success in my second career as a jumper. But I came across this blog, posted by a friend of mine, and she brought up a good point: Thoroughbreds aren’t the only horses who are forced to race, sometimes against their will. Any horse who is forced to race has a potential of facing the same fate, whether it’s being mistreated and injured on the track, or discarded when their career is over. So I’d like to get a little more involved in helping other ex-racehorses find new homes and new careers, which is what this particular blog post is about! Stay tuned for more, and please feel free to share your stories with me if you had a career as a racehorse, too! Catch y’all later…

  8. Pingback: Welcome to the March 2014 Blog Carnival of Horses | EQUINE Ink

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