Buying an Ex-Racehorse


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Off the track ex-racehorses can make wonderful mounts. There are many ex-racehorses for sale, and multiple organizations are rehoming ex-racehorses. Here are some top tips to help you on your journey to buy an ex-racehorse.

Decide What You Can Handle

Are you looking to buy an ex-racehorse right off of the track? If so, realize that the horse will need lots of training before he can be ridden. Horses that come off of the track may need a letdown period of a number of weeks to simply adjust to being a horse again before their training can commence. Do you have that amount of time to spend, and are you skilled and experienced enough to handle training an ex-racehorse on your own?

An alternative is to buy an ex-racehorse which has already received some training. Some rescues specialize in training and then rehoming ex-racehorses, and this might be an option for you. There are also many ex-racehorses for sale by private parties; these horses may have been trained and even shown, so if you’re looking for a competition partner, buying an ex-racehorse from a private seller might be the way to go.

Browse the Market

Buying an ex-racehorse is not something to jump into quickly. Spend some time looking at the ex-racehorses for sale and familiarize yourself with the range of temperaments, talents, and physical conditions among them.

If you are looking to buy an ex-racehorse right off the track, some tracks have open adoption and sale events at the end of their racing seasons. Attending such events will give you a chance to view many horses at once, and perhaps to find the right horse for you.

Ex-racehorse rescues and training centers also offer an excellent source of potential ex-racehorses for sale or adoption. If you are looking to buy an ex-racehorse from a rescue, you will likely have more of an opportunity to get to know and try out the horse than you would buying him straight off the track. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to test ride an ex-racehorse on the track, but rescues and retraining programs should give you the opportunity to do so.

Consider a Pre-Purchase Exam

Depending on where you are considering buying an ex-racehorse from, a pre-purchase veterinary examination may or may not be a possibility. Some horses are retired and offered up to be rehomed because of injuries sustained on the track or in training; be sure that you have a thorough understanding of the horse’s full medical history before taking him home.

Regardless of where you decide to buy an ex-racehorse from, always take an experienced horseperson with you as a second pair of eyes. Remember than an ex-racehorse will require patience and training, so only take on an ex-racehorse if you have the means to properly work with him. With time and training an ex-racehorse can become a great partner.

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