There is no doubt that the wonderful and talented horses that race in the meets we all love to watch and bet on are the stars of the show when they are in their best racing form. There are icons of the sport that are etched in the memories of bettors and spectators alike.
Like all good things in life, a racehorse’s time on the track has to come to an end at some point in time. In this article we think about what happens once horses no longer appear on the race cards as we take a look at the interesting things that racehorses do after retiring.
Many racehorses are retrained once they have reached the end of their racing life and no longer frequent racecourses on a regular basis. They are often sold on to stables that specialise in polo, eventing or dressage. The retried racehorses are often a joy to train as they are already highly disciplined and attentive. However, given that racing is about speed and power, and sports such as dressage are about elegance and precision, it can be a long process when retraining the horse. However, horses that are used to being exercised and educated tend to enjoy learning new skills.
Some racehorses finish their lives as competitors once they are retired from the track. These horses are rehomed and kept as pets. They are still likely to be ridden a lot by their new owners, and it is important that anyone buying a retired racehorse knows what they are taking on and that they have time and understanding to dedicate to the horse and its needs. There are several charities that work to ensure that horses are rehomed into the right place and with the right owner.
Many horses are used in therapies that support children with learning difficulties. Equine therapy is an important form of therapy for children with learning difficulties and they help to support a sense of calm as well as developing confidence. Racehorses tend to be gentle and easy to train, so they are popular with institutions that support young people with learning difficulties. There are several charities that help to bring horses into the therapeutic environment in order to help young people and their families.
Well deserved R and R
Whatever the future holds for a retired racehorse, before starting its new life, it is often given some time to relax and recuperate at a centre that specialises in giving retired racehorses some time and space to recover from a life of racing that can be tough on the body and mind. Horses that are injured undergo extensive rehabilitation under the watchful gaze of a specially trained vet before being given time with other horses to enjoy time without training and preparing to race. Horses usually spend around two months at a rehabilitation centre before moving on to a new life and a new sense of purpose.