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by Anna Morgan Ford
Although Thoroughbreds are bred primarily to run they also have many great characteristics that make them suitable for a variety of other disciplines. Athleticism, intelligence, and heart are three traits that both racehorse and equestrian trainers look for in a horse. The Thoroughbred in general is known to have all three.
In order for a horse to be fast it must also be athletic. The athleticism of a Thoroughbred runs much higher than most breeds. Though a retired racehorse will need to be reschooled to go into a new career it will always remain athletic. Their ability to master jumping and high level dressage movements, along with the agility needed on the cross country course or polo field is quite amazing.
Thoroughbreds are known to be very intelligent. Some people may label them as reactive and unruly because they don’t understand the intelligence and sensitivity of the breed. These horses have a well developed ability to read situations and observe all aspects of their environment. This can be overwhelming at times and cause a negative reaction. Put these horses in a regular routine, and they will excel.
Heart is another attribute that is bred into racehorses and also highly desired by other disciplines. A racehorse runs because it’s bred to do so, and because they are asked. Once a Thoroughbred understands what is being asked, they will do it with all their heart. This is an inherited characteristic of the breed and is greatly appreciated and admired once the horse is in a new career.
The typical Thoroughbred is athletic, intelligent, and full of heart. These characteristics have been bred into them as racehorses and serve them well beyond the track.
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