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Racing at such a young age

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  • Can you bring a backpack in del mar race track
  • Racing horses too young is bad on joints

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    09-07-2011, 04:42 PM
  #11
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
I won't even go into the bad inbreeding...
There is a difference between in-breeding and line-breeding.

In-breeding is along the lines of a sire-daughter, son-dam, brother-sister matchups.

Line-breeding occurs from grandparents and back, and done correctly, makes some pretty darn good horses.
     
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    09-07-2011, 05:13 PM
  #12
Trained
We could split hairs about, but TB's don't have a large genetic pool. On this forum alone there have been posts on breed health problems as a result of both.
As for ME, I prefer a horse or dog that is a cross, because they are more Likely to be healthier than breeding for a registry. It used to be that QH's were known for their health but now line-breeding and in-breeding are producing health problems. Arabians never had problems, but now some have bad hooves, and strong healthy hooves used to be their norm.
RE: bad breeding practices and the resulting health problems--I can an online search for you if you would like. (PM me.)
     
    09-07-2011, 05:30 PM
  #13
Yearling
I just spent a day behind the scenes at a racetrack with an equine vet about a week ago at Del Mar. Let me tell you, there are good people and there are bad people. The good people have a hard enough time making money BECAUSE of the vet bills for preventative work. These horses have their temperature taken every morning, multiple vet checks before a race, routine X-rays, medications to support joints/muscles, respiratory work ups. After each horse is raced it gets scoped for any trauma to its nasal cavities/lungs. After each workout the horse gets its walked for 30+ minutes and its legs wrapped in ice and a poultice. The vet I was with pointed out multiple trainers that rarely had any horse go lame. Horses that raced into their 5th years of age without ever going unsound. (The same vet stays with these trainers)

I also saw the bad side, an owner that wanted to run a filly in a claiming race that was roach backed, had stifle problems and was very very sore in both her front feet and she was only a 2yo.

Yes racing that young is bad, but 80% of these horses get treated better than 60% of plain backyard owned horses. These people spend over $200 a day in vet bills for about 20 horses that are 100% healthy. Multiply by 31, $6200 a month, add on the multiple x-rays, tests and other needed vet bills. I was told on average it is about $10000 a month in vet bills for 20 horses. Then add in the grooms wages, the feed, the equipment, the farrier, the everything....These horses get a lot.

The vet said on average out of the hundreds of horses he treats he only puts down about 3-4 a year.
Corporal likes this.
     
    09-07-2011, 05:37 PM
  #14
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsesdontlie    
I just spent a day behind the scenes at a racetrack with an equine vet about a week ago at Del Mar. Let me tell you, there are good people and there are bad people. The good people have a hard enough time making money BECAUSE of the vet bills for preventative work. These horses have their temperature taken every morning, multiple vet checks before a race, routine X-rays, medications to support joints/muscles, respiratory work ups. After each horse is raced it gets scoped for any trauma to its nasal cavities/lungs. After each workout the horse gets its walked for 30+ minutes and its legs wrapped in ice and a poultice. The vet I was with pointed out multiple trainers that rarely had any horse go lame. Horses that raced into their 5th years of age without ever going unsound. (The same vet stays with these trainers)

I also saw the bad side, an owner that wanted to run a filly in a claiming race that was roach backed, had stifle problems and was very very sore in both her front feet and she was only a 2yo.

Yes racing that young is bad, but 80% of these horses get treated better than 60% of plain backyard owned horses. These people spend over $200 a day in vet bills for about 20 horses that are 100% healthy. Multiply by 31, $6200 a month, add on the multiple x-rays, tests and other needed vet bills. I was told on average it is about $10000 a month in vet bills for 20 horses. Then add in the grooms wages, the feed, the equipment, the farrier, the everything....These horses get a lot.

The vet said on average out of the hundreds of horses he treats he only puts down about 3-4 a year.

Agreed.

The better owners/trainers/breeders realize that they own/run a business. The horses are what make them money. Treat them poorly and they won't run well and then don't make you money, then what's the point?
     
