Equine Therapy with Retired Racehorses in Saratoga

EIE is committed to supporting and promoting the work by organizations like Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga (THS). Retired racehorses get a second career with THS, which brings equine therapy to our community’s most vulnerable.

THS adopts retired racehorses that can no longer be ridden due to injuries, and its therapy herd has grown to include 11 horses. All horses receive specialized care from the THS team as well as from veterinarians, equine dentists and farriers. As part of its mission to serve the community, THS also provides free boarding to the Saratoga Police Department’s three horses. The farm is now at full capacity, and in order to adopt more horses, the organization must raise funds to build additional paddocks.

The 27 acres of farmland owned by Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga (THS) are alive with memories from four years’ worth of heart-lifting work involving some very special retired racehorses. One standout equine was Boots, who is now buried near a cluster of trees behind a therapy paddock. Even though it has been several years since the retired Standardbred racehorse passed away, her presence can still be felt in every corner of the farm.

“She was the mayor of the farm,” says psychologist Dr. Erin Christopher-Sisk, founder of the Saratoga Springs nonprofit. “Boots had chronic pain from an infection in her hooves that caused permanent damage. She became part of our therapy program, and patients with chronic pain really connected with her, and she connected with them. She was such an inspirational presence on the farm. I spend time at her grave with patients, and I can still barely talk about her without crying.”

Founded in 2018, Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga rescues retired racehorses like Boots and retrains them for therapeutic programming. THS works in partnership with certified equine therapists who provide equine-assisted therapy.

Enjoy the whole story in our recent article The Saratoga Farm That’s Helping Both Horses and Humans.

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