Post race track life !!!


There may be a number of reasons why this is occurring . However a not uncommon explanation may well lie in the circumstances of ‘Neds’ prior occupation or employment ! His/her resume may well have read...................


From 16 mths of age till 7yrs.......Employed by Mr D Smith as a racehorse. Raced on 55 occasions over distances of 1000m to 2400m. Pay.....All the food I could eat. Regularly groomed and exercised on a regular basis. Frequent medical attention (veterinary) and chiropractic at no cost to me (Ned). 4 to 6 week holidays once or twice a year in a private paddock with good feed and not much to do.

Reason for seeking a new way of life.. 1) Not finishing as one of first 3 horses at the winning post in races. 2) Not wanting to go to the races or if they insist that I go becoming quite apprehensive about having to compete in the race.

Why? 1) Just can’t get as much air into the lungs as I used to.

          2) Loosing my breath (throat closing up) before the end of the


          3) Feeling quite distressed after a race / takes a long time to catch my breath.

          4) A tight feeling in my chest after a race.

Now we can see that what used to be ‘fun’ (gallops / racing) for Ned had become a rather uncomfortable to on some occasions ‘distressing’ experience. At times his throat (larynx and or pharynx) was shutting off during the race. His lungs were becoming hypersensitive leading to bouts of post race bronchospasm (tight feeling in the chest similar to that felt by asthmatics).

Needless to say , when the exercise program slowed and the grooming gear and shampoo came out signalling the arrival of ‘race day’, poor Ned became a little anxious. As he was led to the float /van his body began to quiver and the sweat began to run!

OK!......”.but Ned were not going to race you any more!”....... thus with less pressure it is quite likely that Ned will not experience these not so pleasant sensations,

BUT TRY TELLING NED THAT ! ( this is ‘Ned’ not ‘Mr Ed’ ) ..........and thus unfortunately it may take quite some time for Ned to trust that when being loaded onto a float it is not to compete in a race. .........also if Ned is purchased to compete in cross country events he may well experience , all be it to a lesser extent, similar distressing events to those in his racing career. If this happens it is most probable that his performances will be negatively affected.

Therefore if you are going to purchase a racehorse / trotter off the track then there are three recommendations that should be heeded......if you wish to reduce the chances of purchasing a ‘problem’ horse. Ned may well turn out to be a wonderful acquisition but there will be less frustration on your part if you understand the reasons for his altered mental attitude.


1) Be present at the track / races for his last few starts and take note of his demure! If this is not possible then make discreet enquiries.........!

2) Medical history. Find out if Ned has been treated with bronchodilators / cortisones for breathing (lower airways) problems. He may unfortunately be a different horse without these advice from the veterinarian who recommended the treatment.

3) Surgical history. Find out if Ned has had throat surgery. There are ‘many different types’ of throat surgery each has its range of ‘upsides’ and ‘down sides’. So ask .......a) Which type of surgery did Ned have? b) Who performed it? .so that you can find out the likelihood of problems in the the surgeon.

PS.Ned may well be the horse you are looking for but he may also have undiagnosed breathing problems that can be treated. However you should have these investigated prior to the purchase so that you have an idea of COSTS & prognosis!!

......Oh yes!..and happy hunting, dressage, pony club, Olympics???