Anonymous asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

how do i act more confident around a race horse???

Hi, in about a week or so i am applying for a job involving racehorses and i'm really wanting to impress.

I need tips of how I should act (leading) around a flighty racehorse.

like should i stand to the left side like all horses or in front..

should i be tough *no hitting obviously* and if he decides to spook or get a bit jumpy should I ignore him and continue walking with a bit of pressure..

please help i need tips.

I need to prove i am capable *which i know i am* and can handle tough horses.

Is it really that hard leading a race horses, i mean just hold onto the lead rope and dont let go..and lead like any other normal horse. I have been horseriding for 3 years so I think I have enough experience to at least lead a jumpy horse.



*also all racehorses are stallions/geldings right** < curious... never heard of a mare lol.


I think i am very confident around horses.

Iike i'm not frightened what-so-ever... its just i'm trying to impress.. so i was wondering if anyone had any tips.. like should i say like 'good boy' etc etc???

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Many are mares :) If you're starting out as a hotwalker, walking horses that were just out to gallop/work or race you'll find they're much easier to deal with than walking the cold horses (those resting before or after a race). You sound confident and that's good, don't get excited even if they do. Now here's some tips that I always gave the green new people...Pay Attention to your surroundings, racetracks are very busy places, lots of traffic coming in and out of the barns and occasionally the loose horse that dumped its' rider or pulled away from a handler. If it's a large outfit try to learn the horses' names as soon as possible, the last trainer I worked for had up to 60 horses in training in 2 barns, I always found it frustrating to try to describe which bay horse was mine for the hotwalker to bring in from the walking machine lol. Don't treat them like your personal pets, they are athletes with jobs, be kind to the ones that love attention and respect the fact that some prefer to be left alone. Ask questions, you have an opportunity to learn more about leg conditions and how to care for them in a year than many will have in a lifetime with their own or taking lessons/ showing. Most people will be willing to show you things and teach you stuff that will stay with you a lifetime.....depending on your attitude. If you go in with a know it all attitude most won't even bother. Well good luck, be careful and I hope you get in with a great trainer!

  • 1 decade ago

    oh first off no all racers are not stallions or geldings there are fillys and mares..... Need to brush up on racing history before you apply. Rags To Riches... the horse that won the Belmont stakes this year.... fILLY!!!! 1975 undefeated 10 for 10 racer Ruffian.... FILLY! 1988 Ky Derby winner Winning Colors ... yuppp you guessed it Filly. and that is just to name a limited limited few!!! So that aside, yes lead a race horse just like you would a normal horse , to the left with a slight bit of slack between you and the horse.Keeping one hand on or close to the halter. Despite their flighty attitudes racers actually have pretty good ground manners. Just remember to keep a firm hold on the elad and if they "booger" giv e alittle more slack and maybe a sharp pull to the lead. Most trainers put either a chain over the nose, through mouth or under the chin which will give you some "bite" Don't yank the snot out of them, just pop down on the shank and get their attention. If a horsey is really flighty it may require 2 handlers, one of each side of the horse. If that's the case you'll definately be fine. Remain calm and confident about what you are doing, rememeber a horse can feed off your nerves and the more agitated and aprehensive you are, the more wired the horse can become. good luck with it and if you have anymore questions feel free to email me:) Have a greta day!!!!

    i keep seeing where people say there are very few geldings and while yes geldings are fewer, there are a lot more than you would think. Funny Cide , John Henry , Red Rum , Fourstar Dave , Desery Orchid , Phar Lap , Kelso , Forego , Lava Man , Exterminator and Native Diver are just a few of the famous ones. All the above mentioned won G1 races even the Ky Derby!!! So see there are plenty of geldings out there!

    Source(s): NTRA Junkie and have been around TB's and tracks before:) Thanks Mr. Spurlock for that experence! lol
  • 1 decade ago

    I have been working for a top trainer in South Africa for 4 years now and have some pointers for you.

    1. Don't treat a colt any differently than a filly. They are the same as any other horse. You act up, they act up. Obviously, you will have problems if you are leading a colt right behind a filly in spring, so don't be stupid and avoid a situation like that. No trainer will advise mixing colts and fillies.

    2. If it is a nervous horse, pat it and re-assure it because it is just nervous behavior and not malicious. If it is a silly horse who is always playing up, be firm. Use your voice, possibly a jerk on the lead just to get his attention back on you. You will get to know each horse and eventually, will be able to tell the difference.

    3. Regardless of how much experience you have, always act confident around the horses. Even the quietest one will play up if he thinks he can. Keep in mind these are mostly young horses and are very impressionable.

    4. Keep your mouth shut, listen and learn. Don't talk back or try to know everything. He has years of experience and you are there to LEARN not TEACH. Don't try to impress, he will assess your abilities and help you from there. If you don't understand something, ASK IMMEDIATELY. The horses are expensive and you don't want a mistake to cost an owner money.

    5. Mares breed, Fillies race. A filly becomes a mare at 5 and a colt becomes a stallion at 5. Only very good mares will continue to run past 5, most go and breed by then. Most colts are gelded around 3 or 4 depending on their ability and breeding.

