Caring for Arabian Horses in Horse Racing
It is believed that the Arabian horses has been in existence for approximately 3000 years. This makes the Arabian, the oldest breed of horse known to man and also makes it one of the purest breeds. In ancient times riders would rely on their horses for their strength, speed and stamina. And as these horses were originally bred for the dry landscapes of Arabia, caring for these magnificent horses for racing – or any other sport – is essential.
Caring for racing horses starts with ensuring that these animals are given the correct feed. Experts suggest that Arab race horses should be given vast amounts of oats or Lucerne, or any form of chaff. Hay remains an important ingredient in their diet and, together with pellets, create a diet on which should do well for the horses. There are many different brands of pellets available on the market and it is always advisable to choose a pellet that assists in the dental care of your horse by keeping your Arab horse’s teeth at a comfortable length.
During the winter months, it is vital to Arabian horse-care to ensure that they are warm and comfortable. The fine hair that makes up their coats does not protect them well in the cold. Arabian horses should therefore have a light rug during the day and a winter rug for the evenings. It is also best if they remain stabled at night during these cold months.
The horse racing fraternity also plays a part in caring for racing Arabs race horses, as the number of such horses has increased over the years. This means that the racing stables and activities are monitored at all times. Licensed veterinarians are on hand to examine the horses, which is something they also do before and after races. Trainers have to be licensed too to ensure that the horses are in good hands and not being abused or neglected. Farriers are called in regularly to ensure that horses’ hooves are taken care of; this is important as unattended feet can cause discomfort, pain and injury.
Another part of Arabian horse-care is only allowing the horses to race from the age of 3, and not age 2 as in is commonly done with many other horse breeds. Arab horses grow at a slower rate than, for example, Thoroughbreds and professionals in the horse racing community are aware of this fact. Arabs are only allowed to race against other Arabians and only purebred Arabian horses are permitted. Due to their active nature, stable owners and managers ensure that their horses are taken out of their stables at least once a day for exercise and to burn off some of their energy, which they have in abundance.
A lot of time and dedication goes into caring for racing Arab horsess. Their comfort, needs and health need constant attention to ensure that they are happy and able to perform at their best. They were born to be nomads, to roam the wide-open ranges and gallop across the sand and fields. They were designed to run and that they gladly do. But they were also designed to live and it is up to humans to ensure they do so with dignity.