The term horse trainer can apply to any discipline and a good trainer will usually stick to one discipline or another. Racetrack trainers spend a great deal of time with each animal in their care, they must know their charges inside and out to maximize their performance on the track.
What You Need
This is a position which benefits from attention to detail, the ability to juggle multiple tasks and management experience. Racetrack trainers must work with a variety of people during their day, owners, jockeys, training riders, vets and farriers to name a few.
A flexible attitude, a sublime knowledge of the racing industry and a deep understanding of horse anatomy, physiology and psychology are all essential elements of a great racetrack trainer.
A track trainer is responsible for the overall health and performance of each animal in their care, from feeding schedules to training performance to routine vet visits.
Developing feeding & supplement schedules
Establishing worming, vaccination & checkup schedules
Preparing & overseeing training/ exercise schedules
Find and schedule races that match the ability of their charges
Hire & consult with jockeys
Responsible for hiring and overseeing grooms, exercise riders, vets and farriers
Troubleshooting & detect problems or lameness
Help owners buy and sell racing stock & attend auctions
Provide owners consulting for confirmation & pedigree
Manage accounts of each horse
This is a position that will almost always require certification/ licensing, which generally means some course work, a test & perhaps management classes. Qualifications for certification will vary from country to country (and probably state to state). Licensing can also require track experience, a business plan and horses to run.
A few places to start if you are interested in a career as a racetrack trainer.
*Links open in a new window
International Federation of Horseracing Authorities
National Trainers Federation (UK)
Irish Racehorse Trainers Association
New Zealand Trainers Association
California Thoroughbred Racing
Australian Trainers Association
Racehorse Trainers Test
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