This article is written for those entering the Industry for there are high dangers present. A simple check of my Blog will soon show you the proof of my words here below, stories of problems in their Thousands, now dated back to 2001 within the 25,000 Letters I have answered.

None of any of this is the fault of the lovely Horses, of which I have broken in hundreds and they are all just normal Horses


it matters not that they only Trialed, further…….  (These stats are from one of Australia’s Leading vets’) I completely agree with them though, across a sample of Thousands of these Horses during my Life time.

Because they are cheap, they become the Bread and Butter of many Ruthless and Crooked Horse Dealers around the Country, spawned by the Internet, where everyone is a Horse Dealer over Night and so these cheap and plentiful Horses get sold to the unsuspecting.


Due to the surprise attacks on the Racing Industry by “Racing Kills” there has been a strong push back from the Racing Organization to fool the Pubic.  

 This has spawned countless Re-homing Organizations, Dealers in Thoroughbreds and Re-educating services, most of who won’t have a clue about the underlying Veterinary that awaits. This article has promoted furor from vested interests, but I wrote it to even up the debate and to save Novices from being conned and to ‘level the Playing Field’


Since pioneering Horselaw in this Country, I have consulted to many Cases involving ex Race Horses, being sold by Crooks, as Australian Stock

the-many-ramifications-of-the-off-the-track-thoroughbred Horses.



      • Almost all suffer Psychological issues from very minor to major like Windsucking, Weaving and other things. (4 collars sent to One Trainer in Hong Kong this Week
    • 100% of have substandard and therefore dangerous Mouths and braking systems, rated at the max of 4/10. Even if they were broken in well (which most are not) the Mouths are soon ruined during Racing because Riders can only just hang against the Mouths but not use Legs and at up to 200kg when galloping.
    • Of course it is NOT the fault of the Horses, it is the systems they endure but I have to still warn you.
    • Many are ‘High Maintenance’
    • They are highly expensive due to the many detrimental issues that arise.
    • They cannot compete any more, in conventional Dressage because of their movement and Veterinary issues that are often not noticed or diagnosed. Yes they can be used for Dressage and plenty go around in the low Classes but they cannot compete against the Warmbloods) many can relate the story about the Sound and Mentally balanced Off the Track Thoroughbred, so can I, but I submit that those stories lie within the 14% of the rest.
    • Rarely do they suit Learner, Novice or Average Riders and the search for those that may can be fraught with danger.
      To sell one to a Learner or Novice Rider is a ‘Risk Management’ issue.
    • Veterinary


    • Bills are almost mandatory.
    • They produce a high percentage of injuries
    • to Riders and in some instances, Death and or Para or Quadriplegia. I have many cases via my style251″>
    • “Blind Freddie’ should know, that Horses were not designed to Race at 2 or 3 Years of Age. It breaks their Bodies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Local Vets say this:


Did You know?…….

    • 2 out of 3 Endurance Horses have Ulcers immediately after competition
    • Over 58% of competitive Horses have Ulcers after 3 Days of Travel and competition

90% of Racehorses have Ulcers


When we examine the Veterinary soundness of these horses, after taking the above figures into account, I have to tell you that the Vets’, miss a lot of problems during the Vet checks of these horses for sale. We have lost count of the number of horses that have successfully passed Vet checks, only to be found immediately unsound when we ride them. That is not the fault of the Vets’ however as they don’t ride them and they don’t really focus too much on the rear end of the horse either, apart from the stress tests of hocks down. One of the purposes of this article is to get them thinking too. Not that they can anyhow, without X-Rays that is and even then, the deep injuries in the engine location of the horse cannot show a lot of the conditions that we encounter and which you see in the video’s here. The Veterinary Colleges need to change their policies to take into account the viewing of ridden or lunging tests of horses which would help, but unless the Rider was trained in the identification of the problems, that would not help either.

Holland has just gone to Vet checks for horses before breaking in and what a great idea. There you are Vets, happy now?


