Ex-racehorses are athletes and should be treated as such. Balancing the diet of such an elite animal is a delicate challenge and ensuring they are receiving the essential vitamins and minerals is vital for overall health.
Making the transformation from Racehorse to Riding horse isn’t always an easy one, and many Thoroughbreds are bred and trained on large yards and are bred to run, run and run some more. Bringing them to a smaller environment with a different kind of rider, work and routine can sometimes be traumatising for a young ex race horse and supporting them in this stage is essential.
Making all changes gradually is key, this applies to any horse but is particularly important with ex-racehorses as they can sometimes be a little more delicate in their requirements than regular horses. Transitioning over a period of a month will be beneficial and take into consideration how the horse has been kept before (often stabled with high cereal diet) mimicking this to start with will ensure that the transition is easy for not only his body but his mind too. Providing a Probiotic digestive supplement (or a feed containing one) during this transitioning period will help healthy gut function. If your horse is struggling with this adjustment period, or is a particularly stressy Thoroughbred, a calming supplement might help with the transition. Blue Chip Calming Balancer is a Calmer and a balancer combined and is designed for everyday use.
Horses coming out of training will need far fewer calories than those who are in full racing training, so don’t be tempted to feed high sugar and high starch racehorse feeds for a horse in retraining, their calorie demands will be much lower. If the horse is not underweight coming out of training, a good quality feed balancer with a chaff and Ad-lib hay should be adequate to maintain condition. A balancer such as Blue Chip Original, which will condition but not pile on excess weight or energy levels is ideal.
Teri sent us these photos in of her Ex Racehorse, first when she rescued him and now just two months later.
As many as 90% of Racehorses suffer with Ulcers so it is important that even if your Ex-racehorse has not been diagnosed with Ulcers, you are aware of the symptoms and how to minimise the risk of getting them. Reducing the Starch and Sugar in your horses diet will help protect him from potential Ulcers and instead find feeds which are high in Fibre and Oil. Oil will provide condition and slow releasing energy and contribute to a shiny coat. Blue Chip designed an Ulcer balancer designed specifically for horses diagnosed with Ulcers (or those suspected to have them) called Ulsa Cool.
The ROR website (Retraining of Racehorses) states:
“Not every horse coming out of training will have ulcers but it is commonly accepted that over 90% of horses leaving the training environment will have ulcers to some degree, so it is something that should be considered particularly if your horse does not seem to be carrying the weight he should, is a bit tetchy when being brushed between the front legs and around the girth area and/or when being girthed up or just doesn’t seem to be quite so blooming in his coat as he should be. The presence of gastric and/or hindgut ulcers can also be the reasoning behind poor performance such as refusals, napping, resistance to the leg, difficulty with extended strides and canter issues.”
To find out more about feeding horses with Ulcers please read out blog post here
All Star Academy Series 1 Rhi feeds Blue Chip Original to her Ex Racehorse Bob, who featured alongside her in the show.