Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing


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A change of pace. Racehorses are trained to do the bare minimum, and to develop the skills, strength and stamina they require to be as fast as possible on the track.

This technique, while cost and time effective to racehorse trainers, leaves much to be desired when the horse is to become a pleasure or show horse. Horses off the track notoriously have undeveloped muscle groups along the topline - and other muscle groups commonly used in equestrian sports. The re-training process involves more than just ridden education. It is a transition from one lifestyle to another and involves a change in diet, schedule and training.


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Standardbreds who have been raced or trialled are often not used to work under saddle, as they are raced in harness. Either trotters or pacers on the track, Standardbreds are known for making wonderful trail and pleasure horses after racing - and they are now really beginning to make their mark in the show ring! Pacers and trotters must go through a similar re-training process as retired Thoroughbreds, working on building musculature, strength, establishing good gaits, movement and balance.

Breaking down stereotypes. Ex-racehorses, Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, are still unfortunately immediately discounted by many riders due to the belief that they may not make the ideal show, pleasure or competition mount. In recent times, the stereotypes are slowly being broken down. We are fortunate to have access to these horses that have trialled and raced - and ownership of a retired racehorse has many benefits.

Off the Track program helps Tasmanian horses enjoy life after racing

Many retired racehorses are sold on to their new homes at very reasonable prices. Soundness can be a concern with horses that come off the track. They are raced primarily between the ages of two and three, and this does mean that some horses may not be sound for a career as a top level eventer, but many retired racehorses that are available might be completely sound for your purposes.

It is important to consider each horse as an individual - as you would when purchasing any horse.

A thorough vet check should be a step in your process regardless of where you purchase the horse, so you are not taking any unnecessary or additional risks when purchasing a horse off the track. You might even find yourself a bargain - and the money you save on the purchase price can go towards your future entry fees, lessons, or a tune up with a professional re-trainer for your promising young horse.

Ex-Racehorse to Champion Eventer. Morrow took him on as a four year old and from the moment she pointed him at a fence, Morrow said she knew she had something special - so from unwanted racehorse to Olympic mount, Oaklea Groover has proven his worth! The transition from track to arena. Re-training retired racehorses as pleasure mounts takes experience and dedication, and is generally something that should only be attempted by experienced riders and trainers.

Horses who finish their racing careers are accustomed to an entirely different way of life than a pleasure horse or show mount, and a transition period is essential. A horse straight off the track does need to have a change in diet, as energy-rich grains are the most efficient way for trainers to meet the nutritional demands of a highly athletic racehorse. The life of a pleasure or show mount generally includes much more turnout time, and therefore grazing time , and less intensive and less strenuous work under saddle.

Racehorses are taught the minimum required for their work on the track.

Part 1 of the Retired Race Horse Thoroughbred Training Project with Eric Dierks.

Although they are used to the excitement and noise of the racetrack, crowds, and regular travelling, they have often never experienced many things that a pleasure horse is often exposed to, not to mention a completely different saddle, and way of riding. Racehorses are naturally competitive and respond as they have been taught in a group situation.

They are young horses on high grain diets, in peak physical condition - however are often only ridden for very short periods with very light riders. Turning a racehorse into a pleasure mount is a process for both horse and rider, and the horse must learn an entirely new way of thinking, moving, and carrying himself. Basically, he is being assigned a new job that is completely different from his former lifestyle! Thoroughbreds - talented and athletic.

The Thoroughbred as a breed is very versatile. Many Thoroughbreds have temperaments that allow them to be handled easily by children - and generalising that a horse is unsuitable based on breed alone is a ridiculous notion, as is judging a horse by his colour! Finding a suitable retired racehorse. Although there are many ex-racehorses that have finished their racing careers, not every horse that retires is suitable to be re-trained as a pleasure or show mount. There are some that have developed vices, that are unsound physically, some that are unsound mentally, others that may be in poor physical condition having been turned out after retirement.

Some mares are earmarked for stud, but others of less notable bloodlines are often sold on. As all riders know, finding the right horse for a pleasure or show mount can be difficult and time consuming, and there are a lot of different factors to consider.

Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing - Fred Cook, Rowena Jane Simmonds - Google книги

So too when choosing an ex-racehorse. As mentioned previously, the re-training of an ex-racehorse should only ever be attempted by an experienced rider and handler. They may have picked up bad habits, some may have bad manners - and generally, they are very young horses with many holes in their basic education from an equestrian point of view as far as breaking in a pleasure horse goes.


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Show Ring Success. Both Thoroughbred and Standardbred retired horses have been making their mark in the show ring of recent times. The Stable was lucky enough to be in attendance to see the first feature breed exhibited at the Royal Melbourne Horse Show - the Racing Victoria Thoroughbred. The turnout was spectacular, and Thoroughbreds in the ring competed in led and ridden classes, showing the versatility, athleticism and temperament of the breed. Mullan and her chestnut gelding, known affectionately as James around the stable, competed in the Garryowen, the most prestigious class for lady riders, at the Royal Melbourne Show.

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This book is a must for anyone wishing to learn and understand the mind-set of the racehorse, why he is not a machine, has so much to give and that we can never stop learning from our four legged friends. I cannot recommend this book highly enough as it is really exceptional — a truly amazing book. We have also written a considerable number of articles and provided "Ask the Experts" responses. The links are too numerous to list but a selection can be found by following this link: "Retraining Racehorses - Retraining Articles".

What to expect in "Re-Educating Racehorses - A Life After Racing" : "A superbly illustrated colour photographs fully comprehensive book guides the reader through the process of acquiring and subsequently re-training a racehorse. Further reading on Retraining Racehorses We have also written a considerable number of articles and provided "Ask the Experts" responses.

Rehoming Racehorses. Rehoming Partners. BHA Welfare Initiative.

Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing
Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing Re-Educating Racehorses: A Life after Racing

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