Successful Hoof-care Strategies for Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds

IHCS panel shares how they manage the challenges of former racehorses

Pictured Above: A panel consisting of Mike Stine (left) of Marshville, N.C.; Daniel Watson (center) of Marshall, Va.; and Sam Zalesky of Lexington, Ky.; recommend that clients have a prepurchase exam conducted before buying an off-the-track Thoroughbred. The exam will offer a clear picture of what can be expected to manage the horse now and into the future.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Off-the-track Thoroughbreds come from a world without cross-ties and forges. They are often sedated during hoof care and rarely have turnout.
  • These former racehorses are off-the-track for a reason. A pre-purchase exam will provide insight into the challenges that the horse has so the prospective owner can make an informed decision.
  • Keeping shoes on thin-walled OTTBs can be a challenge. Glue-on shoes can be helpful to protect thin soles until a solid foot can be grown.

When a Thoroughbred’s racing days are over and has a new line of work, there’s a good chance that both the farrier and hoof-care client will face challenges.

The mounts often present with issues ranging from foot management and injuries to temperament, according to Mike Stine of Marshville, N.C.; Daniel Watson of Marshall, Va.; and Sam Zalesky, a resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. The trio of farriers discussed how they address these challenges during a panel discussion titled “Shoeing for Specific Needs: Managing Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds,” presented by Equilox at the 2020 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Acclimating to a Different World

When an OTTB is brought into…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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