What’s a racehorse trainer’s job?

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Racehorse trainers are responsible for preparing horses for races, including feeding, grooming, and exercise schedules. They also decide when to start training the horse, which races to enter, and how much rest the horse needs. Trainers must have knowledge of horses and the racing industry, and must be licensed. Successful trainers can earn a substantial amount by taking a percentage of their horses’ earnings.

Racehorse trainers are usually responsible for the day-to-day preparations required to train a horse to run races. These can be flat races – races on grass, synthetic or dirt tracks – as well as steeplechase races or races in combination with large fences that horses must jump. Racehorse trainers take responsibility for deciding how the horse is treated, which includes the animal’s feeding and grooming regime, and particularly the exercise schedule.

A racehorse trainer’s job description includes deciding how the horse is prepared for a race. Examples of this include how far the horse should flow or run for practice leading up to a race. Each day incorporates strategic horse training plans and practices established by the racehorse trainer. The trainer also decides at what age to start training the horse, as well as which races to enter the horse in, how many races the horse should run each season, and how much rest the horse requires between races.

Racehorse trainers are usually employed by racehorse owners or are horse owners themselves, and must not only understand what it takes to successfully train a horse to run a race, but also understand aspects of racing of business in the racehorse industry. Often a business partner with horse owners, the racehorse trainer has considerable influence in deciding who to hire as grooms, riders and jockeys.

Becoming a racehorse trainer requires remarkable skill and knowledge of horses, including race breeds such as Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. Many successful racehorses are not only well trained, but have strategic pedigrees, which the racehorse trainer must understand and follow to choose a winning prospect. In-depth knowledge of horses, their health and well-being, complex training strategies and other competing racehorses is required to be a successful horse trainer. All trainers generally must be licensed in the geographic area in which they train, which may require passing licensing tests.

An industry-savvy racehorse trainer can lead a lucrative career. Most leading trainers earn a substantial amount by taking a percentage of their horses’ earnings. Instructor career earnings depend on various aspects such as the overall worth of the horse itself, the level of competition and the amount of prize money involved in each race run.

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