Thoroughbred racehorses have the most physically demanding sport of all horses as a consequence of the speed at which they are asked to travel.
They are often the most misunderstood breed of horse. These marvellous animals are an impressively quiet and tolerant breed of horse which has to undergo phenomenal physical and emotional stress during their careers.
Thoroughbreds have a reputation for being hot horses, however when you truly see the environments they have to cope with, they are actually a remarkable breed of horse with superb temperaments.
Most behavioural issues, such as refusing to enter the barriers, hanging, bolting, bucking and being problematic with the farrier are due to pain. Other behavioural issues are often related to poor groundwork training, as not all of them are blessed with good breakers or trainers when they are weanlings, yearlings or two year olds.
Many traditional breaking techniques are still being used to ‘break in’ the yearlings and this often results in a difficult and dangerous horse to ride, either on the track or later when a pleasure or performance rider is educating them.
If you buy a thoroughbred off the track for dressage, eventing or showing, it is often kinder to assume they have never been trained to accept the bit, and you will progress faster if you get them ‘re-broken’ by someone who can teach a horse how to not panic when reins or legs are used. Alternatively, apply John Chatterton’s 10 Commandments (www.johnchatterton.com.au) initially and you will have a bomb proof and beautiful thoroughbred. This usually takes about 3 months to teach even the most unruly thoroughbred to be quieter than your average horse.