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Building Bone in Young Racehorses

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  • Building Bone in Young Racehorses

    (And cows )

    There has been much discussion here about the wisdom of training and racing two-year-old Thoroughbreds. This article is about a recent study, done at Michigan State University, illustrating how early speed work builds and strengthens bones.

    (The study was done with young cows and it's also entertaining reading.)

    https://www.paulickreport.com/horse-...e-development/
    www.laurienberenson.com

  • #2
    Thanks! Good read.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

    Comment


    • #3
      I have SO many questions now about the tack and equipment choices for cows after seeing that hilarious photo.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Cammie View Post
        I have SO many questions now about the tack and equipment choices for cows after seeing that hilarious photo.
        I know--the picture was almost the best part.
        www.laurienberenson.com

        Comment


        • #5


          Wonder how that cow is on lead changes?

          Interesting read, both the research on cows but, for me, the research done on horses and some of the "pitfalls" of how sales prepped yearlings are handled prior to sale. Sometimes not always in the best interest of the future horse with respect to bone strength.

          Nothing is a 100% guaranteed but I like to see research like this to help the racehorses be as healthy as they can be to do the job we ask them to do... run as fast as they can as safely as they can.

          LaurieB, think this article/research will play into how you prep your potential sales yearlings?
          Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post


            Wonder how that cow is on lead changes?

            Interesting read, both the research on cows but, for me, the research done on horses and some of the "pitfalls" of how sales prepped yearlings are handled prior to sale. Sometimes not always in the best interest of the future horse with respect to bone strength.

            Nothing is a 100% guaranteed but I like to see research like this to help the racehorses be as healthy as they can be to do the job we ask them to do... run as fast as they can as safely as they can.

            LaurieB, think this article/research will play into how you prep your potential sales yearlings?
            No, not in the slightest. Some farms hot house their sales yearlings, but certainly not all of them. The farm we use raises horses like they should be.

            Our foals (with their dams) start in groups of about ten in 20-30 acre fields. Late in their foaling year, the weanlings are separated by sex but then remain in those big fields in groups of 10-15. The fillies stay that way until they are either offered in a sale or sent to a training center the following fall. The colts--who are much more likely to injure each other--are usually separated mid-summer of their yearling year (whether they're going to a sale or not). They're put in pairs in smaller (2-3 acre) paddocks, where they still have plenty of room to run and interact.

            So I'm not concerned about any lack of opportunity to exercise.
            www.laurienberenson.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LaurieB View Post

              No, not in the slightest. Some farms hot house their sales yearlings, but certainly not all of them. The farm we use raises horses like they should be.
              In other words, IMO at least, you're already doing the "right" things to get your youngsters ready for their, hopefully, intended job; not being raised as hot house flowers

              I've always believe that horses that grow up with other horses are, in many respects, easier to train as they understand herd interaction and relationships. One of the most obnoxious, and sometimes close to scary, horses I ever met was an orphan who was human raised (not put on a nurse mare or bottle raised surrounded by horses). Horse had almost no respect for people as she'd, IMO, never learned herd "pecking order" nor respect for or toward people.
              Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

              Comment


              • #8
                Very interesting, thanks!

                In case anyone else was wondering, here is some more info on the "racecow": https://www.farmshow.com/view_articles.php?a_id=458

                Highlights:

                - Nielsen and his "steed" completed the one mile race in eight minutes, 55 seconds, outdistancing five other "racecows"

                - As reported in the Grand Rapids Press and Gratiot County Herald, "When the race started, one cow immediately bucked off her rider, Dennis Vanderhoff from Vermontville. Undaunted, he ran about an eighth of a mile to catch up to his mount, jumped back on, and restarted the race. He finished last."

                "Another cow bolted across the infield. But Taffy plunged ahead at a fast walk, occasionally breaking into a gallop for the two laps around the half-mile track, pausing to sniff a wet spot and once veering toward the rail, apparently hoping to be petted."

                - All of the racecows wore saddles (either English or Western) and bridles, but some of the riders found they needed to make slight modifications to keep the saddles on their cows. Some put one rope around the back and under the tail, and another around the belly. The cow's skin is so loose, the saddles move a lot, so riders need to have good balance.

                - "We call cow racing a poor man's sport. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars like you would to buy a horse," says Ondrus. "It's fun for adults or kids, and it's environment-friendly. When you can't race your cow anymore, you can either milk them or eat them."
                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Libby2563 thank you! That was greatly entertaining.
                  www.laurienberenson.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Echo what Laurierace said. I managed a farm for a major consignor and all the yearlings were out at night (14hrs). Colts were in individual paddocks, they played too rough. Fillies were turned out in groups up to 10-12 in 20ac fields. They stayed in during the day to stay out of the heat, and prevent sunbleaching.

                    Personally, I think sales prep is a huge boost to starting horses under saddle. 3-4 months of daily walking puts some good condition on them, and they're well-prepared to start breaking compared to a less-handled homebred straight out of a field.

                    Mares, foals, and weanlings lived outside. I tend to roll my eyes at folks who say their TB can't survive without a stall...aside from stabling at the track, TBs (even VERY expensive ones) live a large part of their lives out in a field and do quite well.
                    A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                    ? Albert Einstein

                    ~AJ~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This article was very informative - thank you for posting it!

                      Comment

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