The Racing Thoroughbred Many racehorses have better manners than their non-racing peers. They are handled daily, trained on a strict schedule and exposed to a variety of atmospheres. At a very young age are accustomed to having caretakers constantly present. So what exactly does a racehorse learn during their time on the track?
Racehorses have a greater education than many people realize, however off-track horses are often misunderstood. Racehorses are incredible athletes. They are cared for around the clock and fed an extremely high calorie diet. When they make the transition from the racetrack, they often feel less secure. Insecurity coupled with a dramatic change in diet can lead to behaviors that many misinterpret. A familiarity with how racing barns operate can make the transition easier for both the horse and the
- Racehorses know how to tie, typically in a stall, and are used to being groomed. They have sensitive skin and prefer soft brushes. They are used to having their manes braided and legs wrapped while tied, having their feet handled and have been taught to allow grooms to pick out all four feet while standing on the left (near) side.
- Racehorses are bathed frequently. Although they may not be used to a hose, they are used to water, buckets, and sponges.
- They are used to traveling. While it may take some time for them to adjust to smaller trailers, they are used to loading and shipping.
- Racehorses are exposed to a myriad of “scary” objects. They see tractors and carts regularly. They are exposed to banners, flags,loud noises, and are typically not spooky.
- Racehorses are familiar with carrying a rider and usually know how to walk, trot, canter, and gallop undersaddle. While the cues are different than regular riding, they do also know how to change leads and perform other necessary maneuvers.
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