Thoroughbred Horse training - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-20-2020, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thoroughbred Horse training

Hey everyone,

My name is willy and I'm from Saudi Arabia, recently I have been trying to search for how to train a racehorse I couldn't find any training routine that I can follow I tried to search about training techniques and methods but couldn't find anything that I can depend on! or the diet to follow for a racehorse, I'm sure someone might ask me why don't you find a professional training in Saudi whos experienced, well to be honest after the Saudi cup and not seeing any Saudi trainer giving the results that can reach to satisfaction levels I thought I could use the global experience. so I have a few questions I would appreciate it if someone can answer me as well provide some tips and tricks.

1. When to start training a 2 years horse on track and when I can register it in an official race?
2. What are the stages of training and the terminology used?
3. What is the daily training routine in detail? ( training program) and what is the daily distance, time, speed in each stage or level for each forlong?
4. What is the workout for the horse? how many times a week? and should the horse move on a slow or fast pace? and should we use the whip?
5. How/ when to use the whip? how to teach him not to be scared of it?
6. When I can use horse accessories such as blankers, noseband, etc.
7. If the horse is always on slow pace how to change that into making him fast and energetic??
8. When the horse will be ready to learn on the gate entrance and fast lunching?
9. How to avoid track injuries?
10. In case the horse was training in the morning what is the best routine for evening exercise?
11. Do all racehorses eat the same or it can change from a horse to another?
12. What are the diet, supplements, and joint support supplement that can be used and recommended?

Regards,

Willy
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-20-2020, 10:24 PM
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Hello Willy, and welcome to the forum!

I can’t help you with your racing specific questions. But I can tell you how I get a horse accustomed to a whip, or anything else I might have to carry while mounted or working near them.

For a whip, i first have a firm policy to never use it without clear cause, understandable by the horse. I use a small one with a wrist strap. That way I can carry it easily and still use both hands. They see it always or frequently with me as I do the normal chores around them. Especially grooming and such. As I handle the horse, I touch it gently with the whip all over, going as slow as necessary.

I don’t use any reassuring words or tone of voice. It’s just something they need to accept as the normal workaday routine.

Especially on a horse prone to kicking, I will use it as an extension of my body so that I am safely out of range. I stroke the horse with it as if I am grooming, gradually working towards the ticklish spots. If the horse attempts to kick, it gets a sharp smack with the whip. Then I immediately resume stroking as before. After a while, the horse makes the connection between the kicking and the smack with the whip.

More importantly, the connection between no kicking and the gentle stroking.

The two horses I have now are prone to fighting when I take them out together. When I have to enforce the rules, they know which one the whip is intended for. The other one does not react at all.
Hope that helps some.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-21-2020, 02:52 AM
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I will get back to trying to answer these questions later today, have not time at the moment.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-21-2020, 04:13 AM
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Hi Willy, welcome to the forum!

While I used to work for a race trainer(long time ago when I was young), I'm not into racing at all now & there are other members that perhaps can - was going to suggest @Foxhunter (but see she's already checked in & will be back) and maybe @aubie

How experienced are you with training/keeping horses? Is it just racing you're new to?

I'm surprised you can't find anyone local, because I thought the Saudi's were very big on racing - I'm sure there have been Sheiks who have brought their horses to Australia for our big 'Melbourne Cup' before. Or is it that most of them race Arabian horses not thoroughbreds? I wouldn't imagine technique etc would be any different on that note, but could be wrong.

I can give some info on some of your questions tho...

Quote:
Originally Posted by weko1234 View Post
1. When to start training a 2 years horse on track and when I can register it in an official race?
2yo horses are still babies(well, young teens if compared to human maybe), and while it is extremely common these days for them to be raced at 2yo, it is widely recognised now that this can be way too stressful on their growing bodies. So that kind of answers your No.9 question. But further to 9. if you build up gradually, get the horse strong & fit before doing any real galloping, that will help him become strong enough to hopefully cope well with the stress. Also ensuring good nutrition, feeding, and really good hoof care(including avoiding conventional shoes where possible) are other factors to consider.

