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A lengthy but well worth while study regarding the structure of a thoroughbreds lung capacity and their ability to take in such a huge volume of oxygen in one breath, the structure of their legs and also the understanding of the amount of pressure on tendons, ligaments and bones while in a gallop.
In the video our own previous SA vet, now practicing abroad, (Dr Greg Sommerville) shows us an example of a horse working with the scope in place in order to see the airways in use and a brief discussion on what to look for or listen for in a horse that is either a roarer or is gone in the wind.
A detailed look at the amazing structure of a thoroughbred and what makes them the masters of speed.
With many years in the saddle and in competition, one of the greatest horsewoman of our time, her knowledge, her management and her natural ability to meet the horses needs is what made Debbie the great achiever she is today. While Debbie has competed in many horse events she is no stranger to the racing industry, with numerous armature races to her name and a great understanding of managing a successful racing yard.
Turning your Horse Out For Competition
When you have a forthcoming event, it's important that you start preparing your horse well in advance.
It largely depends on the season, of course! If it's winter, you may want to clip your horse, so depending on the stabling, work, etc. you can either do a full clip, a half clip or a trace clip. Make sure you have your horse clipped two weeks before the event. Again, ears being clipped out depends on the weather, your horse, and the work, but it is nice for them to be done, and then use a cloth to really clean the ears well. Get as much black wax out as possible, and make sure that ticks are not present.
The mane can either be hogged (not popular), or pulled. I don't like using scissors on a mane, as to me, there is nothing worse than the scissor look, but again, some horses are too sensitive to have their manes pulled. If you have to use scissors, then try to clip the ends, so it doesn't look do 'cut'. Depending on the breed of horse, clipping the legs to remove feathers, and hairs over the hoof gives the horse a more elegant look.
The tail can be pulled a little at the top, or really well washed and brushed. It should fall half way between the point of hock and the floor. Put your arm under the tail when measuring this to allow for the tail 'carriage'. If you have to give your horse a bath before the event, try to aim two days prior, so the horses coat does not stand on end. Manes and tails should be washed, if possible, and it's also nice to give the legs a good scrub, so the knees and hocks shine well on the day.
On the day, make sure that all the 'out of the way' places are brushed well, as there is nothing worse than noticing bedding stuck to the belly, or under the tail! The mane may be plaited, and white elastics used on a black mane are always more showy for the wrap around part. The top of the tail could be plaited, but personally, a well brushed, flowing tail looks good, and the horse will be more comfortable too. When the horse is thoroughly clean all over, then some baby oil around the muzzle and eyes is nice to show off the fine points. Hoof varnish, mainly black, can be applied, but make sure your horse stays on concrete till the varnish is dry, and also take care to be accurate at the top of the hoof, and apply varnish to the heel as well.
Do Jockey's make a difference?
Certain Jockey's suit certain horses. A Jockey is very important to a racing stable and it is also very important for a jockey "to get to know the horse". Horses, as with humans have their own strengths and weaknesses, horses are also "different in everyday work to in a race", these are all concerns that a trainer will consider when picking the best jockey for his horse. Most important to any successful racing stable is having a jockey who is a team player.
Horse-racing enthusiasts like to say that the jockey accounts for 10 percent of a horse's performance on any given day. While that's hardly scientific, it gets to the point of a jockey's role: He can't do much with a lousy horse, but he can help a great horse win. The top jockey's will have a good judge of pace, be well positioned and have a knowledgeable feel for the horse. Knowing "what your horse has left in the tank" is somewhat very important in the finishing stages of a race. Some horses prefer to hang back and break at the last minute, while others, known as speed horses, like to be out front the whole time. Some horses are comfortable running in close quarters and some are easily intimidated. A jockey should take these factors into account and adjust his riding accordingly.
Good jockeys study form. They review footage of, not only their mount but that of their opposition, updates on their performances and running strategy. eg* If three speed horses are entering your race, you might want to let them battle it out for the frontrunner position and surge once they tire. Jockeys also need to know the track. For example, where is the better going?
Jockeys also have very particular physical characteristics. Controlling a horse at +60km per hour requires a rare combination of strength and technique. Jockeys weigh between 48 and 54 kgs and monitor their diets very closely. Finally, the best jockeys can relate to horses—they know how to keep them calm in tense race situations, saving their energy for where it matters.
Use of the whip!!
The following guidelines are published in order to advise all RIDERS of the proper manner in which the whip should be used.
The NATIONAL BOARD of the NATIONAL HORSERACING AUTHORITY will not allow abuse of the HORSE and consider its welfare to be of utmost importance. The whip should be used for encouragement, guidance and correction. RIDERS are advised to regard the following as appropriate ways of using the whip but the list is not exhaustive:
1. Showing the HORSE the whip and giving it time to respond before hitting it.
2. Having used the whip, giving the HORSE an opportunity to respond.
3. Keeping both hands on the reins when using the whip down the shoulder in the backhand position.
4. Using the whip in rhythm with the HORSE’S stride and close to its side.
5. Showing the whip to keep the HORSE running straight.
6. Using the whip in the backhand position for a reminder.
The following are examples of whip use which may be regarded as unnecessary and/ or excessive in terms of RULE 58.10.2:
a) Hitting a HORSE to the extent of causing injury.
b) Hitting a HORSE with the whip arm above shoulder height.
c) Hitting a HORSE more than three times on consecutive strides.
d) Hitting a HORSE with excessive force.
e) Hitting a HORSE without giving it time to respond.
f) Hitting a HORSE which is showing no response.
g) Hitting a HORSE which is out of contention for a place.
h) Hitting a HORSE which is clearly winning.
i) Hitting a HORSE which is past the winning post.
j) Hitting a HORSE whilst the jockey is dismounted.
k) Hitting a HORSE out of its stride pattern.
l) Hitting a HORSE on the flank.
m) Hitting a HORSE with excessive frequency.
n) Hitting a HORSE on any part of its head.
When considering cases of excessive frequency the STIPENDIARY STEWARDS will consider factors such as:
- whether the number of hits was reasonable and necessary over the distance they were given, taking into account the HORSE’S experience;
- whether the HORSE was continuing to respond and
- the degree of force that was used, the more times a HORSE has been hit the stricter will be the view taken over the degree of force which is reasonable.
It must be noted that the use of the crop may be considered to be proper or improper in circumstances which have not been listed above.
God forbid that I should go to any heaven where there are no horses. - R B Cunningham - Graham