    09-07-2011, 09:07 PM
  #15
Yearling
Don't care how you slice it, or what spin you put on what they spend to keep the horse "healthy". Racing a horse or even doing excessively hard training before the age of 4 is unhealthy. And even at 4 it should have limits, because their back hasn't finished it's growth. These horses are finished before they've completed growing.
All the medical attention in the world is not going to change the damage that is done by racing them young, or even possibly the pre racing training they've been put through.
Look at some of the incredible horses that were making big money winning races that suddenly broke down. Almost exclusively from leg problems, because at 3 years old they're still developing, so damage could break them down an anytime. Then or in the future from damage already done.
A few of the more famous examples:
Barbaro
Northern Dancer
Ruffian (an exceedingly horrible story)
War Admiral
Not to mention the 1,000s more that you never hear about.

Taking care of them amounts to the same as starting an 8 year old human in training and at 13 they start working unthinkable hours, under the worst possible conditions, hauling excessive loads of coal on their back all day, but you're giving them proper medical exams. Medication to ease their pain and to increase their ability to work more and treatment for injuries, provided they are profitable with the amount of work they do.
It might be thrilling to watch these equine athletes pounding around the track. Giving it all they've got. Doing what they've been bred and trained to do. But when you're watching it keep in mind that these are leg joints that are still trying to develope, but are being forced to take a pounding and absorb the shock intended for a fully developed horse. Not an equine child who is doing what he's required at a risk to it's life.
If we subjected humans to the same treatment, there would be laws passed and people would be going to prison.
I'm not some PETA activist. I love meat and don't have a problem with animals being killed. However, I don't think any animal should be abused for profit or any other reason.
     
    09-07-2011, 09:26 PM
  #16
Yearling
Of course if that young child survives to 18 without breaking down too severely he'll be a Max Baer (you youngsters can look him up :)) ) or Arnold Schwarzenegger (that should give you the idea :)) ) and then he'll be allowed to retire to breed and enjoy what is left of his life (complete with back and joint pain, but no more work to make the condition worse).
     
    09-08-2011, 01:31 AM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
Don't care how you slice it, or what spin you put on what they spend to keep the horse "healthy". Racing a horse or even doing excessively hard training before the age of 4 is unhealthy. And even at 4 it should have limits, because their back hasn't finished it's growth. These horses are finished before they've completed growing.
All the medical attention in the world is not going to change the damage that is done by racing them young, or even possibly the pre racing training they've been put through.
Look at some of the incredible horses that were making big money winning races that suddenly broke down. Almost exclusively from leg problems, because at 3 years old they're still developing, so damage could break them down an anytime. Then or in the future from damage already done.
A few of the more famous examples:
Barbaro
Northern Dancer
Ruffian (an exceedingly horrible story)
War Admiral
Not to mention the 1,000s more that you never hear about.

Taking care of them amounts to the same as starting an 8 year old human in training and at 13 they start working unthinkable hours, under the worst possible conditions, hauling excessive loads of coal on their back all day, but you're giving them proper medical exams. Medication to ease their pain and to increase their ability to work more and treatment for injuries, provided they are profitable with the amount of work they do.
It might be thrilling to watch these equine athletes pounding around the track. Giving it all they've got. Doing what they've been bred and trained to do. But when you're watching it keep in mind that these are leg joints that are still trying to develope, but are being forced to take a pounding and absorb the shock intended for a fully developed horse. Not an equine child who is doing what he's required at a risk to it's life.
If we subjected humans to the same treatment, there would be laws passed and people would be going to prison.
I'm not some PETA activist. I love meat and don't have a problem with animals being killed. However, I don't think any animal should be abused for profit or any other reason.
The more I find out the more I lean away from this idea of absolute abuse. I think the problem can be with horse people in general. Many people start riding horses at 2, not just the race world. I myself would never put a horse that young through that kind of work because it is hard on the body. I don't think anyone is going to argue that it is damaging for these horses to work that hard while still developing.

