Thursday, 13 August 2020 12:54

Choosing the Right Horse, Transition & Training: Part 1

Photo provided by Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga. Photo provided by Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS —Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses often have stigmas set against them that they can be wild and unruly animals. This myth is most likely based around the fact that racehorses, just like any other athlete, enjoy what they do and put a lot of energy towards their goals. Horses love to run, and most racehorses are quite young and full of excitement when they are racing. That is what makes them good at what they do.

However, horses, just like people, have many different energy and mood levels, and their environment can have a large impact on how they react. So, one can imagine that being in large space surrounded by other horses and thousands of fans can get a horse amped up – and isn’t that what fans want from an animal about to race to the finish line?

Once these racehorses have transitioned into retirement, though, we see a drastic change in their energy levels. Some horses still love to have a very active, go-getter lifestyle – but many enjoy a leisurely life once given the chance.

The first step in finding the right ex-racehorse for a life in equine therapy is to determine what kind of horse they are. Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga look for a horse that more often craves an easy-going life because that is what we can provide for them. It is very important that the horse thrives in and enjoys the life that we give them just as much as we do.

Next, transition into their new world can take time depending on whether they are coming right off the track. A horse who transitions straight from the track environment to farm life will more likely take much longer to settle into their new life because they are both in a new home with new friends and also in a whole new world. In contrast, a horse who has already been in retirement for a while – for example, a mare who transitioned into breeding for some years after racing – can have an easier time of transition into a new home because they just need to be integrated into a new herd, not a whole new life.

Making the right decision on when to start training comes from taking the time to get to know the horse and observing them in their new environment. You want to be careful not to overwhelm the horse too quickly with too much new information. Just like humans, they will need time to create a life within their new home.

Once the horse has settled, it is time to begin training. Training for a therapy horse varies depending on what specific type of equine therapy is involved, but many components remain the same.

Read 491 times
Login to post comments

Blotter

  • POLICE A 20-year-old Greenfield man was charged with 10 counts of reckless endangerment in the first-degree, in connection with an alleged shooting incident in the village of Schuylerville Sunday afternoon, Sept. 13. According to the Saratoga County Sheriff's department, Charles L. Bennifield is suspected of firing a shotgun at a residence on Washington Street, which was occupied by 10 people at the time.  No one was injured in the incident.  Bennifield was arraigned at Town of Saratoga Court, and sent to Saratoga County Jail, in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, $200,000 secured bond, or $1,000,000 partially secured insurance bond. John…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON SPA 5 America Way, $394,900. MKM Rental LLC sold property to Rebecca Mark and Matthew Hagerman. 8 Zani Lane, $450,000. Greg and Susan Groh sold property to Walter Sankowski and John and Carrie Pearson. 21 Kasey Pass, Unit 21, $276,026. Brookview Court Inc./Pigliavento Builders DBA sold property to Stanley and Shirley Podkulski. 26, 28, 30, 31, 32 33, 34 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 45, 46, 48Saddlebrook Blvd. $1,054,000. New York Development Group Eastline LLC sold property to Barbera Homes Kelley Farms LLC.  98 Connolly Rd., $300,000. Alan and Mary Darby sold property to Emilio and Jill…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association