the six stages of the OTTB Connect cycle

I don’t know if any of you are members of the Facebook group OTTB Connect, but it is an ottb-centric group that can be a great resource for owners, afficionados, and admirers of thoroughbreds. ¬†I love OTTB Connect, as it is a great group,¬†and have really enjoyed being a part of the community. ¬†Just being around so many ottb lovers is wonderful! ¬†You can get a lot of useful information off of the group, and people are always eager (and sometimes a little too eager) to help. ¬†I found Murray’s full brother on there, and while I didn’t manage to help him find a new home, I gave his owner some useful information about what his potential might include. ¬†However, if you’ve been part of the group for any amount of time, you’ll probably notice that the content gets a little…. repetitive.

All that has happened before will happen again….

As if the search bar never existed, the same topics seem to come up over and over again. ¬†It’s kindof like the Wheel of Time, only a lot less long. ¬†Or perhaps the¬†Battlestar Galactica Cycle, without cylons or intergalactic travel. ¬†Regardless, there’s a pattern, and here’s my tongue-in-cheek interpretation¬†of it.

1. Can someone tell me about my horse’s pedigree please?

As though nobody had ever written pedigree analyses before, new-to-ottbs¬†owners are always eager to find out about their baby’s pedigree. ¬†I too was eager to know about Murray’s pedigree, right up until the moment that I realised he had absolutely nothing notable within three generations. ¬†Regardless of how big the name, and how much both racing and sport-horse analysts have written on the topic, no pedigree shall be left uncombed for notable athletes. ¬†And somehow, everyone is a great, great, great, great grand child/nephew/neice of Secretariat.

1391787763SecretariatPreaknessWhether or not they ran like Big Red.

2. Confirmation Conformation critique

Right after someone¬†finds out what important sires are in their pony’s pedigree, it’s important to understand what potential their baby’s body suggests — nothing negative, please! ¬†Confirmation¬†Conformation can tell you a lot about a horse, and if you ask enough people you’re bound to hear exactly what you want to! ¬†No need to focus on studied angles and lengths, even soft tissue is up for critique here, and somehow everybody’s topline needs improvement.

3. I need training halp my horse won’t do X

We all know ottbs can be smart, stubborn, and wily, and inevitably they outsmart their owners regarding at least something. ¬†Whether it’s teaching their rider that they don’t really have to canter because cantering will lead to bucking, or simply refusing to get in a trailer, it’s important to nip these problems in the bud. ¬†And if other ottb owners have some tricks that might work, we want to know about them! ¬†Guaranteed responses: give him lots of cookies, natural horsemanship, don’t let him be the boss of you, don’t beat your horse!, Parelli, carrot sticks, and logic.

4. People who say ottbs are CRAZY must be ON DRUGS

Look at my horse not being crazy! ¬†He’s so not crazy! ¬†Look he put his head down! ¬†Look I can walk around on a loose rein! ¬†Look I can ride him in my halter! ¬†I put my neonate on him and he’s so quiet he’s packing the kid around a 2’6″ course though my baby can’t even lift his head yet! ¬†WHO SAYS OTTBS ARE CRAZY??! THAT IS INSOLENCE!!!!!!!

Not the bucks of a wild, crazy creature. Not at all.

5. Transformation Tuesday!

These posts show what a little TLC can do to a horse.  You see weight go on, blooming, metallic coats, and happy chubby horses.  Horses that were sickly or lame that are now happy and free, running and jumping, living with friends.  Horses that sucked at racing are suddenly invigorated with new life and excel when presented with barrels or reining patterns or fences or a dressage court.  I love these posts, because I am a sucker for a happy ending.

6.¬†I hate my horse’s racing name what should I call her??!!

There are some for real dorky JC names out there (e.g. Hot Tub Aaron, Tommydelu, Ima Looking Cool?!), and I totally get the struggle about your horse’s name. ¬†The JC name gives homage to their heritage and pedigree, but do you really want to be walking into the show ring with Arrrrr?!¬†Somehow, other users of the group are supposed to come up with a good show name for a horse that they’ve never met and may never have seen (pictures, of course, optimal), that give a little bit of a hint to the horse’s¬†fantastic pedigree while alluding to his talents and complementing his colour.