Retired and Ready

The following video is a piece about LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement in Ontario, Canada at WindReach Farm. Thank you to Jordan Lay for providing this video via our Facebook page. It demonstrates retired and rescued horses taking on new roles in therapeutic riding. Therapeutic riding is a great experience for all involved and needs to be promoted more.

Watch the video to learn about how and why therapeutic riding works. It also touches on how accommodating and intelligent horses are when dealing with people who have special needs.

Horses also know when their rider is inexperienced. I know this first hand because of a lovely gelding named Rich Al. He knew I was an absolute novice when I was riding him, but he was a well trained eventer who was very good to me and another friend who never had been on a horse before...ever. Rich Al even let me take him over some jumps, but honestly we just walked up to them, and then he walked over them, because he knew I would probably die if he really jumped. So no real jumps.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video.

Do you have any stories about Thoroughbreds going onto new careers?


UPDATE  Second-Chance Horses

Our very own Eclipse Press is actually mentioning these horses in an upcoming book. Read more below:

"Always a hotly debated issue in the racing industry is the uncertain fate that awaits many racehorses when their careers are over and they are no longer useful to their owners and trainers.

Many find themselves in sale lots awaiting transport to a slaughter house. However, more and more horses, through the work of numerous rescue organizations and caring individuals, are finding safe homes where they are retrained for various careers.

Second-Chance Horses is a collection of true stories about the amazing things ex-racehorses can accomplish once they are re-trained for new careers. From serving as mounted police horses to working in human therapy programs to competing at the Olympic level, ex-racehorses are proving there is plenty of life after the track.

This is the only book of its kind that chronicles nearly twenty horses in their journeys from the racetrack to new careers and the obstacles they overcame. Portion of proceeds will be donated to Thoroughbred Charities of America. Also includes a resource guide to various Thoroughbred rescue groups around the country."


Leave a Comment:

Karen in Indiana

That's funny, Adam. My horse was also pretty considerate. She was a pretty big quarter horse & I'm 5'0". No way I could have done anything with her if she didn't want it. (The vet found that out the hard way.) I'd hold up her bridle & she'd stick her head in it. For my next horse, I am considering a retired or rescued one. Thanks for the info!

12 Jan 2009 9:45 AM

Long Run has done a wonderful job over the last couple of years.  It hasnt been easy to get the financial support that is so sorely needed but the people involved have succeeded the best that they can.  I am truly glad that at least one person who has watched this video is now considering rescuing a retired racehorse, now if only a few more do to we are all one step closer to helping all of them.

12 Jan 2009 12:27 PM

The horses who understand the inexperienced or challenged rider are the gems of the equine world.

12 Jan 2009 12:28 PM
Teunis Ouwehand, Hengelo, Overijssel, The Netherlands

Hi there, loved to watch your video. And more so the way you go about giving (ex) thoroughbred racehorses a second chance in life. I was really touched by the way the horse in your video behaved with the young kids. Keep up the good work. Kind regards Teunis Ouwehand.

12 Jan 2009 2:13 PM

I'm so glad to hear that thoroughbreds adapt well to therapeutic riding.  A horse I owned in a partnership was bought by one of the partners and he was going to retire her and donate her for therapeutic riding. I will be buying a retiring race horse at the end of the week for a trail horse and can't wait!

12 Jan 2009 6:09 PM
Dreamer's Mom

I know of a racer that left the track in March and by August was in the county fair in English Pleasure classes with his very own 13yr old girl.  First year a little rough, but last summer a box stall covered in ribbons and his now 14yr old girl, grinning from ear to ear!

12 Jan 2009 8:36 PM

I rode on the equestrian team at a college in New Mexico that owned its own stock.  My favorite "projects" were the ex-racers.  I grew up riding on the East Coast and was familiar with thoroughbreds, but being in NM we also get a few QH that were ex-racers, too.  I am indebted to the owners who donated their horses to the school for the many hours learning experience and the joy I received from them.  

