Racehorse to Riding horse

Hamlet

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Since I have loved reading and following the progress of the horses and riders in the young horse threads, I have decided (and been encouraged) to start one for the ex-racers among us. Inspired of course by my new acquisition Darcie. So please if you have an ex-racer at whatever stage please feel free to join in, I would love to see the progress of others as well as posting my own updates.

So with no further ado introducing Darcie, she’s a 4 year old (5 in Jan) ex flat-racer. So far she has been an angel, has inserted herself into her little herd like she’s always been there and has been so chilled despite her only having been with me for 4 days and at Christmas time no less!

Today for the first time I took her into the school just for a little walk. I figured she’d have only ever been in a round pen and only ever lunged at speed. I was correct in that assumption, but she soon relaxed and we got a lovely walk on each rein and called it a day. The plan is to do quite a bit of ground work before having a sit and then gradually building that up to little walk hacks but I’m keen to get her on the long lines first as I think that will really help with her confidence as well as being able to build the correct muscle without being sat on her. Plus the physio and saddle fitter are booked for mid Jan so there’s no rush to get on board until then.

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As you can see she’s still pretty lean as she last raced in October and was then living out in a field until I viewed her. Trying to get a bit more coverage on her but she is a picky madam, possibly the fussiest horse I’ve met, but she’s happy with the Saracen Re-leve mix at the moment so I’m ok with that for now. Can’t wait to see what she looks like in the spring!

Thanks if you got this far and please add your own ex-racers!
 

TheMule

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Congratulations on your new acquisition! She looks a proper athlete, how is she bred?
Good luck with her and I’ll look forward to following her journey.
 

ycbm

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Oh my look at that bum! And the shoulder too. She's going to be super when you've built her up, what a strong girl 🥰
 

Hamlet

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Congratulations on your new acquisition! She looks a proper athlete, how is she bred?
Good luck with her and I’ll look forward to following her journey.
Thank you! I know she has Acclamation/Dark Angel as a great grand sire and grand sire.

Oh my look at that bum! And the shoulder too. She's going to be super when you've built her up, what a strong girl 🥰
Thank you I was lucky to find her! 😊 And her temperament is just the cherry on top, so calm yet very switched on and confident. So excited I hope I can do her justice 🤞🏼
 

Fern007

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She looks lovely!! I'm sure you will have lots of fun with her!! My was just turning 10 when I bought him. He had raced NH and point to point. This last year we have done more than I ever imagined!! We did sj, dressage, xc, ODE, concours d'elegance, showing, ROR, even did pairs dressage! They are such beautiful versatile horses.
 

teddy_eq

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Darcie has a lot of quality 👌, what a pretty girl. Please do keep us up to date with her progress! What do you hope to do with her in the long run?

I bought this three year old chap in August (pic from August), he last ran in July. He had terribly sore shins when he arrived, so I let his fitness down slowly with sedate hacking and now he's just doing in-hand work until March time. I plan to event him but we shall see 😃!

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ycbm

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You can see the shin splints on the photo TE, can't you? I have a friend who bought a 3 year old with worse ones, and he was never lame a day on them for 21 years until he died of colic.

That's another nice horse you have there. ..
 

teddy_eq

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You can see the shin splints on the photo TE, can't you? I have a friend who bought a 3 year old with worse ones, and he was never lame a day on them for 21 years until he died of colic.

That's another nice horse you have there. ..
Yes, for sure. My vet saw him soon after he arrived and although like your friends horse he was not lame, they were tender. Healed now though, just waiting for the bone to re-model :D.

The poor sod had a hell of a six months. He was a rig, so was castrated in May (they had to go in through his side), then run four times with shins like that. He was very prickly when he arrived and I immediately suspected ulcers, but he's completely changed now so I think he was just nearing the end of his tether combined with hormones all over the shop.

Thank you very much, he's a super chap!
 

Squeak

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Two lovely horses. Can't wait to follow your journeys with them.

I've also got an ex-racer. He raced on the flat as a 2 and 3 year old before retiring due to being too slow. He'd done a little bit of showing before I got him, which is great as between racing and showing he's seen the world. Initially he had a bit of a break with some hacking, the odd bit of schooling and importantly learnt what a jump was. Now, he's in boot camp learning about eventing ready to crack on for next season.
 
