Patience is a must. Horses have a highly developed fright and flight instinct. They will also pick up on your body language and disposition so it is very important you remain calm and confident at all times.
Every horse is an individual. Some adapt readily and easily whilst others need a little more time. Careful education and handling to gain the horse’s trust and confidence is an important aspect of developing a relaxed and reasonably predictable horse. As with any horse and any situation, there are no hard and fast rules and there are always exceptions.
Feeding and management practices are very important. It is highly recommended to talk to a professional about your horse’s dietary requirements. Changing a horse’s diet too fast can lead to digestive problems. Feeding an excess amount of energy food without exercise can also make any horse fizzy or nervous in its behaviour.
Have a recommended equine dental technician check your horse’s teeth when you get it, and again in six months, depending on your horse’s age.
Have your horse’s back checked by a recommended chiropractor/physiotherapist or osteopath.
Have the horse’s first saddle correctly fitted with a saddle fitter who is prepared to return within six months to retake the wither pattern which will take into account the musculature changes that may develop during this time.
As well as shelter to protect it from the wind, rain and sun and a constant supply of fresh water, horses require their hooves trimmed or shoeing, worming and vaccinating regularly.
Once your horse has settled into its new surroundings, ensure it has regular exercise to satisfy its physical needs. A horse will become bored and discontented if it does not have the regular company of humans and other horses. Your retired racehorse will be a wonderful experience, sometimes challenging, demanding and possibly with stressful moments but will be worth it.
Most of all have fun and please send us any news on the progress of you and your retired racehorse.