I have been around quite a few Thoroughbreds over the years, and I have heard some pretty great stories about a lot of them. I was in Wellington FL this past weekend watching my husband compete, and I had a great conversation with one of his old friends. He was saying that back in the 80s and early 90s, most all the horses competing in show jumping were Thoroughbreds. They all had their quirks, not all of them were 100% sound, and they were hot. Heck, even Touch of Class, double gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics, cross-cantered half the time. She was perfectly fine cross-cantering up to a 5'+ oxer. You see that now and people would tell you the horse was lame. I am sure there was something wrong, but it didn't stop her at all.
This conversation got me thinking about how people these days are searching for a unicorn when they are wanting a new horse. The biggest issue I have when I show people horses at the rescue is they want the whole package. Here is a list of what people are looking for in a horse.
With my horse, I gave up calmness, a loving nature, and when I originally bought her, she wasn't sound. But in exchange, I have a horse than can compete in the 1.10 meter classes. Sure, I can't love and hug on her, and jigging is just a way of life, but I can compete. I am personally willing to give up a lot of things to have a horse jump. But that is just who I am.
We have horses at the rescue who are incredibly sweet, but don't have the talent or soundness to jump 3'. We have others that aren't so sweet, but are brave and will jump anything you put in front of them. It is really up to you on what you are looking for. With our rescues, I try to be as upfront and honest as I possibly can with people. I don't want to waste my time or your time on looking at a horse that doesn't fit your must-haves. The best thing you can know upfront, before coming to try a horse, is what are your must-haves and what you are willing to give up.
I know there are some amazing horses out there that have it all, but there is not one horse at our rescue that checks all the boxes.... but I am okay with that, they are all special and unique in their own way.