The Track Pony: A Racehorse’s Best Friend

Track ponies, or pony horses, play important roles both on training and race days.
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Calm pony horses pair with young, excitable racehorses during training and before races to help them settle down and focus on the task at hand. | Photo: Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup

If you’ve ever turned out a quiet older gelding with a field of young horses, you know what a calming effect he can have on the rambunctious youngsters. He settles them down and even gives them an occasional physical reminder to behave.

That’s the theory behind pony horses at the racetrack. Pair a young, excitable racehorse with a gelding who’s been around a while, and the racehorse will likely settle down and focus on his job instead of being silly. That can not only lead to more victories but also make the entire experience safer for everyone.

“For a trainer, hiring a pony horse to take a racehorse to the track is like purchasing an insurance policy,” says Amy Arena

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Written by:

Tracy Gantz is a freelance writer based in Southern California. She is the Southern California correspondent for The Blood-Horse and a regular contributor to Paint Horse Journal, Paint Racing News, and Appaloosa Journal.

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