As littledog said, OTTBs can be amazing...if you're not familiar with how well they can do barrel racing check some of the horse forums. Not sure if many of them have been as competitive in sorting events (or how serious you are about sorting, or competing vs having fun with your horse.) You may know this or it might just be instinctive since you have good experience, but for western events you look for an OTTB with a short back, shorter, stockier build, especially good pasterns and feet, etc. I greatly admire my neighbors' OTTBs but I'm a QH gal myself. Back to whether to get a foal or not...I can't tell you how much I respect the care and research you are putting into this decision! Looking at your situation pretty far across the other side (i.e. I'm a lot older) it's hard to describe or for you to imagine right now how much different and how incredibly busy and exhausting your life will be in the last year of college, vet school, and first year or two of being in practice. You probably won't have summers free later in college and during vet school since working/interning at vet clinics will help you in your job search.) I would hate to see you lose the next 2-4 years of sports and of actually being able to DO what you want to do with a horse. It seems like training and bringing on a young one would be a great project once you're in practice and relocated and settled. But if you start it now, you not only won't be able to participate as much in working with that youngster, you'll lose whatever enjoyment you get from sports (doing sports can also help applications for college and vet school?) and you'll lose being able to do the things you want to do with a horse NOW while you have time to do them. Just my opinion and sorry this is so long! The way you're being careful to research this and think about what's best for Doc just got me interesting and "thinky."