Whether you enjoy watching racing on TV, listening to it on the radio or attending a race meeting, there is a lot to admire in the world of horse racing. The level of athletic performance from both the jockeys and the horses is exceptional and leave many of us in awe of the power, skill and control. It is a joy for us to spend time gathering information and insight on timeform.com before a big race, and we are all willing to give our time to ensure we build the best bets ahead of the big race. However, there is so much more that goes into the race than meets the eye. Here we put the spotlight on racehorse training and ask: what’s involved, from start to finish?
Successfully training a racehorse begins in pre-training. This is the process through which horses are prepared for a life of racing. The course receives an education in the basics of how to be ridden, driven and lunged. This is an important period in a horse’s training life as it is the time when the basics are learned and the horse is taught the discipline needed for a life of racing in top competitions. It is during this time that the horse gets used to being ridden.
Once the horse is comfortable with being ridden, the next task is to refine their profile and posture. The aim at this point is to get the horse to ‘carry’ its head well.
Once the horse has been pre-trained – or broken in – it is time for the yard to decide what type of racing the horse is going to engage in. This decision is made once the horse undergoes more in-depth training as it is only then that their ability is truly shown. The trainer will learn about the power and athleticism of each horse as they get to know it.
The horse will be put through its paces during each session and will be taken to gallop on a range of different surfaces. The horse will also work with a walker before and after training to ensure that a full and effective warm-up and warm-down are achieved.
Trainee racehorses also spend time in a swimming pool doing exercises that help to develop their style and technique without putting pressure on their muscles and tendons.
Diet is also a very important element when it comes to successfully training racehorses. Firstly, there is the need to ensure that the horse is given the right amount of calories to fuel the training and the all-important recovery period afterwards. As the horse grows and its training regime becomes more refined, nutrition is carefully balanced to ensure that weight and performance are at an optimal level.
Stalls training is also an important part of a racehorse’s education as they need to be comfortable will entering and exiting the stalls in order to ensure that they always get off to a flying start in the races they compete in.
How to Prepare Yourself for a Horse Race
Okay, you now know how to improve the health of your horse and prepare him for the race. The question is – will that be enough to win the race? Believe it or not, the answer to that question is “no”. The outcome of the race depends on you as well, and you need to do whatever it takes to properly prepare for that event. There are a couple of tips we would like to share with you and help you prepare adequately. Let’s go!
The Equipment You Use Matters a Lot
Unfortunately, it is not enough to love horses and races. In some moment, you will need to invest a certain amount of money in the necessary equipment. However, consider this as an investment that will pay off one day.
The main pieces of equipment you should have are reins, blinder hops, crops, and whips. All these items are going to ensure that you properly control every possible move that a horse makes. Despite that, you will also manage to improve the speed of your horse, and we are sure that is one of the goals that you have.
Other than that, you also need to ensure your own protection. The stirrups, saddles, and helmets are those that will keep you safe during the entire race. Also, don’t expect you can start the race without the pikeur-clothing. This is the only way to ensure that your mobility and versatility are at the highest level. Besides, you also need to feel comfortable when riding, and the pikeur-clothing as well as other items we mentioned in this list will ensure that.
Don’t Forget to Train Your Strength
If you have already participated in the horse races, then you definitely know how important it is to improve your physical strength. You will need to deal with an animal that is twice quicker and stronger than you. Because of that, it is recommendable that you go to the gym regularly, but if that seems like a bad solution, then there are certain alternatives you should use.
Logically, you have the right to exercise somewhere in nature or at home. You should, for instance, do push-up holds, cable presses, horizontal leg raises, and other stuff to ensure all the muscles in your body are equally developed. In this way, the control over your horse is going to be at the highest level which will lead to the desired outcome of the race.
Find a Good Position and Ensure Control
We will continue in the same manner. You will need to spend a lot more physical energy if you do not maintain an effective position from the very beginning of the race. It is recommendable that you practice this with other jockeys and try to get some useful pieces of advice from the more experienced one. On the other hand, you can also watch professional horse races on TV and check out how other jockeys are doing it. This can also be an effective lesson.