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LowNslow 04-27-2009 11:09 PM

Interest in becoming a jockey...
I recently went on vacation to LA & visited the San Anita Race track a couple weekends ago & I had someone come up & ask me if I was a jockey when I was looking at the horses. This is not the 1st time this has happened. Ive been in Houston for quite some time & gone to the rodeo a few years & have been asked there as well. My hard is it to learn this trade of work? Im 5'3, stay between 122-130lbs...seem like its very physical, im at an elite level of fitness & train in CrossFit 3x a week. Im very open minded(basically im willing to start from the ground up), a very quick learner & am easy to teach. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Countrygal892000 04-28-2009 01:56 AM

If you want to become a jockey watch the show "jockeys"... it tells a lot about the job and how difficult it really is to become and be successful at it..

Equuestriaan 04-28-2009 07:55 AM

I'd start by searching for somebody to teach you... an instructor or trainer, or another jockey. Search online and make some calls.

Iluvjunior 04-28-2009 10:32 AM

I would say to watch the show jockeys definitley! The stable that i was about to ride at has a jockey his name is Eddie Maple and he was the last person to ride secratariat(sp) in a race! and he's going into the hall of fame this year.

Spastic_Dove 04-28-2009 12:28 PM

*Volunteer at a racetrack. Start out mucking stalls and taking care of the horses. Talk to people. Talk to trainers and tell them you're interested in apprenticing. You can hot walk, groom, etc.

*As an apprentice jockey, you are expected to weigh about 115-120. This is with the 10lb weight allowance of being an apprentice.

*You must be at least 16.

*I'd start watching calories and making sure you do work out. Pilates, yoga, swimming, cardio, etc. are all good things to focus on.

*The biggest thing is to talk to people. Get yourself known around a training barn and be there at the crack of dawn. Once you have established that you know your stuff and are willing to put in hard work, talk to them about breezing a horse. You're going to need a lot of connections. It's all about who you know.

Each state has different requirements for getting your lisence when you actually do start running.

You want to learn the ins and outs of the backside and training before you start running. The more prepared you are the first time you get on the horse, the more likely you are to have people let you ride in the future.
Understand betting, nutrition, training, etc. You need to be able to communicate with the trainers and owners and follow out what they want.

Like someone said, make some phone calls. You're not going to start out working at Santa Anita, but there should be plenty of smaller barns nearby running smaller races that need an extra pair of hands. Tell them you want to learn and be honest -- Then work your butt off.

LowNslow 04-28-2009 02:31 PM

thanks for the tips! i dont know anyone who owns a horse, im assuming i just need to show up at a barn & get to know some people.

Spastic_Dove 04-28-2009 02:39 PM

You're in Houston? The only one I could find was the Sam Houston track. Go to some races and find out who the trainers are. Talk to people and see if anyone needs any barn help.

jessetjames 04-28-2009 04:39 PM

I as well want to be a jocky but sadly there aren't any race tracks around us so ill have to wait out of highschool when i can move some where. Im thinking bout heading to CA some where or Kentucky. Anywho is it posible to take College while becoming a jockey just incase things dont work out?? Because it would be a bummer to have no degree and things dont work out becoming a jockey when u put a lot of time into it ect.

Spastic_Dove 04-28-2009 05:00 PM

Your best bet is CA or personally, I say NJ.
Being a jockey is kind of a full time deal. You need to be able to be at the barn when needed and if you're riding a horse, you need to be able to follow it. Most jockeys start out when they are about 16. It's a lot of hard work with very little reward. Unless you are winning, you're not really making any money.

Goodluck with whatever you plan on doing

draftlover215 04-28-2009 09:13 PM

Definatly read up on as much as you can. Get to know different people, trainers, other riders, grooms, hotwalkers. If you already know how to ride you can probably get a job exercise riding. Exercise riding will get you used to the feel of riding a racehorse with the shorter stirrups and very small saddle, although jockeys race in smaller saddles than exercise saddle (if you can believe it! hehe) I'm too big to be a jockey, I'm 120lbs. at 5'3" but I love to exercise ride for the trainers. Exercise riding will also help teach you how to handle the racehorses, when they feel fresh, how they react, get you used to breezing a horse as fast as it will go, learning to guide the horse to the rail, break out of gates etc. Nothing beats coming around the turn and letting your horse out so he can give all he's got. It's an amazing feeling! :)

Spastic - TX is very big on Quarter Horse and Arabian racing. Just so you know that MAY be the reason why you didn't find many tracks. Not sure if you just looked up TBs or not. :)

And don't forget to look in Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse & Arabian racehorse barns as a rider/volunteer/groom/stable hand. I'm not sure if you have a desire to limit yourself to just TBs, but remember that the other breeds also race. I learned on Thoroughbreds and now am exercise riding QHs because they are more popular here in GA. :) GOOD LUCK!!

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