So often I see posts on various sites with people asking what they should do with their new horse, now that it has come out of racing.
It astounds me how many people say to do nothing, put it in a field, let it grow, let it come down from racing and so on. Because let me tell you something, this doesn’t always work and my three top tips for someone taking on a racehorse would be:
- 1. Be realistic about what you want and your own ability.
- 2. Make sure you have a good support network.
- 3. LISTEN TO YOUR HORSE!
This last point is my sticking point, nobody on the internet can tell you what is best to do with your horse, only your horse can tell you that and as it’s owner it is up to you to listen to the signs.
I’ve been pretty quiet on here for the last couple of weeks in regards to Azzerti, after having him seen by my Veterinary Physio, I decided to give him some down time, to try this approach of ‘letting him be a horse’ and see if some time to relax would actually help his muscles in the areas that my physio had flagged up to be an issue.
Well, that lasted a whole eight days!
This is the point that many owners get to and go back online asking ‘Why is my ex-racer being a d*ck?’
My experience of giving these horses time off hasn’t really been beneficial. When Grumeti has time off he finds his own fun, in destroying things and Azzerti has followed suit. With eight days of not working he became an absolute nightmare to handle on the ground, getting to a point where he took his stable door off it’s hinges.
Time off sounds great, but the reality for a lot of these horses is that they are used to working and they thrive on it. They like the routine, they like the attention and they like to have their brains engaged. So for me, this was his way of communicating with me, that actually, right now, isn’t the time for a break.
After two days of being back under saddle, I can confirm, Azzerti is already being an complete dream to handle and is working well. I’m so glad I have listened to his signals and understood what he needs. As we go forward I’ll be taking extra steps to help his muscles in the areas that my physio has highlighted, through massage, heat therapy, stretches and ground work and of course, I’ll be keeping an eye on him to look out for any signs that he is ready for a break.
Thank you as ever for taking the time to read my pieces. I’m hoping to be out and about doing more yard visits soon, with a trip to Christian Williams’s yard as soon as restrictions allow.
If you’d like to contribute to helping me continue to create this content or wish to buy a little something for Azzerti or Grumeti, donations can be made through my ‘About’ page.
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