By far the most prevalent are

    • the problems with ‘stifles’ or ‘patella locking’ problems.
    • Then there is the Sacroiliac tears.
    • Pelvic fractures
    • Bone Chips
    • Calcification of the spine and other parts.
    • Tendon and ligament damage, thickening or enlargements.
    • and so many times, the problems are not recognized by Riders’ and that is a tragedy caused by the inadequacies or the Curriculums of the various Equine teaching Organizations in this Country.

This has probably never been advanced before in the World of Equine Veterinary investigation but we can tell that the act of requesting a horse to put it’s head down (call it whatever you like) triggers pain that increases with the advancement of the paces. The canter becomes the most difficult, that when the horse has to engage the rear end more and we can feel that there is a direct correlation between submissiveness and pain. Something happens to the Race Horse, something that has never been studies, questioned or investigated. Don’t doubt me as it is such a shame to say that we are yet to be proven wrong when we label a horse.

Are there good ones?…of course there are but take a look at who is riding most of them. Don’t kid yourself, they mostly aren’t ‘Novices.’


Think about this. Thousands of horses per day around my Country, are terrorized, flogged with whips, hit with spurs, jagged in the mouth and sent off to Horsemen for the good old ‘tune up’ translated into a good ‘flogging’. Why? because they are “NAUGHTY HORSES”

I see it weekly, almost daily. I saw it at the Dressage last Sunday. Horses crying out for help, desperately trying to communicate to their owners through various means and because of the kindness of such horses, rarely dump their owners onto their sweet asses as they should. They just don’t ‘listen to their horses’ They don’t understand the ‘language of eques’


It is a tragedy that people are not taught about the signs, how to read the horses, to even think about it. To consider that it may be a problem that the horse has rather than the horse being a problem. So for those of you who read this, here are some signs for you:

    • The horse doesn’t want to weight bare on one of the hind legs.
    • The horse carries it’s hind end to the inside or the outside, regardless of which way it is traveling
    • You cannot get the horse straight
    • The hind legs do not track through and are short in action.
    • Standing behind the squared up horse, you see muscle de-generation on one side of the rump
    • Temporarily locking of the stifle and up the scale
    • Bouncing on the back legs like a Kangaroo
    • Kicking up during canter transitions
    •  breaking from trot to canter on the spot when ridden round.
    • Difficult to keep the head down in a frame with the horse often and for no real reason, reefing it’s head up, normally associated with a break to canter
      Difficulty in walking down Hills and the horse wanting to zig zag to diminish the steepness.
    • A refusal or unwillingness to back up
    • Difficulty or unwillingness to flex
      Walking off during the mounting process.
    • Excessive sweating in short time which exhibits pain
    • A fear of the Dressage arena and a marked reticence to enter into it.
    • Running away.
    • Difficulty in bending or leg yielding.
    • Stress.
    • Jig Jogging’ for no reason
    • Bouncing or kicking up during flying changes.
    • Bolting when all else fails at telling the owner.
    • Rearing.
    • Stopping dead as they enter a canter pirouette.
    • Increasing speed and threatening to run during lines of flying changes.
    • Not showing any signs of problems when on a loose rein with the head in the face of the rider.
    • An unusual neck height, higher than normal.
    • Calcification of the lower back bone.
    • Clicking in the rear legs.
    • Marked incorrectness of wear on the rear hooves.
    • Bucking
    • Running backwards
    • Failure to go forward and coming behind the leg
    • A high percentage have stomach ulcers.
    • Continually changing leads on the back legs only during canter.
    • After video of the horse walking away, you see one side of the rump drop further than the other
    • Have you ever squared your horse up on cement and stood behind it to see if it’s body is the same on both sides? Have you ever videoed your horse as it walks straight away from you and checked to see if one Rump goes lower than the other?

and the list goes on. How did you go, do you think about those things with your horse?. Is your Coach saying the horse is naughty? Has your Coach got on and given it a flogging over the jumps for a few weeks as one of these? Has the horse been sent to a Thug Trainer as one of these?  Congratulations if you have an open mine, an investigatory mind, given the horse the benefit of the doubt or finally come to the conclusion that the horse should ride off into the Sunset with a pleasure Rider? Congratulations.


