I love bringing out the natural brilliance in off-the-track Thoroughbreds, they’re actually my favourite breed.
Over the past 40 years I have bred, bred, trained and competed on Thoroughbreds in showjumping, eventing, showing and dressage, and mustered sheep and cattle on them too.
I have had many off the track Thoroughbreds and genuinely unraced horsesthrough my hands to train for new careers in the show ring and dressage arena.
The difference is extreme, the genuinely unraced Thoroughbred is able to show the intelligent, willing temperament of this breed.
Most ex-racehorses desperately need nervous system balancing, liver detoxification, gut healing (ulcers or not) and lots of work on hooves to stimulate growth. Provided they are basically sound their musculo-skeletal systems usually need help as well.
With all the wonderful work being done by many groups these days to re-home off the track Thoroughbreds, there is a tremendous opportunity for the people taking them on, to accelerate the transition to their new careers, with the use of herbal medicine.
Whether you are experienced in this area or not, herbs can help, and I can help you choose the right herbal remedies to suit the individual horse. This produces the most effective results.
A customised natural diet is just as important to help with gut healing, improving appetite, feed conversion and weight gain, while balancing the nervous system.
I also take into consideration the experience of the owner when designing diets, for obvious reasons.
Usually there is very little background information on these horses and it takes time to assess exactly what they need in terms of feed, training and herbal remedies.
Some are sadly too damaged to recover sufficiently while happily there are those laid back individuals who couldn’t ever be bothered making an effort on the track. We love those because they haven’t had too many starts.
Liver detox herbs help the liver to remove metabolic toxins caused by drug use, much faster than if the body was left without this support.
This in turn helps the nervous temperament to become less reactive which in turn allows them to accept training more readily.
There are many nervine herbs which help reduce the reactivity of the individual, the choice of these depends on different reactions. Some horses react in the gut with loose manure or the muscles that become tight and hard, or in the heart which is jumping out of the chest, or in the skin which sweats at the slightest stimulus.
Gut Ulcers & Poor Appetite
Most racehorses have gut ulcers and a poor appetite as a result and herbs work brilliantly to heal and turn the appetite around really quickly. Herbs always work with the normal functions of the body systems, to stimulate a faster recovery. So in this case they heal the ulcers and stimulate the appetite allowing the functioning of the gastro-intestinal tract to return to normal.
The provision of a high roughage natural diet is essential in turning this condition around.
By stimulating the circulation to the hoof both systemically and topically the growth will increase exponentially and along with the diet, will produce a full new hoof in half the normal time.
Clearly it is pointless putting a lot of work into a horse that is never going to be sound enough, so it’s a good idea to get a really good equine chiropractor to assess the horse if there are any doubts at the outset.
If the prognosis is good then think of herbs here instead of the usual offering of nutraceuticals. You will definitely be in for a surprise here as most of these herbs work on bone, ligament and tendon, which is a pretty useful package.
Pictured below is Gothic, just one of my off the track Thoroughbreds pictured after full rehabilitation, showing a glowing healthy coat, excellent muscle tone and a relaxed, happy expression.
© Victoria Ferguson Dip.Herb.Med.