Horse racing is often referred to the “Sport of Kings.” This is because at the time which horse racing began, only kings could afford to own and train thoroughbred racehorses. Today, many people can afford these magnificent creatures.
Unlike other breeds, thoroughbreds are trained at an early age to become horse racing champions. Racing as young as two and three years old, their careers are often cut short due to injuries to their delicate young bones and tendons. And because there are always healthier horses to run, thoroughbreds can become dispensable.
But, if you’re a thoroughbred lover at heart and are willing to adopt an ex-racehorse, you’re in luck, as you will have many heroic horses to choose from. Here are four tips to adopting a thoroughbred racehorse:
Meet Your Horse
Meeting with the ex-racehorse is the first step in the adoption process. This is important to gauge whether or not you and the horse are compatible. Many people have given thoroughbreds a bad reputation, when in reality they are very intelligent creatures with a strong work ethic. While this is often mistaken as a temperament issue, you can easily resolve this behavior by learning how to communicate with the horse. That being said, it’s very important that you get to know the horse before you take it home.
Time and Commitment
Do you have the time and commitment to own a thoroughbred? This is a large animal and it will require space, time and attention to thrive in any environment. Keep in mind that the horse has been trained to run very fast in a circle and to hang out in a stall for the remainder of the day. Owning a thoroughbred isn’t cheap either. Most horse owners spend about $60 to $100 per month on hay, salt and supplements. Add in shoeing, you could pay $80 to $100 every two months, and that is not including vet bills.
Try An Adoption Network
There are thoroughbreds all over the country waiting to be adopted. The Thoroughbred Adoption Network is a national nonprofit foundation that lists horses with reasonable adoption fees. They have horses that have been trained off-track for trail riding, dressage or jumping. You could also look into a thoroughbred retirement foundation or vocation. These types of facilities are devoted to the rescue, retirement, rehabilitation and retraining of thoroughbreds that are no longer able to compete on the racetrack.
Recycling a Racehorse
Many retired racehorses can be bought for cheap. However, a cheap price tag does not necessarily mean that it is the right horse for you. Thoroughbreds that are taken directly off the track, generally speaking, do not make the best beginner horse for first time owners. However, if you do want purchase an ex-racehorse, the first thing you will want to do is contact a reputable trainer who can help you find the right horse for your particular skill set. And nothing feels as good as rescuing a thoroughbred.