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Hamlet

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27 October 2021
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Good luck with her. She looks lovely. Mine raced til he was 8. Now showing and dressage. Imagine you’ll have lots of fun.
Thankyou! I’d love to see a picture of yours!

She looks lovely!! I'm sure you will have lots of fun with her!! My was just turning 10 when I bought him. He had raced NH and point to point. This last year we have done more than I ever imagined!! We did sj, dressage, xc, ODE, concours d'elegance, showing, ROR, even did pairs dressage! They are such beautiful versatile horses.
Wow that sounds like a great year you’ve had! Again another request for pictures…can never have enough of ex racers thriving in their new careers 😄. I’d be really pleased if I can get Darcie out doing some dressage and eventually some eventing.

Lots to like there! looking forward to following your progress with her.
Thank you! Can’t wait to see her filled out with some top line 😊
 

Hamlet

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Darcie has a lot of quality 👌, what a pretty girl. Please do keep us up to date with her progress! What do you hope to do with her in the long run?

I bought this three year old chap in August (pic from August), he last ran in July. He had terribly sore shins when he arrived, so I let his fitness down slowly with sedate hacking and now he's just doing in-hand work until March time. I plan to event him but we shall see 😃!

View attachment 85041
Thanks, I’m so excited about her! Would like her to be a nice riding club horse, though would like to be competitive at ROR dressage and eventing eventually 🤞🏼

Your boy is a cracker, would love to follow his retraining along too! Poor lad sounds like he’s had a bit of a tough time but he’s landed on his feet with you! Every night I find more mud fever on Darcie but if that’s the only ailment she has I can’t grumble and she’s an angel to t

Two lovely horses. Can't wait to follow your journeys with them.

I've also got an ex-racer. He raced on the flat as a 2 and 3 year old before retiring due to being too slow. He'd done a little bit of showing before I got him, which is great as between racing and showing he's seen the world. Initially he had a bit of a break with some hacking, the odd bit of schooling and importantly learnt what a jump was. Now, he's in boot camp learning about eventing ready to crack on for next season.
Again…pictures please! 😄 He sounds lovely though and that is what I like about ex-racers they are very worldly having been around the block a lot! It sounds like you’re going to have a great season, would really like to hear more!

I've owned loads and I'm very envious of you all. Performance wise, this was my best one. She would really have gone Novice but she was tiny compared to my usual horses and I didn't have the gumption to do more than BE 90 by then!

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She looks fantastic fun ycbm! I really love a good mare. If I can get Darcie competitively to 90 I’ll be over the moon, absolutely zero inclination to do a novice, I’ll stick to fence judging those 😆.
 

BronsonNutter

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Here's Wilby... Despite my best efforts (I was 17, he was 5, all I'd had prior to that point of my own was a SJ schoolmaster pony) we managed to get up to elementary dressage, evented at the RC champs, hunted, SJed, hacked miles and miles and miles. He should have been 12.2hh then he would have been a fab PC games pony, just tonnes of fun. He's now 16 and his feet caught up with him so we just hack and did go hound exercising this autumn. Here he is having a play at polocrosse!
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Last year I bought Fox via a trainer I know, we've taken things slow (partly intentionally, partly due to numerous health and soundness issues - not related to racing) and was looking forwards to a winter/spring of dressage and SJ. She loves jumping a bit too much and bronced me off on landing 6 weeks ago, breaking my arm, so has had yet another holiday. I'd hoped we'd be eventing next year but we may just stick to dressage until I get my brave pants back and she calms back down! This photo is from the RoR north west camp - definitely check out what your local RoR group has on!
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AandK

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Some lovely horses on this post! I have an exracer, will be 3yrs in March since I got him. He is a 2013 so will be 9 in the new year (birthday in April), sadly I have not managed to do much with him as he got a field injury about 4 months after I got him (collateral ligament in his hock) and just as we were about to start jumping late 2020, he went lame in front, which turned out to be a keratoma. Surgery for that was Nov last year and we've been dealing with the recovery from that for the last year.. He is coming back into work again now his foot is looking much better and sound, up to trotting and about to add a bit of light school work. Not the best picture, this was just after his first clip with me, but he always looks much better in the flesh! He is everything I was looking for, and has the potential to do what I had planned (low level eventing up to 90/100), just hope we get there!
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RachelFerd