Quote:
and should we use the whip?
5. How/ when to use the whip? how to teach him not to be scared of it?
Most use a whip, but it is a personal thing. Good trainers/jockeys can get horses to run perfectly well without it. I remember one Melbourne Cup winning trainer - a famous trainer who had had many, many wins(Bart Cummings, if you want to look him up) - being questioned by a journalist who asked "I noticed your jockeys don't use whips - why is that?" and Bart replied "Well son, I've noticed that horses don't actually LIKE being whipped." Which in part answers your No.5. The point of a whip is to cause the horse to run harder because of the pain it causes. So you don't want to desensitise the horse to it.

Quote:
11. Do all racehorses eat the same or it can change from a horse to another?
Most racehorses are fed a lot of 'concentrates' such as grain, over a few meals daily(horses need to be fed little & often) and some hay or grass. It is commonly thought by racehorse people that they need this 'high octane' food, and little hay, but there are those who give their horses a more natural diet & still do very well. Again, another famous, very successful Melbourne trainer is Gai Waterhouse(one of the few women that have managed in the 'men's club' of racing) is one who feeds & manages her horses a lot more naturally than most. The men all scoffed at her, until her horses started beating theirs!
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-21-2020, 12:22 PM
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[QUOTE=weko1234;1970847559]Hey everyone,



1. When to start training a 2 years horse on track and when I can register it in an official race?

Rules for racing very from country to country so I do not have a clue as to what they are in Saudi so I am assuming they are similar to the U.K.

Here all TBs have to be registered within 6 weeks of birth. Their details, colour, whorls and white markings are drawn onto a registration form by a vet and are microchipped at the same time. The horse is rarely named at this point but when named it has to be a unique name that hasn't been registered before with the exception that if a horse with that name had been registered before and had not won many races and is now dead, the name can be reused.

Again, racing in the U.K. For two year old horses does not start until March. Entries are taken about six weeks prior to the race. Then a week before the race entry has to be confirmed and declaration that the horse will be running the day before the race.

ALL HORSES HAVE TO BE REGISTERED WITH THE JOCKEY CLUB OF THAT COUNTEY OR, OF IMPORTED FOR THE RACE THE COUNTEY OF ORIGIN.


2. What are the stages of training and the terminology used?

usually horses are started October or later, some not until January, they are broken to ride and get use to a routine.
Terminology is much the same wherever you are in the equestrian world.



3. What is the daily training routine in detail? ( training program) and what is the daily distance, time, speed in each stage or level for each Furlong?


Here young horses are taught to lunge in both directions then long reined out and about prior to being backed and ridden.
As 2 year old horses are still very much babies with joints not yet set, they are mostly ridden at a walk some slow trotting and slow cantering. Mostly very steady work until they are settled and not stressed. Furlongs do not come into it at this point. The first three months are fitness work before any stress like galloping proper.



4. What is the workout for the horse? how many times a week? and should the horse move on a slow or fast pace? and should we use the whip?

Usually the work programme is, when the horse is semi fit,
Monday ridden out at walk and slow trot.
Tuesday same as Monday
Wednesday canter work
Thursday an easy day just walking for a good hour
Friday same as Monday
Saturday as Wednesday
Sunday rest day.

Obviously this would change in Saudi as Friday is you religious day.


5. How/ when to use the whip? how to teach him not to be scared of it?

There is absolutely no need to use a whip unless the horse is playing up. Most work riders carry a whip but rarely use it.


6. When I can use horse accessories such as blankers, noseband, etc.

Any horse can wear a noseband. Blinkers are usually only used on horses that get worried about another horse coming upsides them.
7. If the horse is always on slow pace how to change that into making him fast and energetic??

The horse will not be on a slow pace if it is worked and brought to fitness correctly. You cannot 'make' a horse fast if he hasn't got the ability or the enthusiasm for racing.



8. When the horse will be ready to learn on the gate entrance and fast lunching?

Going into the gates can be done from the start, walking and leading through the open gates, long reining them through before having them shut in is important so they learn there is nothing to be afraid of.
Once they are confident in doing this then the gates can be closed and when opened ask the horse to go forward, gradually the speed he leaves the gate can be increased. Normally a more experienced horse is used to encourage them to go from standing into a gallop.


9. How to avoid track injuries?

You are never going to totally avoid injuries. They can be greatly lessened by fitness. Knowing each horse especially how his legs feel to the touch so the slightest sign of heat or swelling is picked up on and that minor injury given a chance to heal before any further stress is put on it.

10. In case the horse was training in the morning what is the best routine for evening exercise?
Usually one work out a day is enough although many places have the lads walk the horses out leading them for twenty minutes in the evening.

