When we think of professional horse racing events, there usually tends to be more of an emphasis on the horse rather than the rider. Some of the greatest wins in racing history are centred around the animals that made it possible, and while some mention is given to the jockey, often enough they are not quite as well-known as the horses that they are riding.
This is something of a shame, as jockeys are some of the most skilled and highly disciplined professionals in the world, working tirelessly to become better at their profession and always pushing themselves to be even better and beat out the competition. It takes years of dedication, patience, hard work, and sacrifice to become a world-renown jockey, and here we will look at some of the skills and responsibilities that are expected of those that want to become pro horse riders.
Excellent Working Knowledge
It might seem like a solely practical vocation, but there actually quite a lot of theory that a jockey will need to learn before they can start making their way up the ladder. A professional jockey will have a working knowledge of the various horse breeds, adequate horse care, training, performances, events, as well as grooming. It can take years of learning before an individual is truly ready to start caring for and subsequently riding horses on a professional level, and it means being dedicated to spending countless hours in the stable as well as on the training grounds.
Jockeys are well-known for begin on the shorter side, but it’s also important that they maintain a consistent weight throughout their careers. Every single kilogram can make all the difference to the performance of the animal, which is why a jockey will want to keep their weight as low as possible while still remaining healthy. This means being dedicated to a strict but healthful diet that gives them plenty of endurance while also making sure that they don’t become a burden to the animal.
On top of that, many jockeys engage in some kind of moderate to heavy exercise on a regular basis, which not only helps them maintain the ideal weight, but can also assist in their overall endurance. Staying on top of a moving animal at high speeds requires a lot more stamina that most people probably realise, and it’s why gambling online is generally easier for most.
Schooling And Apprenticeship
Much of what a jockey will need to learn is taught at a jockey school, which a potential rider will start fairly early in their lives. This will provide them with the essential fundamentals of horse racing, as well as give them a solid starting point to begin working from. Once they have completed this, they will need to begin an apprenticeship of some kind. This can be under a professional trainer, or a more experienced trainer, and many of these apprenticeships can take as long as four years to complete, and sometimes even longer, depending on how far they want to take their training and how proficient they are.