Beasts of Burden: What happens to thoroughbred racehorses after retirement


I’m galloping my thoroughbred through the Maryland hills. It’s late spring, so the shadows are getting shorter, finally surrendering to the advancing light. I’m out of the saddle, standing in my stirrups, letting my horse roll beneath me. I gradually reach my arms forward to lengthen the reins, to give his head and neck more freedom, to give him the chance to find his own balance, to find that space between the tame and the wild. But I have to be careful. He wants to run. Everything in his breeding and training until a few months ago tells him to run as fast as he possibly can.



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