If you're 5'1 and under it is. I actually just had a conversation like this with my fiance's mom. She thinks I'm too skinny, but I said "I'm 5'1, how fat would you like me to be." :shock:Around here there's so much competition that the max 'ideal' weight is 110 including tack.
That doesn't strike me as healthy, ahah.
That must have been a highly unusual track, that certainly has not been my experience. I woiuld estimate less than 20% of jockeys working at the track maintain their weight through diet alone. The rest use laxatives, the hot box and purging.The guys at the track close to me aren't bulimic, or anorexic; it wouldn't be tolerated.
A better and somewhat safer route to becoming a jockey is to work on the farm first. By that I mean a farm where the break long yearlings and prep horses for the track. The horses aren't as fit, and there's usually just one set out on the track at a time, so there's less to cope with. Also, if you're a solid rider in another discipline, a farm is much more willing to give you a chance than a trainer at the track.
There's two different approachs. One is to be hired full time to rub and ride. That means your assigned 4 - 5 horses and you're responsible for their total care, including grooming, mucking, breaking and exercise. If your riding skill isn't as well developed, this may be your only option.
The other is to just ride, and get paid by the head. No mucking, no feeding, no farm work. This is the route I went, however, I had a lot of experience breaking horses, and had foxhunted and evented, so I didn't have a problem with speed. And I had to demonstrate my riding on several horses before I was offered this option. So I rode 10 - 14 per day, cleaned my tack and went home. It was great!
If you're doing very well on the farm, you may get a chance to ride at the track when your farm sends horses to the track to train or even for a one day workout. It's a way to gain some experinence and have some trainers see you ride.
If you're really serious about his, I'd try working on a farm for 6 months - 1 year; then try moving to the track and working as an exercise rider. Give yourself 6 months at the track before applying for a jockey's license. Once you have your license, get an agent. Be prepared to still ride work every single morning to pay the bills while you beg rides.
That must have been a highly unusual track, that certainly has not been my experience. I woiuld estimate less than 20% of jockeys working at the track maintain their weight through diet alone. The rest use laxatives, the hot box and purging.