A Bunch of Questions about the Racetrack - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-04-2019, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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A Bunch of Questions about the Racetrack

Hi there, I was so excited to join this forum, but was a bit too reluctant to actually write, but here you go...

I really want to try working at the racetrack. I know I need to start with hot-walking, but do I need and how can I get some experience with Thoroughbreds before starting? All ads for hot-walkers look for experience. Will somebody hire me off the bat? Assinaboia Downs, which is the racetrack I am talking about, does need extra people. Is it a hard job? I do know how to lead nervous horses, so I hope it wouldn't be too hard...

My parents are not too excited for me to work there, so I need to convince them it's a perfectly normal workplace (for hard-working people!). They were always asking how the backstretch looks like.

I also thought of an exercise rider or racehorse groom job but I do realize you have to be super committed and passionate about your work so I was hoping to hot-walk see if this is for me.
By the way, has anyone went through the Olds college racetrack programs? Were they worth it? And, it is very competitive/hard to get admitted?

I am a girl who want to do everything, so I had a huge question about university. Is it possible to study full-time at university and still pursue a career at the track?

I'm really new to this so I will love reading any comments you have on this.
Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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Welcome to the Forum Cleur.

Have you ever met backstretch workers?
Visited the living accommodations for workers? Most live locally real close or at the track.
Days start at 4:00AM...
Many workers work 12 hour day minimum and 6 days a week minimum to make a paycheck.
Not a good one either...
I don't mean to put anyone down who is a backstretch track-worker but it can be backbreaking work, long days and poor pay for many...
Women are plentiful on the track but they are not always treated the best...
Many workers never leave the track as they just don't have the time to be gone, their small paychecks don't go far and honestly, they can't.
Most anyone can walk up to the backstretch gate, speak to the guard and be sent toward a barn who needs a hot-walker.
Leading a "nervous horse" is far different than handling a race-horse who is not necessarily a nice animal to be around coming down from a race...do you even realize the amount of time it takes to walk-down a racer? It takes far longer than most know about...
As for working at the track full-time on the backstretch and going to university...you be lucky you have time to sleep and shower, do laundry and eat...
Not an easy job, not glamorous, but filthy dirty, high-risk to your person and when I use to visit with my boss who owned a lay-up barn...took off the rosy-colored glasses.
I worked the stretch for 2 days in a job he set up so I would know and said not for me...
I instead worked the lay-up barns, then the show horse world for 15 years off and on...then decided it was time for me to have time for me.
Still loved the animals but the back-breaking filthy dirty work...

Have a back-up plan and if you decide to do this...be prepared to meet some real characters...
I'll leave that right there....
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-04-2019, 01:02 PM
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If you only want to walk hots you can work a "half" day. From 5-11. You will get paid per horse and it won't be much.

I know some older people who do it because a) they like horses, b) like the exercise, and c) aren't living off the pay check. Most tracks don't run year round. I don't know about yours. So it tends to be seasonal, unless you follow the horses.

Many find themselves drawn to the lifestyle, unlike @horselovinguy , but she described the work and hours well.

An option for some college students is to work during their summer break. I worked with many college kids during the summers when I was on the backside.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-05-2019, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. That really helps to get the perspective. And, yes, the track I am talking about is seasonal, that was why I was thinking to work in the summer and study during the rest of the year.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-05-2019, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleur Maunier View Post
Thanks for the information. That really helps to get the perspective. And, yes, the track I am talking about is seasonal, that was why I was thinking to work in the summer and study during the rest of the year.
Then that might work.

If you go to the track, my strongest suggestion is to focus on the horses. To the exclusion of everything else.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-07-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot!
Focus on the horses? How exactly?
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-08-2019, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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I was also wondering about being hired. @horselovinguy posted about that, but wouldn't that look sneaky. I am learning, I guess.
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