    • Many come with highly frustrating and expensive Vices, like…..
    • Crib Biting or
    • Wind Sucking
    • Fence Walking or Running
    • Incessant Pawing
  • Climbing the walls of Horse Floats

    and a high percentage of them haveSeparation Anxietycaused by the ‘Battery Hen’ environment many live in.



The Foundation Stones on these Horses are almost always poor…..(even if they were started perfect, they are ruined in a Week)

    • None have ever known what it is to ‘collect’ or break at the poll
    • Leg Yield
    • and they ALL have substandard Mouths, even if they had a quality one in the beginning.



Many come with Floating Vices, caused by bad driving and substandard Floats within the Racing Industry.

        • Many won’t load into Floats
        • Wall Climbers or Scramblers


It is not commonly known but the Racing Game damages the Sacroiliac Region of the Race Horse. Put that together with being galloped at an age too young and you have ‘Wall to Wall’ problems with these Horses and they therefore often DO NOT suit the English Disciplines where collection is required where they physically cannot do it.

So after all of that, you insist, it might pay to ask us about how to save 12 Months of frustration in training and Veterinary as we have developed the systems and they work.



I am getting heated Feedback from Thoroughbred Groups and I can tell that they don’t know my credentials or History. I suggest future Punters go and properly check my History out before getting emotional for we have the credentials, the experience and the track record that can be proven any time, anywhere.

Dedicated to this Young Lady who was dead two Days after this ride. ****NOTE  The Zero Mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The non existent Mouth of the Race Horse

Note the Neck under Muscle, the Degenerated Top Line, the de-generated Hind End and the SACROILIAC WEAR AND TEAR!!!!!!!!!!


Hi there John,

My OTTB rant to join in yours 🙂 I write this with all horses in my mind first and foremost, to do the best I can for them and also fellow riders that enjoy our equine friends. Horse come first at Mt Twirlicup Agistment Centre.
I have followed all your methods/advice/training tips on re-educating  OTTB'”s and been successful with clients nags but “MY” what a long winded mind boggling saga over the years they all are and have been.
I have no clue ( yes they are cheap ) as to why a less assertive rider would even go there when again and again I am full of panic attacks as the rider and the new beloved 17hh black TB (” I had to buy this one Amber ,even though there was that bay 15hh ASH available  because Susie down the road said that would look boring as it was bay and my tack is tan and it will look better on a black horse- yes I have heard this one LOL)) head off for the ride from hell through the treks over our farm.

The rider doesn’t  think this is going to happen as horse has been great in the arena for weeks and he is all settled in…..blah blah   I have been told before that I am narrow minded and nasty about OTTB. I am the complete opposite actually but each to their own perspective of why I have my own reasons on that type of horse. Firstly I feel so bloody sad for them. Yes I am told there are some wonderful OTTB’s out there and I am pleased there are, don’t get me wrong.

 I have had countless agisters hurt from a fall off a OTTB behaving fearful & full of flight once the other horses are out of view. Yes I can be paid to re-mouth re-train re- do etc but financially the agister cant do it soooooooooooo we have taken OTTB’s over the years up to the bush and shot them as they are not being used, feet not trimmed and not being fed.

Better off to be in horse heaven than in horse hell and I will not tolerate it. I know to some this seems quite shocking but with no place at the meat works for all these ex -gallopers what is too happen???? Vets are too expensive I am told so prefer to pretend the horse isn’t there????

Clients/agisters are not riding the OTTB as it was dangerous and are happy trotting out on a SB for a wine ride so you cant just leave the other horse and shut your eyes to ribs in the summer because you will not buy hay as you don’t use the horse.?????
 I have found a lovely 15hh 15yr old QH x Arab gelding for a 20year old rider that has just recovered from a broken pelvis from a bolting OTTB that leaped a cattle grid on a farm next to ours and back leg went through the grid. We shot it immediately. 

Poor horses what a end due to being frightened of everything….psychological damage of years of Racing then to be expected to canter on a loose rein over undulating paddocks of green. No and you might get killed in the process.

