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Trainer Q&A - Other Training Questions - Can a former Thoroughbred racehorse be retrained for everyday riding?

Can a former Thoroughbred racehorse be retrained for everyday riding?

Tiffiany_patrick Asks:

I am in over my head,I answered an ad on Craigslist for a free TB,with amazing bloodlines all the way back to a triple crown winner. When I got her I was told she is nervous with new riders,and needed to work on ground work for a week or so. Mares history - her time in racing ended when she had a accident at the gate and recovered, but didn't race again. Now she won't stand for mounting and won't tie. When I saddle her, she nips, I was told she has been ridden English & Western even to barrel racing. I know she had blinders on while racing,I thought she would have some issues with some things. Also, jockeys where placed on her, she was not taught to be mounted. I just want to start her as simple as possible and gain her trust, and her mine. She has got so many issues that I just don't know where to begin the right way.I have trained rescue horses and trail horses, but have never took a race horse of her upbringing and history and had to retrain her. I think I was a little mislead by her former owner on everything they did with her.I hope you can help.

Our Trainer Answers:

Your mare sounds like a typical former racehorse, for your everyday rider these horses need lots and lots of retraining. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to retrain a horse than to begin at square one. Thoroughbreds are very intelligent and also bred to be rather high-strung. For this reason, I would have to recommend that you find a reputable horse trainer in your area, who practices "Natural Horsemanship" training. I believe that this approach to training offers the horse the most "natural" way for horses to learn new things. Natural Horsemanship is non-aggressive and easily teaches a horse respect for humans and willingness to become your partner, all without fear and intimidation for the horse. Horses that come off the track and need retraining benefit tremendously from "Natural Horsemanship". These methods are the only one's I use in all of my horse training practices and if you live anywhere close to Bolivar, Missouri, I would love to help you out!

Thank You and Happy Trails!

Christy Mellington