LOPE Helps At-Risk Racehorses
LOPE specializes in “racing warriors” or “warhorses” (older racehorses who ran for many years). When their racing careers finally end, these horses have few options. Most equestrians prefer young, sound horses to retrain as prospects. A racing warrior is seen as more difficult to train for new disciplines — plus they often have old sports injuries from their years at the track. Learn about our Racing Warriors Program.
These horses need long-term rehab, education, foundation work and consistent handling to build the job skills that will give them a safe future. Changing the lives of at-risk racehorses takes time, patience and practical skills.
But the LOPE horses aren’t destined for the Olympics or world-class show careers. There is no commercial market for taking the long, slow approach to educating ex-racehorses. Especially ones with low potential for performance work (such as Flavor, an 11 yo gelding with multiple old injuries and zero talent for jumping). Yet horses like Flavor have much to offer as riding partners – and as teachers. They are uniquely qualified to help students learn how to assess, handle, rehabilitate, retrain and care for deserving, at-risk horses.
Changing Lives One Horse At A Time
The best teachers learn the most from their students. Since 2003, each of the hundreds of LOPE ex-racehorses has taught us much about horsemanship, life philosophy, and even our own nature. This real-world knowledge is acquired through hard-won, hands-on experience. LOPE’s daily work presents a veritable classroom (or “Academy”) of ongoing learning opportunities. Our Academy program enables LOPE horses and people to learn from each other in structured, practical and meaningful ways.
Inspiring Young People and Expanding Their Education Through Horsemanship
Through the tradition of horsemanship and the values it teaches, the LOPE Academy educates and inspires students. LOPE offers tailored learning paths to different types of students passionate about horsemanship. Junior internships are available for promising teenage equestrians via our Starting Gate Program. Horsemanship Scholar spots are awarded to aspiring young trainers. First Step Workshops are held to introduce horsemanship to at-risk and disadvantaged youth.
Beyond the LOPE classroom, the Academy Program funds opportunities for the interns and scholars to attend clinics, schooling shows and other off-site horse education events with the LOPE horses. In this way, the LOPE Academy promotes the pursuit of excellence and compassionate leadership skills for our students.