 I say in my opinion on the OTTB horses I have ridden they have separation issues/anxiety plus herd bound from racing days. The only thing they had to hold onto was their MATES so I do have understanding yes I do….why does the rider want to have to go through continual training of this type of horse to even get out the gate- a few things I always notice watching someone ride off….wont walk straight-showing resistance as early as that- as rider is riding down driveway the tail starts swishing and the body muscles are tightening then whoosh the OTTB is zooming backwards towards a fence and the legs are off the horse and reins tight and I understand why……its bloody scary………so either get the horse to a respected re-educator and it will be continual training and especially for the rider- ….CAN YOU DO THIS be honest with yourself and the horse otherwise call me and I will find you what your hoping to actually have as a horse as we all want that kind of horse. I am dealing with the avearge joe blow that wants to pleasure ride and a few shows. 
I want you to be happy.
Thanks John for all you do with OTTB’s as they must all be in love with you and you with them as you say.

Hi, I’m just writing in response to your article I read about OTTBs… The one that paints them in THE worst light possible. I’m not expecting this email to be recognised publicly, but I just felt the need to point out that I think your article is a little dramatic. I’m only 18, however I have been around thoroughbreds and ex-races alike from when I was about 6. Obviously i didn’t ride an ex-racer when I was 6, or even 10 for that matter – I grew up on stock horse x’s and naughty ponies. Mum was knowledgable and I had a coach who was always around to supervise and give regular weekly lessons. I got my first TB when I was about 11/12. And he was great. He’d done a bit of sporting and hadn’t raced for 2+ years. He was incredibly hard to put weight on, dove down on the forehand, had no top line to speak of an probably had ulcers now that I look back on it. But he was sweet. And I could do anything on the ground with him, even my little 12 year old self could make him lunge and stand still and back up. I could saddle and bridle him on my own. Because even though they are ex-racehorses, they are still horses all the same. And capable of feelings and emotions – they are also capable of choosing how they act and react. When I outgrew him, and got another OTTB (who’d been retrained to Medium level dressage), he too was wonderful. Silly in the head, flighty, 17.1hh and very very sensitive. But same thing. I had a coach. Knowledgable parents and the horse wasn’t dangerous. Just unsure. Day by day he realised that I was going to love him and cuddle him and trip over and throw the saddle up a bit to get it on his back cause he was so tall.. And 6 months later he was ridiculously quiet. Still prone to tensing up and surging when it came to flying changes or difficult dressage movements, but it’s all about how you ride them and how you treat them. I lost him in a paddock accident. Now I have a 6 yo OTTB. He quit racing 2 months ago.

He’s not completely sound as he has hardening of the larynx (hence retirement) but he’s been scoped and vet checked and he’s perfectly sound for dressage. Same thing – he gets nervous and flighty, but it’s our job as responsible horse owners to influence the horse in a positive light. Obviously inexperienced people can’t do that- and I guess that’s where the basis of your article has come from. But when it comes down to it, if no one was rehoming racehorses, I don’t think Australia would have much of an eventing team to represent them. As for the movement/ paces of my previous and current TBs, it rivals that of my WB mare. You just have to select carefully. Thoroughbreds can have very quality walks, and when selecting one, if your able to catch a glimpse of one cantering calmly enough (even for 3-4 strides) then you can judge what it will be like when the horse is taught relaxation, balance, looseness, suppleness, throughness, how to carry themselves straight and laterally and finally collection. Thoroughbreds, especially ex-racehorses, are horses that can only be retrained if you train them from their mind down. Physically, their confirmation can be on point with a warmblood. Therefore their movement can be too. Thoroughbreds are what shaped our warmbloods anyways so it’s not surprising they bare some resemblance to one another. They just need to be taught how to re-think and if you choose responsibly, then they can make wonderful equestrian horses. Thanks, Ayla

Hi Ayla,

Very nicely put and I can read Your personality (which is lovely). Your Parents did a very good job with You 🙂

I accept all of Your points of course but I write to and for the lowest common denominator and those People have none of the skills and attitudes that You do.

The Off the Track Thoroughbred situation has become a very politically driven one, caused by ‘Racing Kills’ putting immense pressure on the Industry and so they had to counter with some equally ‘Politically driven tactics’ to be seen to be doing the right thing by the discards. That immediately grew all sorts of groups or re-homing People and re-training People, many trying to get a quid out of it as well.

