Education Blog

Welcome to the Foal Patrol Education Blog! Please check back regularly as we will be constantly posting new content. Thank you to veterinarians Dr. Ted Hill and Dr. Stuart Brown for help with this project. Questions or comments? Contact us at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame:

Foster foals and mares

Horse Behavior
April 10th, 2020

Godolphin shares a great deal of educational videos and insightful content on their social media accounts. Below is a link to a short video on foster foals and mares. From their page: "Take a look back at our Godolphin foster foal diaries... After being rejected by its mother, a week old foal learns to be loved again after being adopted by a new foster mare at Godolphin’s Dalham Hall. Follow Paul Newton, Stud Groom, on the fostering process."

Social Thoroughbreds

Horse Behavior
March 26th, 2020

Thoroughbred horses are social animals. They benefit greatly from interacting with horses as well as other animals for friendship and support. Pasture/barn companions are common and range from old, retired racehorses, to farm horses, to ponies that have a steadfast, calm temperament. A pasture/barn companion will be seen accompanying Thoroughbred racehorses in training and different times before and after a race. They also stay with the racehorse in their stable and occasionally during travel. Many farms use these companions to provide a calming presence for Thoroughbreds who may be nervous about competing or just simply relax more easily around another horse. 

Other animals are just as effective at soothing Thoroughbreds. Some examples include pigs, dogs, goats, cats and chickens. The type of animal will depend on the horse’s personality and temperament.

Below are videos on Magical World20 and his paddock mates at Three Chimneys Farm as well as Porkchop, the pig socializing with the horses at Old Tavern Farm. 

Equine Education resources

Horse Behavior
March 17th, 2020

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has some great education resources available online. The Foal Patrol program offers live streaming video of each horse along with informational photos, videos and updates on their progress and status at each farm. Along with these resources, there is the Foal Patrol education blog with articles about horse behavior, nutrition, anatomy/pedigree, career paths and a link to the Godolphin Kids website with more games and resources for children. 

Additionally, if you are looking for educational activities to do with children, the Museum has made the 3rd grade STEM packet free to download! This packet includes equine themed 3rd grade science lessons and activities that all meet New York State & Common Core Education Standards. Please click on the link below for access to the packet and to download/print at home. 

Horses as prey animals

Horse Behavior
February 25th, 2020

The thoroughbred horse is an animal of prey meaning they are sought after by a predator. Although they are large 1200 pound animals, they are still inherently affected by this and it factors into their behavior. The horse is a precocial species, meaning that foals are neurologically mature and mobile when born. If healthy, they can stand within an hour and run shortly after which is essential if danger is present. The horse depends on flight as a main means of survival. Its natural predators are large animals such as wolves and bears, so the capability to flee and run away is essential. Horses are therefore very perceptive in noticing stimulus around them to ensure safety. Part of a horse's training is instilling trust and teaching them what is harmless (tractors, flags, weeds/flowers blowing in the wind, birds, bright colors) and harmful (predators) so that they are desensitized appropriately. 

CCS and filly.jpeg

Photo courtesy of Old Tavern Farm

Presidents and pets

Horse Behavior
February 18th, 2020

In celebration of President’s Day, we wanted to highlight some of the USA Presidents who have owned horses and/or been involved in horse racing.

Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned horses and were very proud of them; breeding different types of horses to enhance those bloodlines. They loved horse racing as it was a popular sport during the colonial and early republic period.

George Washington helped to hold races in Alexandria, Virginia. Thomas Jefferson frequently attended race meets at National Race Course in Washington, D.C., located close to the White House. In the 1840-50s, many prominent horses raced there. Andrew Jackson bred racehorses at the Hermitage; managing a race stable throughout his time as President. Jackson’s private secretary and nephew, Andrew J. Donelson was the name used by Jackson when entering races.

Below is a portrait of Andrew Jackson part of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame collection.

Andrew Jackson Portrait .jpg

Collection of National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame