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Breakdowns - age, or training and care?

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  • #41
    Rev. I keep myself in fine company, thank you, reason enough I do not know you.
    My integrity stands on it's own in an industry filled of people & horses that I have loved, & been in the thick, most all of my life.
    So go pokey thy nose elsewhere, entertaining as your type may be this business/sport has nothing to offer you.
    "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


    • #42
      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SeaOat:
      So go pokey thy nose elsewhere <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
      This is a most entertaining thread!
      \"So shines a good deed in a weary world\" - Willy Wonka


      • #43
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> showpony And Sadly the horses suffer for it.
        Owners/trainers can only "lose so much money" at the horses expence. The reason for medicating, over racing, masking instead of curing...money and pride(trying to save face in front of owners).


        Umm have you seen the the real BNT's in the show horse world's back side It's not pretty same thing different sport. I have seen worse in that world then I have in racing. They just hide it well


        • #44
          Isn' this a question of being a "serious" cocompetitor vs.being a good horseman?, and, also fortunte enough to have the finances to be independent.or a weaeLTY OWNER who, is also a good horseman?
          breeder of Mercury!

          remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


          • #45
            Hi Carol,
            There is SO much that factors into keeping horses sound during their racing lives. Racing 2 year olds is fine when the individual horse (as some mature or hold up better than others) is taken into training consideration. Also owners vary...some are more patient than others which trickles down to the trainers choices. Some owners are fine to go with the flow, but maybe it's the trainer who is pushy. Smarts & talent play into it...like any tradesman, not all trainers should be in this game. Drugs are not prominant in EVERY trainer's program, but most all trainers use what it takes to keep a horse going. Some over-use.
            Time is of great value...the best know time cannot be forced along any faster, cutting corners & rushing will cost time in the long run. Keeping up a racehorse is too costly to err w/ time.
            There are some drugs that I wish the horses could run on (certain blood pressure meds, for example) & others that are over-used in training. Most all have draw times keeping them out of actual races.
            Being a serious competitor AND a good horseman, as well as fiscally wise (if not wealthy) are all components of a good race stable. Knowing WHERE your horses should run is showing grounded sense....lofty dreams kill pocketbooks & animals.
            I read your profile & wish you all the best in a speedy recovery.
            "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


            • #46
              One of my major fears on getting involved in racing was the endless replay in my mind of that horrible moment when Ruffian broke down. I have personally witnessed two breakdowns, and still find it hard to deal with, as do most people at the track on either side of the rail. No one profits from these losses, and they are the nightmare of every owner, trainer and jockey. That is partly why it is so hard to get statistics on the subject.

              Racing and race horse ownership has changed over the last 30 years. New owners and international buyers have been blamed for the increasing commercial pressures in the industry, but the truth is, horses used to run a lot more as two year olds than they do now. An old timer I have spoken to told me that in the 50's the New York tracks was populated with "guys from the garment district" who decided to call themselves trainers but had never even gotten on a horse. The "good old days" when horses were sounder were talked about then, too. I wish I could find an old quote I had about a similar look backwards - written in the 1870's!

              The truth is racing is a difficult, sometimes brutal test of a horse. There is no way to entirely take away the risk to animal and human participants. Yet without racing, the thoroughbred (and warmblood) would not exist. It is the quandrary of all horse owners - while we make much of our connection with the animals and their willingness and heart, there are economic forces that pressure us to treat them as commodities whether we choose to acknowledge them or not.

              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> One more thing: joint injections and racing surfaces are two of the major reasons for breakdowns on the track. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

              I was under the impression that joint injection could actually prevent deterioration of the joint - as long as it isn't overdone. I suppose it is often overdone?
              Publisher, http://www.endurance-101.com
              Blog: http://blog.seattlepi.com/horsebytes/


              • #47
                I think that people who have no experience IN the race world get the most upset. Until you've been on the backside, grooming or TRAINING your own, it is hard to stand back and objectively (or is it subjectively?) look at the situation. I personally don't use bute on my horses every day. Don't need to. If they're sore, then they shoudln't be there. But you'll be darn sure they're on the bute list the day of the race. I keep an eye on them, so there's nothing that bute will be masking- it will be helping keep that horse's muscles from getting sore and generally just do what a little ibuprofen does for me.
                I had a breakdown earlier this spring- just a condylar fracture that the vet thought had been there all along (he raced 3 times on it) but finally in March of his 3 y/o year he took that step that did it. He's fine now. And should be the rest of his career. We went very slow with him as a 2 y/o. He started once in August and again in November. Not again till January 22nd when he won. He's over at the knee, and without that conformational fault probably never would have fractured.
                I have another horse that ran hard as a 2 y/o, and now he events at 5 y/o. He won $49K+ in good tough company, and has not a single problem.

