I take lessons at a place that used to breed TBs, their last foal is now 2. For my last few lessons we've gone on trail rides. Two of the TBs are ex racehorses and have only been off the track for at least a year, but not two. These horses are now Western saddle horses and are being ridden by kids every week for summer camps.
The issue is, the two OTTBs are fine in the area, but when they are out on the trail they get a bit hot (excuse if I don't use that term in the correct contest). The OTTB that my friend was on was given a sedative (I don't know how much or what sedative) about 20 minutes before we brought him in to groom and tack up.
The owner does natural horsemanship and loves his horses very much, and they clearly love him too. Is it right to be using a sedative on a hot OTTB? They used less on him this time than they did last time he went out on a trail. He didn't seem to have a sluggish response either ride; he seemed fine. I wouldn't have known he was drugged up if I wasn't told.
So, back to the question, is this wrong and unprofessional. The owner has been working with horses for +35 years, and I trust and value his opinion. Was it wrong to sedate the horse? And what is your opinion on sedating horses?