So I saw it coming and because I know how the World works and how Humans react, I decided I had to ‘level the playing field’ to save the odd Life and many injuries, which You have to agree happens all the time. You need to know that I get the stories every Week.

So yes, I agree there are many lovely one’s but with the plethora of gullible Humans we have these Days, someone had to protect them from themselves.

As an aside, I note that I have directly influenced both Industries, because of the power of my Site. I have lowered the price of ex Racehorses and I have dramatically risen the prices of Standardbreds. For that I am happy


I am ramping up my efforts lately, to counter the Spin and Promotion of the “Save the Racehorse’ Organizations, Born of a flash idea to Counter “Racehorse Kills’ Organization, who are hurting the Race Clubs over their fight to Ban Jumps Racing. So here is some more information for You. Let’s look at the top of the Rump of this Race Horse and over 85% of the rest of them.

So can You see the wear and Tear and the calcification of the Sacroiliac???……, on the other side of the Coin, I spent several Hourse this Week and my Money, to save one myself, ….this one. Even worse, let’s look from another angle…….

Now what You are looking at here, is not only major Sacro damage but worse, one side showing more than the other. Possible caused by one way of going forever.


I am going to tell You something that no Scientific commentary has woken up to. At least the 86% that one learned Vet says are unsound upon leaving the Track (and I agree with based on our sample of hundreds of them), that basically, all Race Horses have Sacro damage in various degrees….of course they would have, ‘Blind Freddie should know this”….You can’t gallop 2 Year Olds and think You are not going to damage them!!!!!!!!!!!

So the Skinny Horse provides the obvious picture of what most can’t see on normal conditioned Horses. So imagine this below the surface of MOST OF THEM, regardless of the Spin or Sales pitch.


Many, many X-Race Horses, DON’T WANT to put their Head down. They are in Mortal Fear of it, why/????? – because it hurts their Sacro area, like Hell”


Hi John, I have a problem just wondering if you could suggest how I could help my mare I not long ago purchased, she walks her yard all day everyday.. Even when I feed her, she will take a mouth full of her feed and just keep walking, I have been told to put hobbles on her just in her yard, but I was always taught to teach them to wear them. She doesn’t have a friend in her yard but she does have a horse in a yard across from her..
I hope you could possibly help me.
Thanks Jaimie smile emoticon

More info needed….age breed etc etc

She is a thoroughbred finished racing a month/6weeks ago didn’t have much of a career only a 4year old, i didn’t want to start working her till she had settled in, thought she would have started to settle by now I haven’t changed her feed she’s on the same as she was before she come to mine, also starting her on something for stomach ulcers when it arrives

There are few things You can do. Put it in with a friend, get a sheep, goat, calf……..miniature……hobble train but use them only in an ADVANCE and RETREAT proper training mode by removing them the moment the horse settles and repeat repeat hundreds of times.
Treat the Horse for Ulcers, Sand, Worms, Teeth. Would You believe many aren’t done.
This comes with the Race Horses Jaimie.  Your Vet is going to Luv You 🙂


This Child is at risk of Death, right there!!

After all of that, if You insist, contact us for the secrets to success with them and to protect Your Life.


Listen to Your Horses


  1. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Cialis. Of course, they are all lovely Horses and having started hundreds of them, they are just as quiet as any other Breed. Not their fault. Regards

  2. Funniest article ever.

    1. Thanks. Wasn’t meant to be funny though but I understand different Folks have different opinions of funny. Update for You. My Wife is sitting next to me with a Broken Leg, bucked off a 4 year Old just retired. Lovely horse, lovely temperament. I rode Him around the District and declared to the Girls that they would want to watch Him but alas, next ride they had, he got going good enough to make it to B Grade Rodeo.

      Now, if you are still with me, listen to this. I declared to them both, that he will have KISSING SPINE, so they paid for Him to go to Adelaide Hills Vets and blow me down, Kissing Spine on 4 Vertebrae.

      Now do you get the warnings????

      Thanks for reading

  3. Not the fault of any of the lovely Horses. The Racing Industry simply does not get it. Brain Dead!!!

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