A Life line for Retired Racers
At Thoroughbred Placement Resources (TPR), a big part of our mission is to provide retired racers with the skills they need to find their forever homes. This journey involves intake, rehabilitation, and retraining and can be as unique as the horses themselves. We are committed to never giving up on our horses, no matter how complicated their situations may be.
I’ve always had a talent for working with tough horses. When I was an exercise rider, I was known for getting along with horses who were difficult. Retired racers with problems are more at risk and there aren’t enough people with the skills to turn them around. I have those skills so when I asked myself “What is the best way for TPR to help retired racers?” one of the answers is to help the “problem” horses as much as possible. It’s work-intensive and takes far more resources, but it’s worth it.
Most of the horses that come into our program are straightforward cases. We intake them, assess their needs, and provide the necessary training to prepare them for adoption. This process requires time and resources, but it is a manageable commitment considering the overall cost of horse care.
However, we also encounter horses with injuries or training issues, which demand significantly more time and resources. We’ve learned that with injuries, it’s best to see the healing process through before rehoming. Our facilities are well-equipped to rest and rehabilitate horses, giving them the best chance at a good outcome. If any limitations persist, we are better able to match them with a suitable home.
Behavioral and training issues can be the most challenging, often stemming from underlying physical problems that were either unidentified or ignored. Addressing these issues requires not only resolving the physical problem but also tackling the resulting behavioral issues. This process is time-consuming but necessary to ensure the horse’s wellbeing.
Running a small aftercare organization like TPR presents its own challenges. Our capacity is limited, and each long-term horse we care for means saying no to other horses in need. However, our mission drives us to prioritize quality over quantity. Each horse we take into our program stays until we find the perfect home for it. If we can’t, we continue to try. It’s heartwarming to see horses that once seemed hopeless thrive because we didn’t give up on them.
Consider Duet, whose rehabilitation including regular care, veterinary, and training cost nearly $25,000. Despite his issues, we couldn’t put a price on his adoption. We had to carefully vet potential adopters, ensuring they were well-suited to care for him. While people weren’t exactly lining up to adopt a horse with lingering issues, identifying those issues allowed us to find the perfect adopter for Duet.
Minerva Doubleplay, another example, came to us as a 2-year-old and is now about to turn 6. It has taken almost 4 years to allow her to grow into herself, address her behavior issues, and put enough training on her that her positive now considerably outweighs her negative. Our investment in her was worth it. She’s now finally ready to find her forever home.
At TPR, we believe that every horse deserves our absolute best. Your support enables us to continue offering this lifeline to horses in need. Let’s make a difference together.