    6. Study the bloodlines you are working with. It is important to know where a horse came from to know what you are dealing with. The best way to predict the performance and temperament of a horse is by looking at its parents.

    Good luck with the new job, hope you learn alot!

  • 1 decade ago

    Mares do race.

    Treat leading a flighty race horse like leading a stallion. Know it could rear on you, if it does give it a quick tug and reprimand with your voice but don't hold it, otherwise it will pull against you and could fall backwards.

    Stand to the left, not in front because it could step on you.

    Every time the horse gets ahead of you and starts to rush, halt it, turn it around in a circle, halt again and walk off. I do this to assert that I set the pace, direction etc and the horse must follow.

    I suggest using a stud chain over its nose, weaving through the halter. Ask the current handler about if it uses a chain. Some use them as a bit over the tongue.

    Know that its head it going to be way up in the air and its going to be looking around, try to keep it focused and grounded.

    Always try to calm a flighty/fizzy horse but you must also tell it that you are in charge and be very tough with it. If it nips at you, would should pinch it hard or hit it, not hard enough to hurt it but enough to shock it. I know people will think I'm terrible but they may not have handled a rearing $1.5mm racehorse, I had the opportunity once and I don't know if I would want to do that everyday...

    I know its not convention at most race barns but I always wear a helmet when I know I'm going to be leading a horse like that... you just don't want to ask for any trouble, particularly your first time handling such fizzy animals.

    Someone else said it but keep be aware of your surroundings. This is very important with a nutter horse should they do something dangerous. You don't want to endanger another person or horse so try to keep distance between you and others. If leading near other horses keep your hand very near the halter and keep it focused on walking on so there is no interaction (which could become agressive/negative) between the two.

    Another person said to tell your potential employer you have no handled horses like this before. This is terribly important. While my suggestions will help and are things to keep in mind, you must be safe and they will be more than willing to show you their methods when you get there, but you must be honest. If you are not honest, it will show in your first few times and your future employer will probably be more upset than if you had just told the truth.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i worked as a hotwalker at a race track for a long time and heres the most inportant things you need to know:

    1.make sure your comfortable around horses. even though they may be flighty or hyper, a horse can tell when you are uncomfortable and will take advantage of the situation.

    2. lead from the left side, as with most horse thats how they are trained and if by any chance they get spooked and bolt, you dont want to be in front of them and risk getting it gives you better control of the horse.

    3. when a horse acts up, show them who is boss. let them know your not playing around. dont hit them obviously but change your tone of voice so they hear it in your voice (like speak loud and stern) and if your barn uses shank chains, when the horse gets jumpy or anything pull on the shank. it doesnt hurt them it just startles them so they stop acting up.

    4. horses respond to how you treat them. if you aproach a horse and make them feel comfortable they will trust you more.

    and no not all race horses are geldins/stallions. a mojority of them are mares or fillies (female horses)

  • 1 decade ago

    There are mares that are race horses. Very few geldings, plenty of stallions.

    Just be yourself. I am sure that if the horse is though they will have a shank on them. Most TB racers I know are very respectful of the shank. They might dance a little with their legs, but their head is pretty steady. Don't be crazy militant women who like flips out if the horse is not walking fast enough, but don't be a mush that lets the horse get away with murder either. Just treat it as if it was your own horse and I am sure you will do fine. Oh and keep their head if you can. They can't get into too much trouble if you have their head.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are heaps of racehorse mares!! My old girl was an ex-racehorse and Makybe Diva the first horse to ever win the Melbourne Cup 3 times in a row is a mare! But, good luck with the job!! Yeah, my horse used to be really nice but now she's gotten more bossy and pushy (with her food!) ever since she's gained condition. She was given to us and she was mega skinny and had shocking teeth. Make sure who you work for treats their horses right, because my poor mare has a great lump on her head from where it seems someone has whacked her across the head and has fractured the bone and hasn't knitted properly! Make sure that doesn't happen!!! GR!! I hate that someone could ever do that to a horse!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Be Gentile & reasuting but also firm if the horse is really stubburn the best way to lead be takeing hold of the lower lip with one hand and the other on the forehead, some horses will resist more if u pull to hard on the rope so this way is best. Besids that just relaxe and try to understand how the horse feels about it and good luck.

    *It really doesnt matter but jou'll find very few geldings.

  • 1 decade ago

    if i was you i would say ..i know very little about horses but i will be a very fast learner. i don't meant to sound rude but i can tell by the way you worded your question that you don't know much if any thing about horses. this might not be the job for you.....p.s. there are many famous race horses that are mares. you will find very few geldings.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i feel quite confident around just gotta show them whos boss. some are the most calm and angelic little creatures but they can get flighty. i suggest treating each horse differently. if a horse(especially a stallion) is playing up be firm. make yourself tall, be aware of yourself....could get trodden on. i always like to talk to to them. my mums ex racer used to walk so calm if you slackend the rope and let his head be free, if tension in the rope was evident he would play up..good luck

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