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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Location
    California
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    40

    Default Getting Your Jockey's License

    So, anyone have any tips as how to go about it and how to prepare?

    Any feedback would be helpful.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
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    3,060

    Default

    Have you ever galloped a horse at the track?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2009
    Location
    The Great Plains of Canada
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    3,066

    Default

    I only worked on the one circuit (Alberta) for two years, but up here you can either go through an approved jockey program or earn your way to that position.

    1 - I would recommend practising riding in a galloping position at home on your own horses - you need to be comfortable handling all sorts of behaviours u/s in such a position. Remember too that these horses do not respond to leg - so can you control one efficiently, no matter the circumstances, using only rein and in a crouched position? Do you know how to bridge your reins? Keep a horse straight, forward, and on/off the rail?

    2 - especially if you have no prior track knowledge, work on the track as a groom and/or pony rider first and work your way up over the course of a couple years (depending on your ability). Learn the rules of the track and how horses are galloped and raced. If you are a good groom your trainer might allow you to prove yourself on a BTDT racehorse and especially if you prove yourself as a capable pony rider first. From there (galloping regularly), you can start to earn your jockey's license.

    3 - check out your local agri colleges for courses ie. our Olds College has a program to develop jockeys (and exercise riders, grooms, etc). Riders graduate and are usually easily hired.

    Start talking to individuals on your nearest track and see what you can score.
    Last edited by naturalequus; Nov. 18, 2010 at 03:48 PM.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    40

    Default

    shoot! that was supposed to say exercise rider's license!!! i don't want my jockey's license. I'm a bit too tall and have no desire to race really.

    I have evented through Prelim and schooled Intermediate so therefore am used to doing do a lot of trot, canter, and gallop sets. Also do a lot of training with young horses and catch ride frequently along with having a good amount of experience with "difficult" and particularly hot horses. So I thought why not branch out a bit and look in to this.

    =)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
    Location
    The Whinnery.
    Posts
    785

    Default

    Look into galloping Steeplechase horses. It's a much nicer environment than the track & fits right in with the eventing background
    "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    913

    Default

    Just curious - BTDT? Does that stand for Been There Done That?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2009
    Location
    The Great Plains of Canada
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    3,066

    Default

    Yes it does, TB1201

    OP, I still have essentially the same advice if you're looking into galloping horses (versus jockey) - look for a college program if possible, or work your way up.

    If you have never worked on the track before, GROOM for a year AT MIN so you may learn the ins and outs of the track and all it encompasses. If you groom with the right trainer and prove your expertise and capabilities as a solid worker (and as I said, esp if you can prove yourself capable ponying some of the horses, etc), they may start to throw you up on the older quieter racehorses if you express interest.

    Riding a difficult and hot horse elsewhere IS still different than galloping one on the track primarily because you have no leg to use - it's all hand. That colt or filly has to gallop a straight line a specific distance from the rail, without incident and no matter what happens or what they are doing. There is very little room for error.

    ETA: Actually, I just thought of a way you may also be able to short-track your way up, and that is to gallop horses training at a farm first. A trainer on a farm would be more willing (and able) to take the risk on an unknown than a trainer on the track. Prove yourself capable at a farm and you can start galloping their (or others') horses at the track (you still have to go through some protocol, but if you prove yourself at the farm, you should have no problem obtaining your exercise license on the track).
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  8. #8

    Default

    Go to a training track. If you get on with good people they will help you transition to the track. You are going to learn a LOT of different things than you learned eventing (trust me), and training centers are usually slower, and easier to start at. That goes for babies, chasers and old horses.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2004
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by naturalequus View Post
    Riding a difficult and hot horse elsewhere IS still different than galloping one on the track primarily because you have no leg to use - it's all hand.
    Unless you're breezing you're not going to ride so short you can't use your leg. Any trainer I know would smack me upside the head if I only used my hands.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 30, 2009
    Location
    The Great Plains of Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mintano View Post
    Unless you're breezing you're not going to ride so short you can't use your leg. Any trainer I know would smack me upside the head if I only used my hands.
    Maybe your tracks are different, but our track horses typically know very little (read: no, unless under a specific trainer/breeder) leg. Stirrups are not necessarily overly (jockey) short however they are much shorter than the typical rider is used to riding, unless on a 2yo or something really rank. Leg aids are used much less (virtually nil) than what your typical rider or horse is used to - your legs are too short to make much of an impact. I am sure it depends on the track and trainer though, but I have yet to even have an OTTB who knew leg aids.
    Last edited by naturalequus; Nov. 21, 2010 at 11:50 AM.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2003
    Posts
    383

    Default

    Well it has been over 2 decades since I was on a racehorse at the track but I will give you my experience and advice that comes from my small perspective of breaking babies, galloping and a bit of race riding.
    If you can get a job at a farm that starts the babies with your back ground it will be of help to you. Things are much lower keyed and there are usually older horses at the farms who are there coming back from layups which gives you a chance to learn how to gallope an older horse(s) who can be tough,with out all the traffic at the race track. Most of these farms have connections to trainers at the track and references from them can get you in a good place (generally).
    Just my 2 cents good luck and have fun. There are days when I miss it all.
    M
    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from behind, or a fool from any direction



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