Jason Webb’s blog: Retraining racehorses and saying a fond farewell

  • It has been another couple of busy weeks here with the team putting the final touches to the new stable block. We now have the first occupants settled in who are watching the world go by. The stables are a fantastic addition to the yard and my thanks go to everyone who turned their hand to the DIY and painting!

    Unknown-3Last Tuesday I ran a Retraining of Racehorse (RoR) clinic where I gave one-to-one lessons to seven people with their lovely horses. I really enjoy being involved with the racing industry in this way as I grew up starting and then retraining our own homebred racehorses in Australia, with many going on to compete in a range of disciplines.

    Most ex-racers take to life outside racing very well given time and correct retraining. It is fantastic that organisations such as RoR are working to dispel the notion that thoroughbreds are too highly strung and excitable to be consistent riding horses.

    Unknown-1All the owners that came to see me had developed successful partnerships with their horses but were having small issues that were preventing them fulfilling their full potential.

    One of which was ‘Jet’ (pictured left), a former Flat racer owned by Lindsay Sparrow who has built a strong partnership with him over the past three years. She now participates successfully in endurance riding events, and came third in the RoR national endurance meet last year. However, Jet’s adrenalin often kicks in during the pre-vet checks at these events and Lindsay felt that she needed help to re-establish the basics when she is handling him on the ground. Hopefully the tools I gave her will stand Jet, herself and the vets in good stead.

    Saying goodbye and gearing up for Christmas

    We have also said farewell to Clayden (pictured top), the rescue pony that has been with us now for three months. The Happy Endings Rescue Team brought Clayden to us as an untouched pony that had been running wild with a group of horses in North Kent.

    With a lot of patience and hard work we have seen him transformed from being totally Unknown-2unapproachable to a pony that is gaining in confidence and trust on a daily basis. He has been given an all-round education and is now hacking out confidently, popping small jumps and even turning his hoof to a bit of polocrosse.

    He can still be a little unsure with new people and I think as he sets off to start his new life with Lynn (pictured with Clayden right), he will be a ‘one-person horse’ for a while until he gains more trust in humans. Both the girls on the yard and I have grown really fond of him and we shall certainly miss him being around.

    Looking forward, we are gearing up for our Christmas coffee morning this coming Saturday, 6 December, when the mulled wine and mince pies will be out! I am going to do a demo with Diesel who is back on form after Your Horse Live, and one or two of the horses currently in on training.

    Then we’ll be counting down the days until we fly out to the sunshine in Australia, where we will be for Christmas and New Year.


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