Ex Race Horses

1 January 2012
I took on an OTTB that had been out of racing for a year and done some basic groundwork. He raced for 6 years and is my first horse. I had him turned out daily for about a week then when I got on for my first ride he looked after me. Very forward going but not dangerous, actually had a steady trot and canter and stayed on the correct leg.
He is an angel in the stable and is incredibly affectionate, a true gentleman.
Although I won't be able to hack or compete in any proper discipline for a long time ( a year roughly ) the learning curve between me and Alfie makes it worth while.
Never put a hoof wrong, but bolted once and lept over 3 trotting poles and continued galloping round and round! So it shows you to always keep your wits about you and respect the sheer power and speed they are capable off. But with enough time and patience he could put some riding school horses to shame!
I hope you find a lovely ex racer as it has been such a rewarding experience starting his schooling.

Amy :)



Well-Known Member
29 August 2009
Apologies in advance, the photo is going to be massive but I can't work out how to resize it!

This is my 6yr old (well, I guess he's 7 officially now) ex-racer drying off after a days hunting - he really doesn't bat an eyelid regardless of what's going off around him! There aren't many horses who will let you wrap their heads up in a towel (just after this photo he was blindfolded with it and just carried on eating hay regardless :p)

Mine doesn't have the best conformation (built downhill), but I compromised on that because 1) I was getting fed up of looking at horses by that point and 2) I liked his temperament. He's hunted today (and jumped a hedge, post and rails, slanted gates etc) in a snaffle and was ace, and will happily hack out tomorrow :) My nervous mum can ride him too. He dressages, he jumps, he's been showing... And he's an absolute gem on the ground. He even lives out!

I bought him privately, but he'd only been out of training for about three months and we'd been under snow for half of that. The main problems I've had have been him constantly falling out through the shoulder, so I have to always ride with the outside aids, and also that you can't just bring him back by putting pressure on his mouth else he flicks his head up and shoots forward. For dressage, he needs to be held together a lot by the seat, back and thigh in canter especially, but out hacking we just use the 'jockey' way of stopping!


Well-Known Member
3 February 2011
I have a 14yo, got him in april last year and he had been racing from 2yo til he was 6. He then went to racing college until the day I got him. So he was very much set in his ways. I didn't turn him away, I just got on with it. I just cantered sitting up (as I'm an ex racer myself lol) and slowly began putting weight onto his back (he went loopy as he didn't understand) and now he is fine. I just do things he enjoys while schooling rather than doing boring stuff as he seems to be happier to work that way. The only problem is he's a spooky little bugger as he hasn't really seen much of the world from being at college for so long.
BUT I wouldn't change him for the world, I will always have ex racers and nothing else they are intelligent and bundles of fun!


Well-Known Member
3 July 2008
Hi, i have had a fair few ex racers and know plenty, being in Ireland you can pick and choose unfortunately. My latest is a 4year old who was too slow and sent for meat, a rescue centre got her and apparently she was quite unmanageable, as they did not have experienced horse people, just volounteers and she was toying with them and was unable to be ridden by a novice.
I have had her a week and found her history she never raced and was not broke long before the people coulld not afford her. I have found her to be civil well mannered and being a four year old who has never hacked, She is hacking on her own no issues if you know how to handle situations. She is very smart and needs a job and when turned out watches my tb x hooly round the field as she stands and watches!
My tb x is much sharper and a very tb head but not at all dangerous and again a complete plod hacking.
I bought my first racer to make money to afford a 'better' horse. She was sold as a beginners horse!
No two are alike and their personalitys are something else, i find people here either love them or hate them. I personally dont get anything else i have soo much fun with them and enjoy their 'spark'
Also alot of it comes down to management, i have alot of what people call 'quirky' horses come to me and i find i have no issues with the way they are handled, fed and turned out.


Well-Known Member
3 April 2011
Zzummerset :-)
I have had 2 ex racers now, both from trainers (1st one ended disastrously, we wont go there) but current boy finished racing a week before I bought him in july, turned him away to chill & put on weight. Now we hack out when daylight/weather permits & have started schooling. He is very quick to learn which I love & he is a pleasure to work with....saying that he can get very excitable out hacking which is why we are still in the 'we CAN do a whole ride in walk' mode and he has only just learnt what 'ridden' trot is so we are working on that....roll on the spring & better weather :)