                But as for criticizing us (race people) for not 'treating our horses well'... They get incredible feed, and they get out on the walkers, they get groomed better than most show horses, and you'll notice many trainers and grooms doting on their horses. At least I do. I bring a bag full of grass for one a day (all I can manage). As for no turnout... One of mine goes ballistic if he's turned out. He can't stand it. Another couldn't really care less where he is as long as he's got food. These horses don't know what a day full of turnout is, they're high enery, (hyperactive usually) animals that learn their routine and get incredible set in that routine. (one of mine checks his watch for his feed and if I'm 15 minutes late you better bet I'll hear about it). Yes some trianers have unhappy horses, but that obviously isn't the majority.

                Honestly, take a good hard look at the race industry. yes horses break down, yes *some* people suck and don't train their horses correctly. A horse up here broke down during the MORNING, which is pretty bad. But, it is FAR from the majority.
                Race training and retraining Thoroughbreds.


                • #48
                  I tap joints that NEED it. A fair deal of trainers tap to tap, whether needed or not. Tapping a joint that needs it relieves pressure, and if there is a lot of blood in the serum (assuming a tiny vessel wasn't hit, which looks different) it can let you know your horse may have a chip or errosion.
                  There are acid injections that are sometimes used, steroids like methylprednisolone (depo), and such....much the same as what humans receive. I often follow w/ an oral steriod to help maintain the ankle/knee/hock whichever.
                  The reason you would not want to tap/inject a joint just for the beans of it, is you risk infection. You are pushing a needle into a closed cavity in less than perfect conditions. No matter how long you scrub, there is the CHANCE of pushing a hair, piece of dust, etc., into the joint, which can have nasty results. Plus tapping what little serum is in a joint (when you see just a few drops being squeezed out, not a SPURT) removes needed lube, IMO.
                  Anyway, tapping only works so many times as joints only hold up so long....they errode, a removed chip goes fine for awhile but often the joint will begin to crumble, etc.
                  "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


                  • #49
                    I said injecting joints is one of the main contributors to horses breaking down because the process is overused on many animals. If a trainer uses the less expensive cortisone (which many do), it actually deteriorates the joint after many treatments.
                    Hyaluronic acid, the natural joint lubricant, or the pharmacological equivalents of it, are often expensive, and even still, if a horse needs a rest, or has stinging ankle, the administering to the joint in oder to keep him running can be to the detriment of an animal who just has too much wear and tear.
                    Turning For Home, Inc.
                    Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


                    • #50
                      I have been involved in various facets the TB business for about 25 years, mostly working for others but also as a small-time breeder and owner. Breakdowns are the worst part of the game, and tragically many cannot be prevented. One of the most talented horses we bred broke down on the lead in his 4th start, an allowance race at a major track, and I was sick about that for months. This may sound cold to some of you, but after a lot of reflection, I have decided that I'd rather sell a horse that later breaks down racing and is euthanized within minutes, after a life of excellent care, than sell one and hear later about how it died of an untreated injury illness, or unattended foaling, and/or after a long period of neglect, as happens to far too many backyard horses with supposedly caring owners.


                      • #51
                        ejm: It's interesting but that is a discussion we just had earlier today. My SO is a track vet and there are quite a few trainers who would also rather put a horse down, even when fairly repairable, than give away. There are so many horror stories of nice horses people have placed in homes, that have gone very bad. These trainers feel sick about it but can't bare having them placed badly again.
                        This is going to enrage a lot of you out there, but when dealing with the VOLUME of animals envolved at just one track, nevermind three or more in a state, it's really hard to find good homes when you need them. Even with the good organizations around helping. And people who mean well & want to adopt right off the track may not be as equiped to do so as they thought. We have two horses sold to well meaning people now who are finding their farm was not as turn-out ready as they thought, one filly recently spent the night out *running* the country roads. She's reinjured a suspensory on the mend that these people were told (& how) would take time, & now they want us to buy her back. We told them she'd have to be in one paddock for awhile, before cutting loose in the bigger field w/ others & they didn't listen, plus turned her out first time in early evening. If we don't take her who knows what next. People in this sport PAY DEARLY for loving/caring too much. Easy to see why some turn it off and think of them as numbers after awhile.
                        Anyway, a bit off subject: Hear our soapbox cry to NOT breed TB's....so many nice ones to choose from (from sales to freebies to racing), all ages, types & degrees of soundness. Show horse people need only attend a decent mixed sale once to realize it's a Disney World of offerings for a few hundred $$$(saving a life buying those at any age) to a few thousand, and all SO much cheaper than buying private! And way better than breeding your own!!
                        "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