12 Jan 2009 8:36 PM

I forgot to add that it was through these horses that I became interested in racing once again after a long hiatus.

12 Jan 2009 8:37 PM

Great video! Lindros and Impropriety's (Bear and Chance) stories are actually featured in Eclipse Press' upcoming book, Second-Chance Horses. The book is a collection of true stories about ex-racehorses (many of them rescues) succeeding in new careers - very inspiring! Look for it on, a portion of proceeds will be donated to Thoroughbred charities.

13 Jan 2009 9:15 AM
Carolyn in ND

It warms my hart so much to read all that have rescued or helped with horses in need!  I rescued my first ex-racer this summer.  Looks like he will have a new owner soon.  Mac turns 3 in April & almost didn't get to see 21/2.  Glad to see more info getting out for TBs.

13 Jan 2009 10:47 AM

Great story.  We (15 yr. old daughter) own a retired 13 yr old ex-race horse and she is doing great in her new role as a hunter.  She is getting better with age...very athletic and loves the work.  We are taking a class this Sat. to be able to volunteer our time at the Heartland Therapeutic Riding barn in Kansas City.  We can't wait to help out these children!

13 Jan 2009 7:28 PM

Thanks for the video.  Wish there were more people that could give homes and love to these beauties.

14 Jan 2009 7:14 AM
Jim P

I'm sure even small donations to some of these outfits are very helpful. New Vocations and Exceller Fund are but a couple. There is a great book out called Beyond the Track that walks you through the do's and don'ts.

There is also a market for rescuing already retired Thorughbreds. At 60+ that's what I'm doing because I make it a point to outlive my animals.

I enjoy the rehabilitation, companionship, and just letting them be nothing but a horse. Even my two 21 yr olds still love to race and challenge each other. The mare has some serious bone issues so I got a communicator to talk to her and slow her down. The ol' gal tells me back "I don't even think about that; I came to shoot fire."

My model now would be to find more horses and get more people involved in rehab. "The Goat" referenced above is a 5x rescue Lead Mare. She's greatful and kind -- and likes things done her way. Her running buddy is a 21 year old "Brad Pitt" chestnut; a beach bum and a playboy.  

17 Jan 2009 2:45 PM

I adopted a retired Thoroughbred Ex-race horse named Ascot Doll a few years ago via the TRF (Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation).  They did an excellent job in matching me up with him based upon my goals and abilities.  

I am an adult woman who only started riding six years ago at the ripe old age of 36.  Ascot Doll has adjusted brilliantly to his new life and really enjoys living at the stables where I board him.  He obviously loves his life of lesiure with me here.  

He raced 111 times and until he was 10 and 1/2 years old.  I ride him only for pleasure and he is a very good horse for me and our personalities are a perfect match as well.  He is very devoted to me and it is almost as if he knows that I saved his life.  

I intend on adopting many more Thoroughbred retired ex-race horses in the future.  

21 Jan 2009 10:28 AM

I have friends that use their OTTB's for ranch work in Western South Dakota.  Not just the OTTB geldings, but their breeding stallion too!  Out west, you have to earn your keep year round!  Finn McCool (Meadowlake x Joying by Storm Cat) has proven to be quite the handy roping horse when branding cattle!  You should see the cowboys' eyes when a Thoroughbred stallion drags a calf to the branding iron!  :)

Never doubt a Thoroughbred's heart, courage and ability to do just about anything!

22 Jan 2009 10:04 AM

I am really enjoying learning about your horses and who and how they are working and spending time or were acquired.

especially a Thoroughbred doing cattle and ranch work, like roping, that is not something I hear very often and genuinely interest me. I try to learn about the other breeds. From Dutch Blood Horns to Tennessee Walking Horses for example.

22 Jan 2009 11:11 AM

Recent Posts

Recommended Reading

Social Media

More Blogs