Breed Profile: Thoroughbred

  Since the Kentucky Derby was this weekend, I thought it would be fitting to write a blog post on the Thoroughbred.

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  They're a well known breed that is used in many disciplines of the equestrian sport. In fact, I'm sure you'd be able to find more than one Thoroughbred at your stable...

   The Thoroughbred originates from England. The breed had been developed with racing and jumping in mind (though racing was more of the focus in their breeding). This, through time, resulted in a fast, spirited horse that could gallop long distances.

  Even to this day, many Thoroughbreds are born with their racing training program already developed. These horses are truly born to run. When their racing careers are over, these Thoroughbreds are still quite young. And sadly, if they haven't had a successful enough career, they are sent out to new homes or worse.

  Most riding stables, whether hunter/jumper, dressage or western, will buy their Thoroughbreds at this time. These ex-racehorses are affectionately named OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred).

  These stables will often have their hands full while they teach these young, energetic horses a new style of riding which involves patience and control. But once they learn that, they become wonderful equine partners.

  The Thoroughbred can come in many different colours, but bay, chestnut, black and grey are the most common. They'll often stand at about 16 to 18 hands high. Built for speed, the Thoroughbred has a small head, a slim body, a broad chest and a short back.

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  Whatever you decide to used your Thoroughbred for, they are wonderful horses that are good at more than one thing. All you need is the patience to teach them how to control their energy. So don't overlook their potential.

  Until next time, happy riding!