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Why do show people think they provide better homes than Racing people?

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  • Why do show people think they provide better homes than Racing people?

    I thought this was interesting. It was a change of topic in a longer thread, but I thought it bore reposting and discussing.



    Originally Posted by Flypony
    Just curious why show horse people think they are better homes than what we provide at the track?


    Ignorance, I think. Racing is seen as incredibly hard on a horse. In addition, because the betting side of things is what is focused on in public coverage, it seems so impersonal to the horse. The backstretch is something most of us not in the racing world will never see, and we don't see the people who care about and love these horses. What we see and hear about is the bad apples that "throw away a horse when it can't run anymore". and a horse that is generally finished racing at 4 or so. And calling a place where TBs are rehomed a 'rescue' isn't helping the PR.

    And frankly, this isn't any difference than the horse show world. We have our kids and adults who show up, ride and go home. They aren't interested in their horse as an individual. But for each of those, there are a dozen who care enough to work as grooms, barn help, teaching beginners, etc, just to own or be around a horse. The problem of ex-show horses may be quieter, but it exists as well.

    The problem is the ignorance for the nuts and bolts of training for each discipline by the other. Because I know H/Js and have been involved with them for 40 years, I know what kind of care a horse will get in my world. Because we (people outside racing) don't know racing, it's hard to see that. I think we all think that we can take care of a horse and love it more than anybody else, LOL!

    I was very lucky, because both the dressage trainer and the hunter trainer I rode with for years, did some initial breaking of TBs destined for the racetrack for some small local breeders. They knew and understood the track, and it was really interesting to watch what things were done differently, and what was just the same.

    This forum has been good for me, because I see people who truly love and care for their charges, and love the world they belong too. The more cross-communication between disicplines, the better!
    The truth is always in the middle.

  • #2
    There's a lot of behind the scenes attention, care, and devotion to the horses that the public will never see in the ~2 minutes of frontside time a horse sees every couple of weeks. If you don't take care of your athletes, they aren't going to take care of you.

    Comment


    • #3
      I suspect Lucky thinks he's being mightly misused by not having knee-deep straw, ten pounds of grain, and a full haynet in his face 24/7 (he actually has to lower his head and eat out of a hay manger. The horrors.)
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        One of my favorite comments about this was somebody who commented that she really didn't care for how show horses were kept - they were so fat!

        I had to laugh. We're always trying to feed up the 'poor, starving ex-racehorse'. Kind of like a marathon runner compared to a Rubenesque painter's model (all curves)! Different look, different disipline.

        But I really think horse people are horse people. they just really love horses.
        The truth is always in the middle.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by jengersnap View Post
          There's a lot of behind the scenes attention, care, and devotion to the horses that the public will never see in the ~2 minutes of frontside time a horse sees every couple of weeks. If you don't take care of your athletes, they aren't going to take care of you.
          So true. And I think good for the public to know and understand.
          The truth is always in the middle.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Thoroughbred1201 View Post
            One of my favorite comments about this was somebody who commented that she really didn't care for how show horses were kept - they were so fat!
            Lol, and I'm sure my BO at times thinks I'm nuts as I'm looking at Lucky going "Is he getting fat?" When you can still easily feel and in certain light see rib! But he's getting a bit of a retired-guy haybelly and I like that sleek greyhound look better!
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            • #7
              Being from the Show World and lurking around here. I found this topic so true in many ways..
              "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                Lol, and I'm sure my BO at times thinks I'm nuts as I'm looking at Lucky going "Is he getting fat?" When you can still easily feel and in certain light see rib! But he's getting a bit of a retired-guy haybelly and I like that sleek greyhound look better!
                Funny, I didn't know you boarded at my barn. I have to keep close tabs on my BO. Somehow extra feed keeps finding its way into my horses' scoops.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  There are a-holes in the race world and in the show world. And each thinks they are *far* superior than the other. Had an asst trainer tell me once that show riders are 'morons' and not 'real horsemen'. Me, being both an exercise rider AND a h/j rider, turned around and pointed out that the horse he was holding was lame. Subtle, but it was there. He didn't see it, but the vet sure did. Huh, show riders are morons, huh? lol. We chuckle about it in the barn, the trainer I gallop for is a former Grand Prix rider and the other rider also does the h/j. We've got the best of both worlds. But I get it a lot from exercise riders, how show horses are easy, there's no challenge, anybody can do THAT, etc. Funny how not one of them will take me up on my offer to jump any of my 'easy' (NOT!) Show horses around my hunt course.
                  Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                  www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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                  • #10
                    Well... I was just discussing this exact subject with someone who has retrained and rehomed over 100 OTTBs. In all those horses she has only gotten a handful who did not **need** dental work. As in, need it to be functional, not talking about a bit seat here. Slightly more did not need their feet fixed, and she said she has NEVER - gotten a horse who did not need chiropractic work.