11. Do all racehorses eat the same or it can change from a horse to another?

It can vary greatly from one horse to another. At least three feeds daily preferably four. Oats (rolled or crushed) and racehorse pellets are what is used by most trainers. This has chaff (chopped hay) or dampened bran, added to it.

12. What are the diet, supplements, and joint support supplement that can be used and recommended?

You have to be very careful about supplements because they might contain banned substances. Horses need mineral blocks and salt licks.


One thing to add, in most countries trainers have to hold a license and be approved by the jockey club of that country.

One of the best things you could do is to get a job in Europe with a winning trainer and see how it is done.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-22-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=Foxhunter;1970847749]
Quote:
Originally Posted by weko1234 View Post
Hey everyone,



1. When to start training a 2 years horse on track and when I can register it in an official race?

Rules for racing very from country to country so I do not have a clue as to what they are in Saudi so I am assuming they are similar to the U.K.

Here all TBs have to be registered within 6 weeks of birth. Their details, colour, whorls and white markings are drawn onto a registration form by a vet and are microchipped at the same time. The horse is rarely named at this point but when named it has to be a unique name that hasn't been registered before with the exception that if a horse with that name had been registered before and had not won many races and is now dead, the name can be reused.

Again, racing in the U.K. For two year old horses does not start until March. Entries are taken about six weeks prior to the race. Then a week before the race entry has to be confirmed and declaration that the horse will be running the day before the race.

ALL HORSES HAVE TO BE REGISTERED WITH THE JOCKEY CLUB OF THAT COUNTEY OR, OF IMPORTED FOR THE RACE THE COUNTEY OF ORIGIN.


2. What are the stages of training and the terminology used?

usually horses are started October or later, some not until January, they are broken to ride and get use to a routine.
Terminology is much the same wherever you are in the equestrian world.



3. What is the daily training routine in detail? ( training program) and what is the daily distance, time, speed in each stage or level for each Furlong?


Here young horses are taught to lunge in both directions then long reined out and about prior to being backed and ridden.
As 2 year old horses are still very much babies with joints not yet set, they are mostly ridden at a walk some slow trotting and slow cantering. Mostly very steady work until they are settled and not stressed. Furlongs do not come into it at this point. The first three months are fitness work before any stress like galloping proper.



4. What is the workout for the horse? how many times a week? and should the horse move on a slow or fast pace? and should we use the whip?

Usually the work programme is, when the horse is semi fit,
Monday ridden out at walk and slow trot.
Tuesday same as Monday
Wednesday canter work
Thursday an easy day just walking for a good hour
Friday same as Monday
Saturday as Wednesday
Sunday rest day.

Obviously this would change in Saudi as Friday is you religious day.


5. How/ when to use the whip? how to teach him not to be scared of it?

There is absolutely no need to use a whip unless the horse is playing up. Most work riders carry a whip but rarely use it.


6. When I can use horse accessories such as blankers, noseband, etc.

Any horse can wear a noseband. Blinkers are usually only used on horses that get worried about another horse coming upsides them.
7. If the horse is always on slow pace how to change that into making him fast and energetic??

The horse will not be on a slow pace if it is worked and brought to fitness correctly. You cannot 'make' a horse fast if he hasn't got the ability or the enthusiasm for racing.



8. When the horse will be ready to learn on the gate entrance and fast lunching?

Going into the gates can be done from the start, walking and leading through the open gates, long reining them through before having them shut in is important so they learn there is nothing to be afraid of.
Once they are confident in doing this then the gates can be closed and when opened ask the horse to go forward, gradually the speed he leaves the gate can be increased. Normally a more experienced horse is used to encourage them to go from standing into a gallop.


9. How to avoid track injuries?

You are never going to totally avoid injuries. They can be greatly lessened by fitness. Knowing each horse especially how his legs feel to the touch so the slightest sign of heat or swelling is picked up on and that minor injury given a chance to heal before any further stress is put on it.

10. In case the horse was training in the morning what is the best routine for evening exercise?
Usually one work out a day is enough although many places have the lads walk the horses out leading them for twenty minutes in the evening.

11. Do all racehorses eat the same or it can change from a horse to another?

It can vary greatly from one horse to another. At least three feeds daily preferably four. Oats (rolled or crushed) and racehorse pellets are what is used by most trainers. This has chaff (chopped hay) or dampened bran, added to it.

