Posts Tagged ‘horse birthday’

Horse Birthdays: Amanda’s Response

December 3, 2009

For good manners and even tempers, you just can’t beat the herd!

I just read the post on horse birthdays and I can’t agree more.

I’m going through exactly what Paul describes with my thoroughbred, who’s only seven years old.

I’ve had him since he was three and a half. I go on his actual birth date, which I researched through Racing NSW’s website.

Though he’d only been in three races, the damage was already done.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realise this at the time.

It has been absolutely heartbreaking. And very costly.

What I’ve gone through (and what many others experience when they buy a thoroughbred off the track) wouldn’t happen if these beautiful animals were given a more natural start to life.

I see such huge differences in health and behaviour between my thoroughbred and my two-year-old (actual age) part-Morgans who’ve grown up in a much more natural environment in a herd.

Amazingly, my filly has taught my thoroughbred how to keep all his manure in one spot!

He never did this before we put him in the paddock with her. He’d just go all over the place, making grazing more difficult (as horses, like humans, don’t eat where they poo).

Now he goes in specific places, which frees up the rest of the paddock for grazing.

I never thought a horse could learn that at an older age, as it’s something foals learn when they’re young – and only then if given enough time to learn it from the mares!

I’ve been enjoying the Good Morgans blog and visit it daily to see what’s been published. I love reading all the different articles.

Keep up the great work!

Amanda Gallen.

Horse Birthdays: No Reason to Celebrate

December 1, 2009

Bright light. Dark shadow.

The thoroughbred industry uses common birth dates for horses.

August 1 in the southern hemisphere and January 1 in the northern hemisphere.

These dates coincide with the horse racing season.

This system standardises thoroughbred ages for comparison (due to the historical lack of actual birth day records).

On August 1, after a horse is born, it’s deemed a yearling. The following August 1 is its second ‘birthday’. It’s considered two years old, even if it’s as young as one year and one day.

Thoroughbred breeders aim to produce foals close to August 1. That way, when it’s time to train them, it’s the right time of year to race them.

This practice sees young horses ridden and raced before their bones and joints have matured.

Shoeing, and the unnaturally high protein diet given to these young animals, add further stress to immature joints.

As a result, thoroughbred horses older than five have many soundness issues.

Unfortunately, many of these visually beautiful animals are sold to the pleasure horse industry, causing emotional and financial heartache to many.

Learn more.