The reason why I take it on such a light note is because I can find a fault with almost EVERY discipline, except light trail riding. Honestly, I have seen many more horses that are being rode lame at my boarding stables then I saw out at the racetrack. (1 lame out of 20 horses) while my stables has around 7 lame horses out of 20. In perspective I see the lame horses on the track getting sent back to the farm on grass pastures while the horses st my stables are still having kids strapped to their backs and limping around the stables. I would choose the race life.

1000s of horses out of millions. Percentage wise its more uncommon then people are led to believe. I see high level cross country just as dangerous to the horse, and I have heard of quite a few being euthanized. There are far less race horses than cross country horses population wise, that's why we always hear about race horses.

I saw only painkillers given to the lame horse that was given strict orders for no exercise until cleared by a vet. The rest of the injections given were to help prevent rupturing blood vessels in the naval cavity, joint supports, and west nile vaccinations.

Most of these horses are not running for their lives. A very small percentage actually goes to slaughter. They all seem rehoming friendly. I heard several times from the trainers who were complaining about slow horses, "what are you going to do with him then?"

"Send him off to be a jumper!"....."He'll be a great kids horse."....."some gamer is going to love her."
^^
I was shocked by how many times I heard this. They have no intentions of sending any of their horses to slaughter.

Honestly I just heard today that kids in school shouldn't carry more than 10% body weight for backpacks, yet most carry over 25%. Kids do work carrying those books around.

I hate sounding like the devils advocate, but everything needs to be seen without blinders. It is far from an ideal situation, but it is no where near the abuse that it gets the rap for. I'm by no means a know how of everything behind the track, but with the vet ride alongs and private tours behind the scenes at both Del Mar and Santa Anita....this is what I have seen and heard first hand.
     
    09-08-2011, 01:07 PM
  #18
Yearling
You just get to see more of the stable horses than you do the racing horses.
If you take a tour you are going to see the "better" sides of it.
Want a true picture? Get the registrations of every horse that has been put into any race. Trace that horses history and where it is now. What you see on a "back stage" tour of racing is going to show you the best picture they can. They are not going to start telling you about the horses that aren't there because the broke down and had be put down unless you happen to be at the right place to witness it. If you see an injured horse on the track they will be treating it and it will look like things are being taken care of. If it's a horse that's never lived up to it's hoped for potential (never placed, etc...), and has an injuring that will take "too long to heal" then it's canned off somewhere. IF it's very lucky it will be adopted. If now, well, it's a business and it's about making money....so do the math.
Still back to the real point. Don't care how you spin it. These horses are being raced hard during their formative physical growth years. Doing damage to there joints.
You might find a larger number of horses outside the racing industry that are damaged or abused, but that's because you have so very many more horses outside that industry (in stables, on farms, etc...). As a percentage, the racing industry damages a much higher percentage of it's animals.
There are more dogs abused, injured, neglected and killed by people who have them as pets then there are injured and killed by people who do illegal dog fighting. But as a perctage the dog fighters do far worse than the rest of the dog pet owning world. The same holds true for race horses vs pet or "non racing" competition or work horses.
     
    09-08-2011, 01:18 PM
  #19
Yearling
Sorry, suppose to be trace each horse, not that horse.
I've never had blinders on when it came to horse racing. Spent a number of years in upper VA (A lot of race horse breeding). I've seen what gets left in the wake. I'm not fooled by the show they put on. I understand why and how this industry got started and why it continues. You will find "individuals" in the industry that do care about the horses and are upset when something happens. And usually they know that the horse is still developing while being subjected to this. But they are part of a business and most have been in it for a long time. They will continue on and use whatever argument they can to try and justify it.
It's a lot like politics :)) Tell people what will sound better and show them what looks good. Play a shell game so that things can continue.
     
    09-08-2011, 01:33 PM
  #20
Started
I remember Ruffian and her final race with Foolish Pleasure, what a shame. I cried like a baby. I've had off the track QHs and they could not stand another horse coming from behind them and passing. They immediately went into "race mode".
     

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