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Reply To: OTTB and rest time, I want to change feed

Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

Racehorses don’t get all that much exercise. Perhaps 15 minutes on days they are galloped (and that includes the warmup prior to the galloping), longer if just jogged, and perhaps 30 minutes on days they are walked. They are (keep in mind, this is only from my own experience) hand grazed as well. The average trail or lesson horse, as well as eventers and endurance horses probably get a whole lot more exercise than the average racehorse. Not counting, of course, days when they race, but even that is usually not long at all. A short, light gallop in the morning, warm-up on the way to the gate, and about 3 minutes (intense, but short) actual racing. In 56 years, I have never seen a Thoroughbred founder or get colic, whether in training or off the track entirely.

This doesn’t mean that you should not be careful, just don’t fret yourself too much about it. It sounds as if you are doing things with a great deal of care and concern for your horses. However, if you are not riding them nor turning them out, I do recommend that you walk them each for at least 20 minutes to 30 minutes daily. They would, normally, have been out at pasture until they started training, which varies agewise from trainer to trainer. We did not start ours until mid-way through their second year, giving them about 2.5 years just free to be horses. It wasn’t enough, but better than many.

If you aren’t up to all that walking, they should be accustomed to being ridden at a walk, just make sure it is the opposite way of a track, even if you don’t have one. Sometimes we just rode them in the shed row. Boring, either way.

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe. Reason: forgot something. probably forgot a lot of things

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