Retired Thoroughbred Horses and Prison Inmates Paired, Both Win


Chances are you have had a horse that affected your life greatly, or perhaps you’ve seen someone else change for the better because of a horse. They are often used in therapy, not only for injuries, but also for addiction and emotional difficulties. Now they are also giving prisoners a second chance at life… and vice versa.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in Saratoga Springs, New York, is home to retired racehorses. As Jim Tremper, vocational instructor at the facility, told ABC News, some of these horses have “won less than $300 and a few that have won over half a million.” Their winning records vary, but they all have one thing in common: they could no longer race for one reason or another (most often they were deemed no longer useful) and sent to the foundation. Tremper implies in the video above that these horses may not have had the best lives prior to retirement. But they now have a chance to make their own, as well as the lives of others, better through the TRF Second Chances Program.

“The TRF Second Chances Program is a unique and pioneering program where inmates build life skills while participating in a vocational training program as they provide supervised care to our retired racehorses. Located at correctional facilities in nine states, inmates from every imaginable background take part in a rigorous training program where they learn horse anatomy, how to care for injuries, equine nutrition and other aspects of horse care. Graduates of the program receive a certification based on the level of expertise they have mastered. After their release from prison, graduates of the TRF Second Chances Program have gone on to careers as farriers, vet assistants, and caretakers. While TRF Second Chances began as a vocational program, it wasn’t long before other benefits of the program were realized; inmates not only learned a viable skill but also gained confidence and a sense of empathy. Studies have shown a reduction in recidivism rates at facilities that host the program,” the TRF website states.

We have no doubt that the horses are also benefitting from the program.

Liked this article? Here’s more on horses helping humans:
How Horses Are Helping Veterans


  1. second chances sometimes that is all that is needed wish there were more programs that encouraged more chances for both humans and horses


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