We are an all-breed rescue here, but we get in a lot of Thoroughbreds from the area. Many come from the track as well as from the auction/stockyard and even owner surrenders.
What is a Thoroughbred?
Thoroughbreds are normally incredibly loyal, trustworthy, respectful, intelligent, and well-behaved. Emotional and kind they are very sensitive to their handlers emotional state; do not be surprised if you are feeling sad one day while handling your Thoroughbred to get a soft nuzzle of a velvet-nose just when you need it!
Primarily bred as a race horse Thoroughbreds are also used in many English disciplines such as jumping, dressage, and hunting. Many Thoroughbreds are now being bred as riding horses only. The Thoroughbred typically has a deep chest, lean body and long flat muscles. They are fine to medium boned. They have well angled shoulders, and lean but powerful haunches.They can range in height from 15HH to over 17HH.
Thoroughbreds come in every solid color, including grey and rarely, roan. White markings such as stars, blazes, stockings and socks are common. The predominant color is dark brown or bay.
Courtesy of http://horses.about.com/od/breeds/p/thoroughbred.htm
Myths About Thoroughbred's and OTTB's
Myth #1 - Thoroughbreds have bad feet.
False. Thoroughbred horses have hooves for feet as do all other breeds. The main difference between the feet of a Thoroughbred and the feet of other breeds is the care they receive, the frequency of trimming (usually every 3 weeks) and the type of shoe worn. Many people who get a horse from the track do not understand the workings of the equine foot, and do not take into account the great impact that constantly being shod has on the feet and how a sudden, dramatic change can cause a sound horse to be three-legged lame overnight. Slow but steady should be the general rule of thumb when making any changes to a horses feet, diet, lifestyle, etc. As his or her best suited discipline is being discovered over the course of several weeks or months with his or her new owner, the correct shoe for the discipline can be determined with consultation with a knowledgeable, experienced farrier. All breeds of horses can have hoof trouble or have fantastically fabulous feet. The single, most important factor in any horses ability to remain sound (in relation to hoof health) relies squarely in the expertise and experience level of the blacksmith and the owners ability to follow his or her instructions.
Courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-harrisburg/horses-dispelling-the-thoroughbred-myth-part-1
Myth #2 - Thoroughbreds are crazy.
Many people believe they are “crazy” because they try to compare an ex-race horse with other non-racing breeds in situations that an OTTB has yet to experience. The vast majority of Thoroughbreds are handled and ridden on a daily basis. They are taught to bathe early, load onto and off of a trailer, taught to stand for the vet and farrier, taught to wear a blanket and fly mask, etc. In reality, many Thoroughbreds at age two have had more handling and different life experiences than most other horses have at age four. When handled properly they can and do become amazing show horses, eventers, hunters, jumpers, polo ponies, etc. A great statement that sums up the Thoroughbred myth comes from Cathy Atkinson, "The main problem with Thoroughbreds is that they are not always ridden by people as intelligent and perceptive as they are".
Courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-harrisburg/dispelling-the-thoroughbred-myth-part-2
Myth #3 - Thoroughbreds are hot.
People unfamiliar with Thoroughbreds may believe they are “hot” and “crazy” because they are “bred to run”. However, horses at the track are usually on their best behavior and interact with other riders without incident. Horses are consistently handled, bathed, groomed, walked, and are ridden in both directions on the track; slower horses on the outside, faster horses on the inside. Thoroughbreds residing and working at the track are alert and in peak physical condition; leading some novice horse folks to determine them to be “hot”. Some of these horses are given supplements to enhance their performance and this may cause some nervousness or excess energy, to the untrained eye, this can be interpreted as “hot” as well. This is temporary and usually only present during their racing training/race track life. Thoroughbred horses are incredibly kind, wonderful, well-mannered and loyal. Once away from the track and allowed to be let down properly many will be well suited for a variety of new career paths. New Thoroughbred owners should use this time to bond with their new equine family member and begin the life-long partnership that is bound to be truly rewarding for both.
Courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-harrisburg/horses-dispelling-another-thoroughbred-myth-part-3
Myth #4 - Thoroughbreds are hard keepers.
The “hard keeper” myth stems from the transition from track life to off-the-track life and the subsequent changes in routine, handling and feeding. When a horse comes off the track and is relocated to a facility he or she will usually arrive in a condition known as “racing fit”. Thoroughbreds transitioning from track life to riding horse life will invariably experience significant body changes. These changes are normal and do not mean the horse is a “hard keeper” simply that he or she is adjusting to a normal domestic horse life. Weight will be lost over a course of several weeks and will be regained steadily over several months. Allowing time for the horse to adjust will help the fresh off the track Thoroughbred quickly become an old hand at showing, eventing, dressage or any other discipline he or she is suited for.
Courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-harrisburg/horses-dispelling-the-thoroughbred-myth-part-4
One of the most common breeds that we get into the rescue here at J&M Acres are Thoroughbred horses. They are a very common and also very popular breed both because of their breeding as racing animals, but also as their propensity for being great riding partners. Having handled many Thoroughbreds, both straight off-the-track and those who have been retired for a few years from racing life, we have found them to be wonderful horses. They are very emotionally intelligent as well as intellectual along with being kind-hearted and level-headed. We have ridden Thoroughbreds in a number of situations including trail riding, roads and fun shows and found them to be great partners. We have had Thoroughbreds in that were the calmest at the rescue, but they are also fun and versatile as well as being athletic. They can make great horses for riders anywhere from beginner to advanced levels.
What Our Adoptees Have to Say About Their Thoroughbreds
I wasn't really looking for a horse when I found Bodie, or at least I didn't know I was. I followed the J&M Facebook page for quite some time since looking for my first Thoroughbred the year before. I had sadly lost him to a severe bout of intestinal cancer induced colic and wasn't ready to fully let myself love another horse so deeply. But boy did Bodie have other plans, the minute J&M posted the pictures of this underweight, but beautiful gelding I knew I had to have him. Something about him spoke to me and although he required some work, I wanted to put in that work in for him. When Bodie arrived at my house I think everyone except myself thought I was crazy, the lady hauling him for me included. He was sad looking, but I saw hope in his eyes, the same hope that my previous Thoroughbred carried with him until his last few moments. And trust, despite being so malnourished, he still had trust in his huge heart to let me love him, to let himself forgive humans for what was done to him and to love me. He improved so quickly and his will to keep going and flourish amazed me everyday. He is definitely MY horse and I am definitely HIS person. We have grown so attached to each other since the spring I don't know what we would do if we had to part ways, he's just like another part of me and its natural having him around. The first time I rode him he was amazing, he knew that we were getting to know each other still and went slowly. He is the most level headed horse I have ever been on, he does have personality but definitely makes sure his rider is taken care of and safe before he shows it. Being pregnant now, I wasn't sure about riding anymore for the safety of my unborn child, but I hopped on Bodie and its like he knows that he has to be more careful, didn't take one wrong step (in the snow of all things!). I can't wait until my growing family can enjoy him too, I know he will be just as careful with them as he has been with me, it's just in his personality. He made me believe I could love again after losing, he is a horse that will be with me and my family for the rest of his days and I can't wait to see what new adventures the future holds for us! - Shayna
I adopted Pilgrim (Previously "Luke") from J&M Acres Feb 2015. It has been one of the most rewarding and difficult journeys I have ever had with a horse in my riding and professional career! He's so smart and sensitive that I can not assume one thing but if I show him the way in a way he understand he tries his hardest for me and I so love him for that. Being off the track he has come to me with a ton of vices and insecurities... He has grown so much in the past 11 month that he trusts me now and a lot of the vices are long forgotten.. However I am still the only one who is allowed to touch his left ear on a good day. Riding him is incredible as he is so natural athletic he is literally capable of anything...something I wasn't sure of when I picked him up as he was so under weight and his lack of muscle he was practically lame. Humans let him down when he was dropped off at the cattle auction and its taken time but I think he is starting realize his new human won't do that... Flaws and all I love him and he's one of the best things I have ever done! - Amanda
