Successfully training a horse is no easy task. Besides being elegant and beautiful, horses can also be complex creatures—much like humans. That’s why, when you want to learn how to train a horse to race, you must commit to it 100%. If you don’t know where to start, we will guide you through the essentials of training a racehorse.
Understand Horse Fitness
If you’re to be an effective horse trainer, you must understand horse fitness. That’s because racehorses have to be at their optimum fitness levels to perform well. A few ways to invest in your race horse’s fitness levels include:
Use a Horse Exerciser
One of the best ways to keep your horse fit is by using a horse exerciser. The most significant advantage of a horse exercise machine is you can exercise your horse throughout the year. Because you can set the exercise machine to different speeds, you can use it for your regular horse training exercises. Best of all, a horse exerciser will help your horse develop good cardiovascular fitness, therefore priming it for more rigorous training.
Encourage Recovery with Whole Body Vibration
Exercising your horse is only one aspect of investing in his physical fitness. You must also ensure that after rigorous exercise—and after a race—you help your horse to recover as quickly and efficiently as possible.
One of the most effective ways to do so is to use whole-body vibration therapy (WBV).
Some of the most common benefits of WBV include:
- Muscle and ligament recovery
- Stress and pain relief
- Back muscle development
Adding a whole-body vibration therapy platform to your horse training and exercise tools will help you ensure your horse is in tip-top shape and ready to conquer the track.
Know Your Horse’s Character and Understand His Behavior
Another crucial aspect of training a racehorse is to understand your horse. Like people, horses are different, and each has its own character and behavior. Therefore, to get the best out of your horse, you must know your horse’s strengths and weaknesses. This is important, as each horse progresses at its own pace and you must account for this in your training sessions.
Gentling the Horse
The first step to learning how to train a racehorse involves gentling the horse. This is the process of training and conditioning an untrained horse to be pliable and rideable. You’ll have to teach your horse standing in place, haltering, getting accustomed to a saddle, lifting hooves for the farrier, trailering, and many more good habits.
Once your horse has been gentled, the next step is training it to respond to basic commands. Examples include:
- Basic riding. This helps your horse get used to having a rider on its back and must be done at a moderate pace. It’s best done in an enclosed area like a horse arena or round pen.
- Lead training. Lead training involves teaching your horse basic steering commands, including the speed and direction you want him to go in.
- Running in a large open area. Find a place where your horse will have plenty of room for running. Train your horse to canter and gallop under your control.
If you’re comfortable with galloping your horse, it’s time to move to the next step of training your racehorse.
Build Up Speed and Stamina
Now comes the exciting part. When people google “how to train a horse to race,” they often think they’ll jump straight to this part—building your horse’s speed and stamina. A few essentials at this stage include:
- Aerobically train your horse daily.
- Practice riding your horse at different speeds every day.
- Raise your horse’s stamina by performing a weekly breeze.
- Increase your horse’s speed gradually by slowly increasing the distance they run until you match that of a race track.
Make sure to cool your horse down after every session. A hot walker would come in very handy here.
Transition to the Race Track
You must make sure you introduce your racehorse to the race track. Help him get used to standing in a tight enclosure like the one behind the closed gate. He must also get accustomed to the sudden sounds and movements of the electric gate when it opens. Other tips for this stage include:
- Practice riding at the race track.
- Train with others, so your horse gets used to running with other horses.
- Register for races to get your horse ready to race in front of crowds.
At this stage, you’re well on your way to becoming a star on the circuit. You’ve learned how to train a horse to race, and he’s ready for the challenge.
How to Train a Horse to Race: It Starts with the Right Equipment
To properly train a racehorse, you need the right knowledge and skills, but, more than that, you also need the right equipment. While VitaFloor USA, Inc. may be able to give you tips and tricks, our true expertise lies in horse exercise and training equipment. So get in touch at (352) 737-6743, and we’ll help you get the best equipment for you and your horse.