                        • #52
                          I definitely agree!
                          So many people think thy are doing the right thing with an exracehorse--a horse who is used to a clean stall, regular meals, regular exercise and daily schedule, grooming, and being handled by people all day-- and then wonder why the horse falls apart when they stick him outside (say it's natural!) and don't ride him regularly.
                          I hate and am sickened by breakdowns as much as any horse lover would be, but most of these horses were cared for up until the minute they become fatalities.
                          Turning For Home, Inc.
                          Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


                          • #53
                            I find it highly ironic when show horse people get upset about all the breakdowns at the racetrack. Unfortunately, I have witnessed it several times and it is always heartbreaking.

                            Having said that, the average racehorse is MUCH better taken care of than any pleasure horse or even a horse in a BNT's barn. I have a very good friend who used to work at the track as an exercise rider, and she constantly tells me stories of how the horses are taken care of at the track. She once worked at the barn of an internationally known BNT and she was shocked to see how poorly the horses were looked after.

                            I, in turn, have mimicked her care and I can't tell you how many times I am mocked for spoiling my horse. I am told that water buckets are spoiling a horse as is making sure the hooves are clean before turning back into a stall. Cleaning a leather halter is overkill to many people. I could go on and on.

                            In short, there is horse abuse in almost every sport. However, you must pass a test and get a license to train at the track unlike most horse *trainers*. I really don't see horse racing to be any more *evil* than any other horse sport. Only at the FEI level are all drugs banned--even for the riders--caffiene is not legal and many vets would like to see the USAE follow the lead of the FEI. That way the welfare of the horse would have to come first. When all drugs are illegal a horse can be given a painkiller after a show, but then the horse must rest in order for the drugs to clear the system thus preventing a sore or unsound horse from competing again. The only alternative for FEI competititors is rest.

                            If we are really serious about cleaning about horse sports, we should first lobby the USAE to follow FEI rules and then go after the racing industry. On second thought, it will most likely take many lifetimes to clean up our sport, so in the meantime I suggest we not cast judgement on other horse sports until such a time this miracle has transpired.


                            • #54
                              Well, in all fairness this is a discussion about racing so remarks made about the racing industry are not out of line... I think most people involved in horses would agree that there are problems in every facet of the horse world...

                              I think what I meant to say is, even though the racing industry wants us to think the industry is highly regulated there are simply some things they can't regulate, hence my remarks about less savory types in the business...

                              In fact, just a few years ago there was a huge scandal at Penn National Racetrack--trainers and jockeys conspired to fix races. I see that the racing commission's safeguards worked well in that case... Of course, the evil doers were caught and prosecuted...

                              As far as a Janet DelCastillo fan club, I don't think there is one Barbara, only people who think her ideas are a breath of fresh air. Why does it matter how much she's won??? She's just trying to eek out a living with horses--I don't view her any differently than John Lyons, or Pat Parelli or anyone on this board who tries to make a living at training horses... I have a lot of respect for Janet in that she has the courage of her convictions, has published her own book and seems to be making her dream work. Far be it from me to rain on her parade!!!

                              All that testing trainers proves is that the trainer can regurgitate back what the testers want to hear--it doesn't prove the person being tested can, or will, implement what he/she knows.
                              "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                              • #55
                                Wasn' here a study done of race horses who .had broken down?, rimarily in CA, which, showed thst most had had a previous injury in their spine? i can easily believe thst, and do know that "myfoals", at lazy Lane who, ivisited each afternoon in their pasture, where I would watch their "foal races', by late Fall of theirfirst year, showed signs, of injury in the lumbarsacral region, sometimescoliosis, and, that the vet who, was there thenext day said "thy've got a"roached back", which, to me was a "cop out, as, I knew that that had not been true theday before.Unfortunately most vets ,and horsemen have ben been trainedto ignore horses'backs, and know very litle about healthy backs,or what good massage therapy accupuncture, and chiropracticcncan do,very few have experienced the changes in a horses' performance, and in the stall,hich occurs when a back condition is relieved; It is my firm belief tht, if people would learm aboutthe horses' mssage therapy has been proven time, an again to make a diffrence in the performance, especially of race hores,and, I would like to see all trainers inall disciplines learn sports massage therapy, as well, as what a healthy back looks like, aand feelslike unfortunately the standard thinking is, "You can't do anything about a soreback anyway"The understanding that lower leg problems often begun higher , in the hiorses' spine. is seldom conveyed.
                                breeder of Mercury!

