With the thrill of Cheltenham Festival recently in the air and other events coming up, such as Royal Ascot and of course the Grand National, many racegoers enjoy the thrill of the racing, some love to go and see the horses and may even be inspired to create beautiful works of art such as a beautiful bronze horse sculpture, such ashttp://www.gillparker.com/, but do you ever wonder what goes into making the horses the Champions that they become?
To start with, not just any horse can make it as a racehorse – well a successful one anyway! Horses are carefully bred, for certain qualities that are desirable for winning races. Some owners breed the horses themselves and others purchase horses at auction – but they always look for the heritage, indicating what sort of traits the horse is likely to have. Of course, frequent well- performing horses will have much more highly desirable offspring.
Once the new owners have a horse, the training begins when they are approximately two years of age. This is a very young age for a horse to begin this grueling learning process, as they are so young that their minds are still developing – some turn out to not be cut out for it at all, and others go on to become natural champions. The training starts early as they will need to learn a lot, and race whilst they are still young and in their physical peak.
Training practices do vary slightly around the world, but horse race trainers are very skilled and good at what they do, having trained themselves for years to become a trainer. One of the main things that a good trainer will do is not simply get the horse to run as fast as possible, but also will coach the horse through the other things that they will expect at the racecourse. They will often be taken to the racecourse just to experience the atmosphere there and get used to how it is. This not only helps the horse to focus their attention on the race when they come to begin racing, but it also makes it an enjoyable experience for the horse, as it will not be worried or anxious by what is around it.
Morning is the best time to train the horses – they will be fresh from a night’s sleep and ready to go, and if its warm weather, they won’t be out in the hottest part of the day. It is also common for jockeys to attend the training, getting to know the animals that they will be riding will help them to establish a good rapport before they go into the race, and may help to calm the nerves of both the horse and the jockey!