The subject of hol horse racing works is tricky and this article on horse racing will only scratch the surface, but it should point you in the right direction. Jobs are extremely important because they are usually the most recent record of the horse’s condition and are also often an expert opinion on the horse.
Timekeepers are professional horses and women who time horses when they exercise in the morning on the race track or on a training track. It’s a specialized job that requires a person who can identify a horse and then use a stopwatch to accurately time that runner as he races down the track with an exercise rider on board.
Imagine you are on a race track in the morning and there are hundreds of horses on the race track and maybe a dozen on the track. Do you think you could tell one horse from another? Most people see a brown horse, a gray horse, or a hol horse. But the timekeepers have the uncanny ability to identify each horse by name, even if they have only seen it once.
Past performances of a Horse
When you look at the past performances of a horse, you will see the works at the end of those lines. You can say something like, August 23 HOL 5f ft 1:00. That means that on August 23 that horse worked 5 furlongs (5f) on a fast track (ft) at Hollywood Race Track (HOL) and covered the distance in 1 flat minute (1:00). That is significant if the horse has not run in the last 30 days because the works are how the horses stay in shape between races. It is also important because it tells you that the horse is in good shape.
As a general rule, a hol horse in race condition should be able to cover a stadium (each stadium is one-eighth of a mile) in 12 seconds or less. So a 36 second 3 furlong (3f) job would be a good sign. Any work under 12 seconds per furlong would be a very good sign, especially if it is 4 furlongs or more. An example would be a four stage job at: 46.3.
Nothing you do will be more important than buying the right horse if you are really interested in developing your riding skills. It is the most important decision you will make and probably one of the most expensive. So take some considerations before starting this fundamental task.
And it will be a chore. You need to look at a lot of horses before deciding on one, so prepare for some serious leg work, a lot of handling, and unfortunately a lot of disappointment.
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But before you get down to paper and start making the phone calls, let’s talk about what you need and what you want.
We can start by finding the breed that best suits us and then refining our desires among the breed. Let’s see what a race means. The horse was a basic animal for survival. He needed to survive, so he was equipped with a body and markings that allowed him to survive more easily. His coat blended with his surroundings, his nostrils molded to allow him to breathe more efficiently in his surroundings, and so on. It was built solely to survive.
Then man came into his world and we started playing around with genetics a bit. We began to refine breeding to produce animals for aesthetic and pleasure purposes. We begin to breed for mass and muscle as in the drafts that we now see. We breed for entertainment purposes and that is how we have produced all the variations in equine species.
Now we have spotted, red, black, tall, small, hairy, smooth and, in addition to the physical appearance of the animal, we have also bred them for temperament and use. And our breeding programs have been so successful that you can choose a complete breed that best suits your needs.
That is not to say that all Arabs are a certain way, or that all Quarter Horses are a certain way, but they do have a certain quality that makes them more apt to act, look and behave in a certain way. We did that. Now, within that breed, each horse can have a different personality and temperament based on their own individuality and experiences.
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Do a lot of research and find a couple of breeds that interest you the most and that match your level of experience and needs.
Let’s say you have aspirations to become a barrel racer, you would look more at the Quarter Horse than at the Clydesdale. You will need a horse of a certain physical size, shape and ability to perform the task at hand.
Bullet work and Comparing
The last consideration is bullet work and comparing one horse to another. One bullet, one big black dot, before horse training means he was the fastest on that track and distance that day.
Now if only two horses exercised that day, it doesn’t mean much, on the other hand, if many did exercise, it is significant. Some past performances tell you how many horses were exercised that day and how that particular rider fared among them. It will say something like 1/30. That means the horse’s time was the fastest of the 30 horses that were trained on the track and the distance that day and that’s a very good indicator of a fast horse.