Jim Gath: A Thoroughbred can do Anything, Just Anything


Another piece written by Jim Gath of Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary in AZ. He nails it every time… passing this on for some inspiration and yes, admiration for this man and his sanctuary and all they do.

Jim Gath:

You know, once Thoroughbreds leave the racetrack, they’re still young & vibrant. They still have 20-25 years of robust lives ahead of them.

And, thanks to some very innovative programs – including, but certainly not limited to the wonderful Retired Racehorse Project & many others – those guys & girls are finding wonderful lives of usefulness, purpose & happiness.

Anything that any horse can do a Thoroughbred can do. And, often, do it better than some other breeds. Thoroughbreds are as agile & as well-rounded as any horse in the world.

To demonstrate how versatile they can be, you only have to look at our place – Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary.

At our place, thirteen of our horses are ex-racing Thoroughbreds.

And though they don’t jump or cut or rope or trail or event or practice dressage or any of the other fairly normal jobs that ex-racers often pursue, they certainly have jobs. Jobs that are adding a great deal of value to peoples’ lives. Jobs that help people.

See, our ‘kids’ are therapeutic.

They help those with challenges.

They help those recovering from substance abuse. They help those with PTSD. They help those with emotional issues. They help kids with autism. People from all walks of life. Professional men & women. Ex-soldiers. Hard-working people. People who can’t work. People who are looking for homes. People who are looking for themselves.

Our ‘kids’ don’t judge.

They don’t care if you’re the President of the United States or if you have to pick roaches out of your raisin bran.

All they ask is that you’re honest. Honest with them & honest with yourself.

And, sometimes, that’s where the challenge comes in & that’s where the breakthroughs happen.

Because, eventually – no matter who you are or what your challenge is – the honesty of the horse seeps in. Almost like osmosis. And that honesty begins to break down peoples’ interior barriers – barriers to themselves & to the world around them.

Just to witness some of those breakthroughs, no matter how big or how small, is a truly amazing experience.

Just to see a fragile, bruised, frightened person standing there with his or her arms around the neck of a monster like The Iron Man & him hugging back with his huge head & neck….well, that’s just about the prettiest, most heart-warming thing you ever did see.

We are so proud of our ‘kids’.

And so happy for them & their ‘clients’.

That’s the kind of useful lives our ex-racers are living.

And none of us would have it any other way.


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