                    I have gotten OTTBs who had been obviously meticulously cared for - from high end tracks, usually home bred by the trainer. Paid what they were worth on the open market as a riding horse, happy to do so. But i have gotten many more from low end tracks who were in very bad condition.. So bad that it begs the question, how does anyone expect a horse with terrible feet, ulcers, muscle wasting and hamburger mouth from hooks and retained caps to race and make them any money?!! From a business perspective alone, I don't get it. Why would you not take care of your investment?

                    In general I think the peeps who populate COTH breath rarified air, and I mean that in a good way. Jenarby and JessiP come to mind right away, their horses always look fantastic and are clearly well cared for. But if you step outside this place and see the bigger picture... Yeah, I can see why people might think other disciplines as a whole take better care of their horses.
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                    • #11
                      To me, the idea that horses NEED chiropractic work is nuts in and of itself. (Of course I won't like a human chiro touch me as I know far more horror than success stories, from damage to fatalities. Yes, a bad chiro can actually kill you. Fun, huh?)

                      I would love to hear the justification for not doing the teeth, though, as I don't think it's money necessarily--it's cheap if you stick to files and start before there's a problem--and it's not something you need to have done very often on a normal mouth.

                      As for feet, I think that's the breed these days and you just get some who are better than others. Lucky's not so bad, and my old TB wasn't, either. (They're closely bred, fwiw.)
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                      • #12
                        Each to their own regarding chiro but her goal is to resell and I doubt she would waste the money if she saw no return.

                        As far as feet go... Most young TBs at sales have pretty decent feet, my homebreds have decent feet, after we fix them they have decent feet so no.. They come off the track often with shitty feet because they got shitty farrier work. That is simple, you can't fix it if it wasn't once ok to begin with blaming bad TB feet in being a TB is the easy way out, the horse pays the price.
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        ---
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Honestly, I'm with you on the Chiro work. I don't use a Chriopractor (one about crippled me), but I think some people benefit. Same with horses. Teeth are important. Feet too. No foot, no horse.
                          The truth is always in the middle.

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                          • #14
                            My complaint is that people outside the track often think OTTBs are routinely abused!!! And not expected to have manners, or are taught to do anything but gallop. Seriously, it seems that people think they gallop from the stall every day to the track, run, and return to the stall
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            ---
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                            • #15
                              I bought one from his breeder, 6 months off the track. He WAS starving, in a 12x12 outdoor pen, belly deep in mud, no shelter. He had an Upper Respiratory illness and an ulcer when I got him.
                              Previous owner had him on cattle pellets and junk hay. He looked bad.

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                              • #16
                                We run into a lot of the teeth and feet issues and it leaves you scratching your head a bit because a horse who has bad feet and teeth isn't going to want to run fast. Not to say this doesn't happen in the show world because it does and I see it all the time.

                                I am a true believer in chiro for horses and coming from someone who is constantly sitting on these horses transitioning from track to new careers it makes an amazing difference. You fix the body and the rest of the work becomes so easy for them. I have had horses that were so crooked to ride you wonder how they raced. The head goes one way and the body goes the other. I don't know how you fix that if you don't get the body aligned properly. It sure saves me a lot of time retraining if we just fix the body first so the work is easy for them.

                                I do think most racehorses get amazing care. I love walking the backside for CANTER visits and seeing all the happy and healthy horses. Bedded knee deep in straw or sawdust with big hay bags of premium alfalfa. So many caring owners, trainers and help who love their horses. It truly makes my day when CANTER can help them people who want to do right by their horses and they tell us all about the horses. My favorite part is when they donate a horse and I get to help transition it to a new home and get to come back and give them pictures and tell them stories about their horses.

                                Anybody who doesn't get to see this side of the industry just wouldn't understand.
                                http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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                                • #17
                                  I think good horse care is good horse care regardless of the discipline you are in. Of course there are going to be bad apples at the track (the previous post of the gelding being fed cattle pellets and bad hay) but you're going to also find these bad apples in every discipline!

                                  I'm not in the show world (though I have been) and I'm not a trainer/owner in the racing world (but do visit the tracks frequently looking for horses). Honestly, it doesn't matter what sport you are in -many people look at my sport as mean and rough but fail to realize the amazing care most people give their horses.

                                  I think it boils down to a few basic things...
                                  1 - Race horses (and a few other sports) tend to have a leaner appearance - this is essential for the horse's health and success. Other sports tend to have thicker horses with bulkier muscle mass. As long as both are nutritionally healthy, one isn't better or worse.

                                  2- Racing is so much more in the public eye than any other horse sport that when tragedy happens, everyone sees it. There are plenty of things that happen in other sports that just aren't seen.

                                  3 - Race horses tend to have a relatively short career, often not because they are thrown out and replaced but because they aren't successful. Why would you push a friend to train and compete in the NFL if they just didn't have the talent to be a good football player? Better to find something more suitable.

                                  4 - I agree with the previous post about 'after the track' organizations being dubbed "rescues". This gives the rest of the equine world the impression that these horses need rescuing when in fact they just need a new career.

                                  All in all, I sympathize with the racing industry as they come off as cold and uncaring when in fact, most are the complete opposite. I know tons of trainers who care very deeply about the welfare of their horses.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Jleegriffith View Post
                                    I do think most racehorses get amazing care. I love walking the backside for CANTER visits and seeing all the happy and healthy horses. Bedded knee deep in straw or sawdust with big hay bags of premium alfalfa. So many caring owners, trainers and help who love their horses. It truly makes my day when CANTER can help them people who want to do right by their horses and they tell us all about the horses. My favorite part is when they donate a horse and I get to help transition it to a new home and get to come back and give them pictures and tell them stories about their horses.

                                    Anybody who doesn't get to see this side of the industry just wouldn't understand.
                                    That is the problem - most of us don't see that side. We see only the business side. Race, bet, business. That's why I lurk (well, now post) on this forum. I love seeing this side.
                                    The truth is always in the middle.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by RooMB4 View Post
                                      I think it boils down to a few basic things...
                                      1 - Race horses (and a few other sports) tend to have a leaner appearance - this is essential for the horse's health and success. Other sports tend to have thicker horses with bulkier muscle mass. As long as both are nutritionally healthy, one isn't better or worse.

                                      3 - Race horses tend to have a relatively short career, often not because they are thrown out and replaced but because they aren't successful. Why would you push a friend to train and compete in the NFL if they just didn't have the talent to be a good football player? Better to find something more suitable.

                                      4 - I agree with the previous post about 'after the track' organizations being dubbed "rescues". This gives the rest of the equine world the impression that these horses need rescuing when in fact they just need a new career.

                                      All in all, I sympathize with the racing industry as they come off as cold and uncaring when in fact, most are the complete opposite. I know tons of trainers who care very deeply about the welfare of their horses.

                                      For #1: Agreed. For a hunter, we want that layer of fat over the muscle. round and shiney!

                                      For #3: Same with horses that don't want to jump. You learn that early on, and find them a different career.

                                      And #4, Amen.
                                      The truth is always in the middle.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                                        They come off the track often with shitty feet because they got shitty farrier work. That is simple, you can't fix it if it wasn't once ok to begin with blaming bad TB feet in being a TB is the easy way out, the horse pays the price.
                                        Uh not really. To be fair look at them in the saddling paddock before they run. Except at the very lowest level gyp tracks they usually look ok. The reason their terribly overgrown and lousy when they come off the track is because it's one of the first things trainers cut back on. They won't pay for a horse to get footcare or dental work that's not aiming at a race. It's an expense they cut out while trying to get rid of a horse.

                                        Don't blame shoers for not doing something their not getting paid for.

                                        The worst looking feet are often a reliable indicator of the worst most poorly run outfits. Many of these people don't belong near horses of any kind much less expensive TBs on a racetrack
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