Home ยป Can Ex Racehorses Make Good Riding Horses?

Can Ex Racehorses Make Good Riding Horses?

Ex racehorses are those that have retired from the racing industry and are now available for adoption. These horses are often in good condition, having been well-cared for and trained during their racing careers. However, they can be more challenging to retrain than other horses, and many people wonder if they can make good riding horses. In this article, we will explore the potential of ex racehorses as riding horses, and provide some tips on how to find and retrain them.

The Benefits of Ex Racehorses as Riding Horses

Ex racehorses can make excellent riding horses, as they are often accustomed to the use of the bit and can be trained to respond to cues quickly. They also have a lot of energy and stamina, which makes them well-suited for long rides or other activities. Additionally, they are often used to working with people and are highly intelligent, making them easier to train than some other horses.

The Challenges of Ex Racehorses as Riding Horses

Though ex racehorses can be great riding horses, they can also present some challenges. Many of these horses have been trained to respond to specific cues and commands, and may need to be retrained to respond to different cues from a rider. Additionally, they may have been accustomed to running at high speeds, and may have difficulty settling down to a more leisurely pace. Finally, they may have ingrained patterns of behavior that can be difficult to break.

Finding an Ex Racehorse

Finding an ex racehorse can be a challenge, as there are not many available. However, there are a few resources you can use to find one. First, you can check with local race tracks, as they often have horses available. Additionally, you can look online at sites such as Equine Adoption or Retired Racehorse Project, which list horses that are looking for homes. Finally, you can contact local horse rescue organizations, as they often have ex racehorses available for adoption.

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Retraining an Ex Racehorse for Riding

Retraining an ex racehorse for riding can be a challenge, but it is also very rewarding. The first step is to build trust and a relationship with the horse. This can be done by spending time grooming, handling, and petting the horse. Once the horse is comfortable with you, you can begin to introduce the saddle and bridle, and start to teach the horse basic commands such as walk, stop, and turn.

Teaching Ex Racehorses New Skills

In addition to teaching basic riding commands, you can also teach ex racehorses new skills. This can include teaching them how to jump, do dressage movements, or do other activities. Teaching new skills can help the horse stay engaged and interested, and can help to build a strong bond between you and the horse.

The Importance of Patience

It is important to remember that ex racehorses may require more time and patience when it comes to retraining. They may take longer to learn new skills, or may need to relearn old ones. Additionally, they may display behaviors that are difficult to break, such as running away or bucking. However, with patience and consistency, ex racehorses can become excellent riding horses.

Tips for Retraining an Ex Racehorse

  • Take your time: Retraining an ex racehorse can take time, so be patient and consistent with your training.
  • Reward behavior: Positive reinforcement can be an effective way to encourage good behavior.
  • Be consistent: Make sure to use the same cues and commands consistently, so that the horse can learn them quickly.
  • Be flexible: Ex racehorses may need to be taught different skills than other horses, so be prepared to adjust your training plan.
  • Be aware of triggers: Ex racehorses may have triggers that can cause them to become agitated or anxious, so be aware of these and try to avoid them.


In conclusion, ex racehorses can make excellent riding horses, but they may require more time and patience when it comes to retraining. With the right guidance and training, ex racehorses can become loyal and reliable riding partners. If you are looking for a horse to ride, consider adopting an ex racehorse and giving them a second chance.