Sometimes we can get frustrated with our horse spending so much time resting in the paddock. However, studies have found that this rest time is necessary for a racehorse to fully develop and perform at their best, especially as younger horses.
Over a 12-month period, a typical thoroughbred in work spends between 42-60% of its time in training, with the remaining time turned out for a spell.
There are a number of reasons for giving a horse a lay-up from training. Lameness is the most common underlying reason, followed by viral colds, ‘tying up’, especially in fillies, “training off” after a hard campaign, ‘bleeding’ and upper airway problems.
With so many of our miRunners thoroughbreds being 2YOs, it is vital to understand the importance of rest for these young horses. Take Shezawitness trained by Mick Price as an example. So far, she has had a long journey to peak fitness and has been spelling on and off since she first arrived at Mick Price Racing. Now, after a lot of rest and maturing, Shezawitness has won 3 from 3 trials and is due for her raceday debut in the coming weeks, indicating that all the waiting and patience with this filly really has paid off.
Resting for Maturity
It has become popular for trainers to turn 2-year-old horses out for a 3-4 week spell after the first 4-6 weeks of training.
In most cases, early signs of shin soreness are the primary reason for turning a young horse out for a “growing” spell. Most young 2-3-year-old horses tend to grow in wither height once turned out for a 3-6 week spell. However, after this length of rest period in the paddock, training has to begin at a base level again as a horse turned-out at this stage of training loses significant fitness.
On average, a 2-year-old spends only half the amount of time in training and more time spelling at pasture compared to a 3-year-old. This partly reflects the decision by many trainers to allow 2-year-olds more time to mature without the stress and pressure of training.
The gorgeous Snitzel x Typing filly enjoying a frolic in the paddock whilst out on a spell:
Many trainers consider that a gradual loss of weight and condition, poor appetite and developing low-grade anemia as well as lowering of the white cell count and increased evidence of dehydration, is evidence that a horse is “training off”, becoming “jaded” or in need of a spell.
A few months ago, 2YO filly Bellarine Beauty looked set for her race day debut. She had two solid trials under her belt, and was shaping up nicely for trainer Troy Corstens. However, following her second trial, she began to show signs of fatigue and “training off” syndrome, and a poor appetite developed. Trainer Troy Corstens believed it was in her best interest to put her out for a brief spell, so she could return to training in top condition.
Bellarine Beauty is now back in work at Malua Racing and developing everyday, stepping up her training regime and getting race day fit once again. During her brief spell, she managed to develop and grow even more, with Corstens believing the brief break has done her a world of good. She is now looking better than before, and we can’t wait to see her hit the track this preparation.
Keen to get involved in thoroughbred ownership?
We have 6 horses currently available for purchase:
- Bellarine Beauty trained by Troy Corstens
- Hinchinbrook x Koonoomoo trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
- Hinchinbrook x Gaze (NZ) trained by David Hayes
- Exceed and Excel x Fate Rules trained by Toby Edmonds
- Snitzel x Typing trained by Chris Munce
- Written Tycoon x Sponsored trained by Robert Heathcote
Experience the thrill of thoroughbred ownership with miRunners today!