"As a little girl I always dreamed of having my own horse. Now as an adult, thanks to J&M Acres, my Thoroughbred Obie has fulfilled that dream. My Thoroughbred at roughly 17hh is literally a huge part of my life. He is magnificent! And, being a Thoroughbred, he can do anything. He is smart, willing and he always has spirit. He is athletic and has amazing movement, but he will always lower his head to receive scratches and pats from my young children. Even my husband can handle him! I love my Thoroughbred and would recommend the breed to anyone looking for a special partner in any discipline." - Kirsten
"There are so many reasons to adopt a OTTB its hard to list them all but I will try to explain why I love them. The better part of my life has been spent working, caring, training & owning them. I worked on the top AB Thoroughbred Farm back in its hay days so I have done almost everything but gallop them one could. They are highly athletic, intelligant, honest & versatile. While they are schooled early to prepare for race training they also learn at a young age to engage their brain & focus. If one is smart about what they do with them once they come off track (I am a big believer in turning them out to mature physically & mentally) that horse will do anything for its owner. They are very social & once off the track feed regimen & on high fibre low sugar feeds they usually leave that "hot" attitude behind them. So you have a horse that is ready to be molded in any direction you want, they are people pleasers, they will give you everything they have and more and they are so very smart and Loving. They are by nature athletic and make very good sport horses but because of their sincere and honest nature they also are beautiful family and trail horses. I have owned race horses, had TB's as jumpers, barrel horses and pleasure horses. I know many that do dressage & CC any number of things. I have had OTTB's work as pony horses at the track after finishing their running carreer. There is nothing these horses can not do." - Lorna
"We love our Thoroughbred that we recently adopted! She is the first thoroughbred we have owned as we have mostly Quarter Horses. My daughter came across this rescue site and begged me to have a look at this big beautiful horse named My Kentucky Princess, after a bit of convincing I am so grateful for both my daughter and Princess! She is such an amazing horse that is gentle and willing, always wanting to please and try her best. It's kind of like she knows we rescued her, may sound a bit corney but we like to think so. Funny thing is she is now a second rescue horse, the first one being from the meat man and she as well has been a horse that always seems to be thanking us by being a great horse. Princess being an ex race horse was sort of concerning as we were not to sure what to expect, but from the moment my daughter jumped up(way up) she has truly been such a easy going girl that seems very happy to always be trying new things. If we could we would adopt again without any doubt we would choose another Thoroughbred. Seem to have fallin in love with the breed." - Sherry
"I am so blessed to have my huge teddy bear, Hudson! He is just a love and wants to be patted all the time. He likes to be brushed and is so trusting with me. I tell him every day how much he is loved and how I am so glad that I adopted him or maybe he adopted me. I'll never forget when I was about to leave, he constantly stared at me and I knew he was for me. I have never had a Thoroughbred before and I would certainly, if I could, adopt more as they are a fantastic breed and very versatile. We have been on the trails and done some low level dressage (as he is a senior) and I certainly would not hesitate to adopt another!" - Mary Anne
"I had came across J&M Acres over Facebook. I was looking for a new horse, but wasn't sure of what breed to adopt and a Thoroughbred was, to be honest, the last breed on my mind. For about 3 months of looking at horses on J&M Acres, I still wasn't sure, but then a beautiful grey had came in. I thought she'd be scooped up right away, but after seeing updates and pictures, I actually fell in love with her beauty. I took the big step and adopted her. The moment she arrived, my heart just melted. She is honestly the sweetest horse I've ever had. She won't let you walk past her with out giving her a good cuddle! I catch my self looking at her so often because of her beauty and personality. I am so happy I found an amazing companion, she really knows where her head is at. Every day I fall more and more in love with her! She is a dream horse. She loves my 1 year old niece as well; I trust my Thoroughbred with my life. She is not only beautiful, but just an all around pleasure to be around. I would never change anything about her. She is just perfect. I recommend Thoroughbreds because of their wonderful personality and the joy they bring into your life when being around them." - Kristyy