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business2319 06-01-2012 08:51 PM

How Much do Horses Want to Win, versus what the trainer tells them?
I just finsihed watching "Secretariat", the movie, and it is not clear to me how much Secretariat understood his owner's motivating words, or how much a race horse just cannot stand being beaten out. Has any research been done on that? (Obviously, a race horse loves to run, but the drive that Secretariat demonstrated is more than, lets run some.)

redpony 06-01-2012 09:08 PM

I'll give you an example. We race Standardbreds and our trainers home track was too wet to train on, so he put her in a qualifier at Balmoral just to give her her workout. When they got to the backstretch there was one horse ahead of her. The trainer just wanted to sit there behind but our mare tried to pull out on her own 3 times to try and pass that other horse. She hates to be beaten! She knows when its race day, knows what winning and losing means and knows her job. I'm pretty proud if her, can you tell, lol!!
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Speed Racer 06-01-2012 09:14 PM

Dude, are you obsessed or what?

Race horses are bred to WANT to race. There's nothing more mystical than that.

Besides, the movie was TOTALLY Disneyfied, and Secretariat was anthropomorphized to the point of ludicrousness. He was a HORSE. Bred and trained for racing.

smrobs 06-01-2012 09:27 PM

Horses want to do what they are bred to do because the enjoy it. It has nothing to do with winning or losing.

The sense of the horses wanting to "win" only really comes into play in the racing industry where horses are bred and trained to run fast and outrun any other horses that happen to be running with them. They don't see that as winning in the same sense as humans do. Take a look at good cutting or reining or roping or barrel or jumping horses. They want to do it because they enjoy it. They have no clue, nor do they care, if they win or not, they just love getting to do the job.

oh vair oh 06-01-2012 09:31 PM

My western pleasure horse was very competitive, in my perception of him. Whenever we inched closer to a horse who was slower in front of us, you could feel him sit back over his hocks, duck his head, and pin his ears, as if he was making a conscious effort not to pass the horse in front of him. Of course, he was a very dominant personality. It was likely he was just trying to establish himself as herd leader and not be forced to move. :/

nrhareiner 06-01-2012 11:54 PM

My reiners know the differance between practice the warm up pen at a show and when the are actually showing. They are all business in the show ring. They go out to win. They give it 110% in the arena. They do not do that any place else.

SorrelHorse 06-02-2012 12:04 AM

I agree with smrobs 100%

boldstart 06-02-2012 12:30 AM

Yes, Throughbreds are bred to race but not all want to. If a horse doesnt want to run it wont, you can only encourage and 'force' it so much. You will see horses that dont want to run refuse to enter the barriers and under much pressure from the jockey will fail.

Most horses, however will want to run and follow the pack. You will find some horses are quite confident and have no worries dashing up to the horse in front, ears pinned back and overtake. Others are more timid and have to be encourage to go past.

Even if you have a well bred horse that in its pedgiree would suggest a champion, you may not get. And vice versa. For example, we have one mare - totally limited in ability but she tries her hardesrt and finally the other week she got past the post first. Thats what you want in a racehorse, one who tries their hardest. Hey, if you get one that also has great bloodlines even better.

OurLizardsHope 06-02-2012 12:35 AM

when i race Tiny against my firends horse, she really tries hard to win! She's not a
racehorse per say, but I know she knows the difference. :)

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