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IMG_20211211_135913_797.jpg IMG_20210806_193152_072.jpg

My wonderful 10yo ex racehorse - had him since a 4yo. Evented with me up to 2* so far, also picked up plenty of prize money BS over the years and does BD at Ele too. The easiest horse to do in nearly all ways - and can be ridden and jumped by novices on occasion too. He's not at all Thoroughbred-y, he holds his weight well and he is always verging on being incredibly lazy.
 

Hamlet

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Last year I bought Fox via a trainer I know, we've taken things slow (partly intentionally, partly due to numerous health and soundness issues - not related to racing) and was looking forwards to a winter/spring of dressage and SJ. She loves jumping a bit too much and bronced me off on landing 6 weeks ago, breaking my arm, so has had yet another holiday. I'd hoped we'd be eventing next year but we may just stick to dressage until I get my brave pants back and she calms back down! This photo is from the RoR north west camp - definitely check out what your local RoR group has on!
Both of yours look like great fun! I had a horse that also got too excited cross country and bronced after fences…he sort of grew out of it, instead of every fence it was just when he made a particularly good jump and was clearly pleased with himself 🙈 I’m hoping Darcie will be more sensible as I’d love to do an ROR camp and not be the one on the disgraced horse 😂


Some lovely horses on this post! I have an exracer, will be 3yrs in March since I got him. He is a 2013 so will be 9 in the new year (birthday in April), sadly I have not managed to do much with him as he got a field injury about 4 months after I got him (collateral ligament in his hock) and just as we were about to start jumping late 2020, he went lame in front, which turned out to be a keratoma. Surgery for that was Nov last year and we've been dealing with the recovery from that for the last year.. He is coming back into work again now his foot is looking much better and sound, up to trotting and about to add a bit of light school work. Not the best picture, this was just after his first clip with me, but he always looks much better in the flesh! He is everything I was looking for, and has the potential to do what I had planned (low level eventing up to 90/100), just hope we get there!
View attachment 85084
He’s a lovely type, nice and compact. Sorry you’ve had some horrible issues but really glad he’s on the mend now. Keep us updated with his progress as I’m sure you’ll reach your goal with him!

Not posted a photo before so not sure if will work. This is at the RoR champs in the in hand final.
Wow how stunning! Was that Aintree? I would love to do the ROR southern dressage championships at Blenheim but that is a way in the future just yet.

Would love to post photos but it says file extensions not allowed?
Hrm if the file is too large can you resize the picture before you upload it? Instead of uploading the pictures actual size I always go for small/medium if doing it from a smartphone.
 

Hamlet

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View attachment 85119 View attachment 85120

My wonderful 10yo ex racehorse - had him since a 4yo. Evented with me up to 2* so far, also picked up plenty of prize money BS over the years and does BD at Ele too. The easiest horse to do in nearly all ways - and can be ridden and jumped by novices on occasion too. He's not at all Thoroughbred-y, he holds his weight well and he is always verging on being incredibly lazy.
He’s fantastic! You must be really happy with him. It is genuinely amazing what these horses can do in their second lives.

Darcie is just my type, she is going to make up into a lovely model!
Thank you!
I would have loved to have had an update for this week as the plan was to get her on the long lines and do a couple of bits in the daylight with my week off work. Alas, I’ve caught covid! Absolutely fine, just annoyed I’m stuck at home and can’t play with my new pony!
 

AandK

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He’s a lovely type, nice and compact. Sorry you’ve had some horrible issues but really glad he’s on the mend now. Keep us updated with his progress as I’m sure you’ll reach your goal with him!
Thank you, he is a nice compact type and has a good head to go with it, plenty of spark but not stupid with it! I will update if we manage to get as far as going out in the trailer somewhere other than the vets ;)
 

Fern007

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Actually managed to post a picture!! Yay!! He won all his ROR classes last year. It was our first year of showing. Not sure we will do much showing this year but it was fun!
 
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