Life after racing: how racehorses are re-trained for life off the track



When a racehorse’s career ends, it is common for owners to offer the horse to trainers other than their own so that the animal can continue training and competing. Such horses are known as “second career” racehorses, and there are many organizations around the world that help place them in new homes when their usefulness as a racehorse has ceased.

There are countless success stories of former racehorses pursuing new careers after their racing days are over. These animals have found second careers as jumpers, hunters, eventers, dressage horses or happy hackers. Those who cannot be ridden after their racehorse careers can even live a happy life as field companions for other horses. Read on to learn about the lives of retired racehorses once they leave the racing world.

What happens to racehorses after their racing career ends?

Depending on the age and history of the individual horse, it can be sold for a variety of uses. For example, some horses are sold for breeding purposes. However, most retired racehorses are retrained for new disciplines and lifestyles outside of racing. For racehorses that cannot be ridden following their racing careers, many are sold to sanctuaries and owners looking for horses to act as field companions for other infirm or elderly horses.

What happens to racehorses after their racing career ends?

How are ex-racehorses chosen for second careers?

Before deciding what type of new career a retired racehorse might pursue, it is first necessary to decide which horses will actually be re-trained for a second career. Many horses that have retired from racing are too old or infirm to be retrained for a new discipline. Those with solidity issues or a history of aggressive behavior are also not ideal candidates. When choosing which horses to retrain, owners and trainers consider the horse’s age, training level, and physical ability to be retrained for a new discipline. While young and athletic horses are easier to retrain, age is not always a factor. Many retired racehorses have proven their ability to master a new discipline despite their advanced age.

The role of retraining organizations

Many retraining organizations exist to help share knowledge and facilitate the transfer of retired racehorses to new owners and disciplines. These organizations also aim to raise public awareness of the many positive contributions these animals make to society after their racing days are over. Such organizations also provide a network of owners and trainers willing to take in former racehorses and handle the logistics associated with transferring these animals to new owners. There are several retraining organizations as well as breed associations that help place second-career racehorses. Among the best known is the Re-training of Racehorses charity, which is the official charity for British Horseracing. They provide knowledge, help rehome racehorses and help fund expert care for racehorses in need.

Jumping competition horses

Many former racehorses end up becoming showjumping horses, which is a popular equine discipline that requires a combination of athleticism and technical skill. These horses are well-suited for show jumping due to their athleticism, intelligence and willingness to please their human companions. Show jumping is a sport that puts a lot of emphasis on athleticism, so it makes sense that retired racehorses excel at this discipline. Some show jumping horses have even been known to have the same bloodlines as famous racehorses of the past.

Training racehorses to be hunters

Racehorses are renowned for their ability to jump, which makes them ideal for hunting sports. Many retired racehorses become successful hunters after their racing days are over. As with show jumping, it makes sense that retired racehorses excel at this discipline because they are very athletic and have been trained to respond to their human companions.

Training racehorses to be hunters

Racehorses will become Adventurers

Another type of retraining that has proven successful for retired racehorses is entry into competition. This equine sport is composed of three disciplines: dressage, jumping and cross-country riding. In the competition, horses are scored according to their performance in each discipline.

From racehorses to dressage competition horses

It is not uncommon for retired racehorses to become successful dressage horses after their racing days are over. Dressage horses must respond to their human companions and be able to follow a range of precise movements and gait changes. Such horses must also be able to remain calm and collected even in the midst of noisy crowds, flashing lights and other distractions.

Re-training racehorses as happy hackers

Although some retired racehorses go on to become successful competition horses, many simply continue to live a happy life as companions. These animals are known as “happy hackers” and participate in a type of recreational riding known as hacking. Hacking is basically the equine equivalent of hiking and is a popular activity among equestrians. Many retired racehorses also enjoy being around other horses, making them great company for other happy hacks.

Race betting culture

Horses are not only raced for entertainment, but also for gambling. While many people enjoy horse racing for the sport, others enjoy the betting aspect. As such, it has become a popular sport for people from all walks of life. People who bet on horses do so for many reasons. Some people bet on horses as a way to make money, while others bet for entertainment at hand. Some people bet on horses because they like the sport. Whatever the reason, gambling is one of the biggest draws of this sport. This is also why many people who love gambling also enjoy participating in online casinos and finding the sites that have the largest selection of games to play.


The racing industry is an important one with a rich and rich history. Racing exists as a sport so that humans and animals alike can enjoy the thrill of competition. As with any sport, injuries can occur, but great care and effort is needed to minimize risks to both human and animal participants. Unfortunately, due to the extreme nature of racing, many racehorses have to retire from racing in their prime. Fortunately, there are organizations to rehabilitate these animals for new roles in life. These former racehorses can go on to become excellent competition horses in disciplines such as jumping, hunting, eventing and dressage.

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