Racing horses are far more social than a herd of livestock or a flock of birds that make up the typical racing animal. Even before one horse reaches a certain “set speed,” it is socializing. It is not just getting into its stall that is socializing; the horses also socialize while being ridden, during and after a race. Racing horses will engage in friendly displays with one another — sometimes going so far as to run on one another — as well as the fans that attend races. As the race progresses, a horse learns how to handle crowd behavior, how to move around in a field, and even how to stay safe so it can race as often as possible. Some of these behaviors cannot be practiced until adolescence; others are not even learned until a horse reaches a certain pace.
Many animals cannot practice such experiences and the few that can only practice while confined to a barn. There is nothing in the horse’s nature to practice these behaviors. A horse simply would not perform them until it had experienced them many times.
What happens to racers after a race?
Rachael W. Ritchie/Wikimedia Commons Racing horses after a race.
After a race, both racers and fans can find themselves in a state of exhaustion. Most of us would prefer to be in a better position — with more freedom to go where we want, even when we want to do exactly the opposite. This is why we seek the advice of the veterinarian of our choice after every horse races or racing experience. Unfortunately, the best way that some veterinarians handle the post-race stressors in their patients is with the use of sedatives and anesthetics. In order to keep the horses safe after a competition, the vets should take the horses to a veterinarian immediately as these substances can cause severe side effects. Unfortunately, we rarely see a veterinarian that takes his patients to the best veterinarian immediately after they get a bad racing result.
The last part of this article deals with the health and well-being of the horses — and this is where I must admit that I had to look for a bit more information. Some of the veterinary resources I found were very difficult to locate since the websites often lack basic information, with only a short description and few photos.
What is the difference between horse racing and horse training?
As I mentioned before, racing horses are not trained or owned to win; they are bred, trained and raised to show or win.
The sport of
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