Excperienced racehorse, not-so-experienced jockey. help!!!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Excperienced racehorse, not-so-experienced jockey. help!!!!

Okay. Well, I have an ex-racehorse(quarter horse not tb) named Elroy and I want to become a jockey (or trainer or breeder or......well......i'm not sure yet) so i need to learn how to handle him. He is about 30 and i keep him at my grandmas but i hope i can c him more this summer. What do i need to do to get us both into top shape?

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 03:44 PM
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Did you really mean 30 or is that a typo and he's really 3?

If he's 30 he has no business on a racetrack. If he is 3 it is going to take a lot more than just a few visits to your grandma's house to get him in racing condition. My QH and Appendix racehorses are in training almost every day of the week, varying between long distance jogging, hill work to build muscle and endurance, as well as breezing and gate work. Also, they are fed high quality, high protein grain 2xs a day and this costs a decent amount of money. It is going to take working him almost every day, making sure you vary his workouts, feeding him high quality grain and hay, having access to starting gates to make sure he is safe to load and understands how to break out of a gate.

I think your best bet is to volunteer as a groom or stable hand at a local racehorse barn and watch the exercise riders work the horses, talk to the trainers and riders to get advice on how they handle their horses, what training methods they employ, what they feed their horses, how they care for their horses, etc.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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he is really 30. i guess i didn't say what i want right. I can't take him to a track, I just want to learn the basics of racing on him. Kind of like having a horse as an instructor. does that make sense?

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 04:38 PM
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well, you really shouldn't be learning the basics of racing on a 30 year old horse. I don't know what kind of condition he is in and what he looks like but he shouldn't be working too hard at 30.

like the above poster, go to the local track and see if you can talk to some of the trainers/jockeys

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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welll, there aren't really any tracks that i can go 2 and even if there were i wouldn't be taken seriously at my age. the vet says he can be worked just like my 13 year old horse and he knows it.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 05:05 PM
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See if your local track has a jockey program. Or hang around racetracks, or contact local racing barns... that's going to be your best bet. Racing is completely different than most other types of riding - you pinch with your knees, get the horse to brace against your hand... it's completely backwards to most other disciplines.

I agree with others that a 30 year old horse is not going to be able to teach you much. Chances are he's been off the track for 23 years or more (depending on how well he did on the track) and won't remember much.
I do think that older horses need work, but NOT racehorse work, it's too hard on them.

Is this horse sound? How long has it been since he was ridden?
A 30 year old should probably only be ridden lightly, and not asked for anything strenuous, like racing.

In any regard, toning up a horse to racing fitness is a full time job. They get worked (breezed or timed) early in the AM, and then hand walked once or twice a day as well - every day. Their diet needs to be closely monitored to keep them in racing weight, not below or above. Their legs and joints need special attention - wrapping (properly! An improper wrap can actually cause significant damage to the horse's leg, and can cause permanent lameness), cold-hosing, and claying are really important.
Then there's checking the horse's legs for ANY sign of injury.

It's a very tough sport for good reason.

I do wish you the best of luck, but strongly suggest you look elsewhere than your 30 year old horse to teach you all you need to know :)

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 05:05 PM
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I worked on a track at a very young age. How old are you?

Your horse may be able to be ridden, but he should not be breezing and running hard like a horse that is 5, IMO.

Are you comfortable on the ground and riding generally (not racing)? If not, these would be good things to work on with your horse before you worry about racing.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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thanks spastic

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 07:17 PM
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Don't let your age discourage you. I'm not sure how old you are, and if you don't want to tell us you don't have...I know it's safer for teens to keep their age hidden because of the way society is today. I'm going to assume you're probably mid-teens - 13 - 15? I'm saying that since you said people won't take you seriously at your age. Want some advice? Don't give up! :) Learn EVERYTHING you can about horse racing. Read articles online, go to the library and read books, keep posting on forums like this so us older, experienced riders/handlers can answer your questions about racing and racehorse training. The more you know, the more serious you will come off as to a barn owner or stable manager. What you'll have is good "book smarts", all you'll need after that is hands on experience. Ride, ride, ride as many types of horses as you can. Exercise riding and race riding, while quite different from any other discipline in the horse industry, still needs a confident, calm, experienced rider.

I know you'd much rather do something hands-on so if volunteering at a barn is out right now try this:

Do you ride your 13 year old horse English? Why don't you try taking your stirrups up a few holes and getting a sense of what it feels like to ride with your legs high up. The first time I sat in an exercise saddle I almost lost my balance! It takes some getting used to that first time to find your center, your balance point. You more or less "perch" on their back. So hike up those stirrups and try crouching over your horse in a jockey position. :) Do this at a walk in the ring, then try a trot. You'll see it takes some getting used to.

I started working at a racehorse barn as a hotwalker/groom when I was 16 and I know other people who have started working with racehorses young too. Just learn everything you can and don't give up! :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 07:39 PM
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I'm not into the TB/Qh scene but I do race Standardbreds. I got involved at the track before I was 5. I would ride up with my grandpa and basically stand around and pet the horse, and any other horse for that matter. I got into helping out my grandpa and family friends when I was 10. The sooner you get in there and get involved the better. Even if you just stand around and watch, you can learn alot.

As for learning on a 30 year old horse? For me, thats a bit of a stretch. You can probably practise your positioning and what not, but thats about it. I wouldnt push a 30 year old horse, no matter what their condition.

If you really want to learn about racing, no matter what the type/breed find barns in your area that are into racing. Ask if you can volunteer. Even if you just hang out and clean stalls, you can learn quite a bit. Try to visit the racetracks once in a while. Even get subscriptions to magazines.

I wish you all the luck in the world. Have fun!

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A cat looks down on a man,
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