                                remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                                • #56
                                  Cherry: Janet is a farse. Read what I wrote earlier, and that was just a small sample of her crap. She's NO horseman, just a lazy smooth talker. In all fairness, I can't say that she's always been that way, though zebras don't often change their stripes. This has nothing to do with having read her book & not in agreement with most of it's content, more that I found her REAL-life habits very slack and a sham and HARMFUL to the horses. I will say I found her to seem very kind and charming upon first impression & hoped to walk away with something useful...
                                  Having briefly known her, I can't for the life of me see what any horseman would find refreshing. I was quickly disgusted.
                                  I also agree w/ Barbara in thinking her current standings as a trainer do reflect in LARGE part on her practices. One can be kind to their horses AND know what the hell they're doing!
                                  "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


                                  • #57
                                    Sea Oat?

                                    It's no wonder that Sea Oat cries "boo hoo" when the topic is Janet Del Castillo.
                                    Sea Oat flunked Janet's seminar! Yes, actually flunked! That is... was asked in
                                    mid-seminar, after a series of mishaps, not to return! Of course, this dolt then
                                    got very indignant etc. and refused to pay, and later the Winter Haven police had
                                    to be called in to restrain him. My husband and I, and the other attendees intent
                                    on learning something, felt very sorry for this person, Janet, and the whole situation. How do you deal with someone who repeatedly falls off a horse and
                                    then, in some kind of perverted "revenge" (I'd guess you'd say) tries to kick
                                    it unmercifully! It was one of the most shameful afternoons I've ever spent.
                                    I presume Sea Hero knows who I am, but what the heck. I don't care. Everyone
                                    is entitled to their opinion, fine... but it's a shame that incompetent pretender types need to express them. And, of course, the loudest blowhards can be critical when they demonstably can't even sit on a horse! Donna


                                    • #58
                                      DonnaR.....SEAOAT is a her not a "him". Nice try . I also NEVER took one of her seminars (this could explain why I wouldn't remember you), but did visit her place on several occasions w/ a friend who briefly rented a house from her. From your description of the man who was arrested, it sounds like Janet is still attracting same-ol-same-ol trainer wanna-bees, who else would attend those things after reading a few chapters in that book?
                                      "There's a fine line between genius and madness. I've removed that line." -Super Genius/me


                                      • #59
                                        Cherry said: "In fact, just a few years ago there was a huge scandal at Penn National Racetrack--trainers and jockeys conspired to fix races."

                                        Fortunately, Penn National is not exactly the kind of track the industry holds up as an example of high quality.

                                        Cherry also said: "As far as a Janet DelCastillo fan club, I don't think there is one Barbara, only people who think her ideas are a breath of fresh air. Why does it matter how much she's won???"

                                        Why does it matter how often she has won? Are you kidding? Don't you measure someone's success by how well they do in the industry they choose to preach about? I don't know any succesful horsemen who never win races, do you? Sorry, that is the way you guage success in the racing world--not how fat and happy your horses are, or how many books you sell.

                                        Racing is a business, and while it is true that your peers are not always the best to judge you (racing people think she is a little off, too), the numbers in your win column are important, or at least your win % is.

                                        I stand by what I said in that earlier post.
                                        Turning For Home, Inc.
                                        Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


                                        • #60

                                          Man, does your line of BS ever sound familiar. Didn't you state many months ago that you knew me and that you witnessed me jump off a horse and start whipping it repeatedly? Only then, I believe you were using the ID "Chevy Jocky", "MarieS" or something.

                                          Or maybe there are TWO people on this forum who like to make up absurd stories about people who don't like Janet Del Castillo. It's probably Janet herself. At any rate, you better keep those brain storms flowing, because there are TONS of us in the racing industry who think she is the biggest boob around.

                                          I just love how she reccomends galloping in Jofa hockey helmets. That right there should clue you in as to how big of a maroon she is.
                                          -The Girl With Endoscope Eyes