12. What are the diet, supplements, and joint support supplement that can be used and recommended?

You have to be very careful about supplements because they might contain banned substances. Horses need mineral blocks and salt licks.


One thing to add, in most countries trainers have to hold a license and be approved by the jockey club of that country.

One of the best things you could do is to get a job in Europe with a winning trainer and see how it is done.


Thank you so much for your kind and rich reply it helps a lot really!

1.U spoke about baby horses, what about a bit mature horses 2.8-4 years old what's the program?

2.Is it okay to wash the horse every day? in Saudi they say if u wash the horse there is a big chance he will catch muscle strain, is that true?

3.Do you have any diet program you recommend or is there a book or a website for that? ( including supplements)

4. for joints is there any supplements recommended by u that don't contain banned substances?
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-22-2020, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for your reply.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-22-2020, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi Willy, welcome to the forum!

While I used to work for a race trainer(long time ago when I was young), I'm not into racing at all now & there are other members that perhaps can - was going to suggest @Foxhunter (but see she's already checked in & will be back) and maybe @aubie

How experienced are you with training/keeping horses? Is it just racing you're new to?

I'm surprised you can't find anyone local, because I thought the Saudi's were very big on racing - I'm sure there have been Sheiks who have brought their horses to Australia for our big 'Melbourne Cup' before. Or is it that most of them race Arabian horses not thoroughbreds? I wouldn't imagine technique etc would be any different on that note, but could be wrong.

I can give some info on some of your questions tho...



2yo horses are still babies(well, young teens if compared to human maybe), and while it is extremely common these days for them to be raced at 2yo, it is widely recognised now that this can be way too stressful on their growing bodies. So that kind of answers your No.9 question. But further to 9. if you build up gradually, get the horse strong & fit before doing any real galloping, that will help him become strong enough to hopefully cope well with the stress. Also ensuring good nutrition, feeding, and really good hoof care(including avoiding conventional shoes where possible) are other factors to consider.



Most use a whip, but it is a personal thing. Good trainers/jockeys can get horses to run perfectly well without it. I remember one Melbourne Cup winning trainer - a famous trainer who had had many, many wins(Bart Cummings, if you want to look him up) - being questioned by a journalist who asked "I noticed your jockeys don't use whips - why is that?" and Bart replied "Well son, I've noticed that horses don't actually LIKE being whipped." Which in part answers your No.5. The point of a whip is to cause the horse to run harder because of the pain it causes. So you don't want to desensitise the horse to it.



Most racehorses are fed a lot of 'concentrates' such as grain, over a few meals daily(horses need to be fed little & often) and some hay or grass. It is commonly thought by racehorse people that they need this 'high octane' food, and little hay, but there are those who give their horses a more natural diet & still do very well. Again, another famous, very successful Melbourne trainer is Gai Waterhouse(one of the few women that have managed in the 'men's club' of racing) is one who feeds & manages her horses a lot more naturally than most. The men all scoffed at her, until her horses started beating theirs!

thanks a lot for your reply :)
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-22-2020, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
Hello Willy, and welcome to the forum!

I canít help you with your racing specific questions. But I can tell you how I get a horse accustomed to a whip, or anything else I might have to carry while mounted or working near them.

For a whip, i first have a firm policy to never use it without clear cause, understandable by the horse. I use a small one with a wrist strap. That way I can carry it easily and still use both hands. They see it always or frequently with me as I do the normal chores around them. Especially grooming and such. As I handle the horse, I touch it gently with the whip all over, going as slow as necessary.

I donít use any reassuring words or tone of voice. Itís just something they need to accept as the normal workaday routine.

Especially on a horse prone to kicking, I will use it as an extension of my body so that I am safely out of range. I stroke the horse with it as if I am grooming, gradually working towards the ticklish spots. If the horse attempts to kick, it gets a sharp smack with the whip. Then I immediately resume stroking as before. After a while, the horse makes the connection between the kicking and the smack with the whip.

More importantly, the connection between no kicking and the gentle stroking.

The two horses I have now are prone to fighting when I take them out together. When I have to enforce the rules, they know which one the whip is intended for. The other one does not react at all.
Hope that helps some.
thank you a lot for your reply and warm welcome.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for replying back to us @weko1234 .
Please keep us updated on your progress.
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