It’s all I see on wanted adverts looking for a horse to buy and, quite frankly, I’m fed up of reading it.
My first horse was a beautiful big warmblood. He was my dream horse on paper, and yet he almost put me in hospital more than once. I almost gave up riding because of that horse.
The horse that saved me? Yes, you guessed it. A big, lanky thoroughbred. A horse that was dismissed by so many simply because he had long legs and had, once upon a time, galloped round a track.
I had a little Irish horse that managed to rack up vet bills in excess of £10k in 18 months. The thoroughbred? He only saw the vet for vaccinations, but he was the one considered “too fine” and a liability when it came to vet bills.
I had a Welsh mare that lit up like a Christmas tree anytime you got on her. She spent most of her time bouncing on the spot, couldn’t stand still and took any opportunity to throw a buck or stand on her back legs. The thoroughbred? Hacked him on the buckle end and would have been labelled more ‘lazy’ than anything.
I went to my first national championships on a thoroughbred. I walked through the show stabling past sport horse after sport horse, warmblood after warmblood until I found our stable. That night, a horse jumped out of its box, every single horse in that aisle was understandably rattled. My thoroughbred? Flat out asleep, snoring.
When I decided to try my hand at eventing for the first time, guess what type of horse dutifully and carefully took me round my first one day event and subsequently went double clear at every single event we entered? You guessed it. A fabulous little thoroughbred.
A horse is what you make it, how you ride it and how you look after it. It’s nothing to do with the breed. You’ll meet lively warmbloods, just like you’ll meet lively thoroughbreds, it doesn’t mean that every one you meet is the same.
So really, I can see no good reason to dismiss a thoroughbred. Any horse can be a handful, any horse can rack up a vet bill, any horse can get stressed. Stop dismissing thoroughbreds because of the preconceived, stereotypical ideas you have in your head.
Stop dismissing diamonds to go pick up stones.