Monday, January 10, 2011

picking a trainer in a the new racing world

I watched a special on CNBC yesterday about Ford and how the family leaders of the company have tended to get complacent about every 5 years and lose their competitive edge, thus the ups and downs that Ford has seen over the years.  Successful companies have to constantly fight to stay on top of changes in technology and remain competitive.   I see a lot of owners who treat their horses like a product manufactured by a corporation.  I see them move their horses from trainer to trainer with the idea that trainers get complacent over time.  Instead of blindly trainer-hopping, owners have to be more observant about what's going on with their horses in order to improve their stable's success. 

Owners, make sure your trainer is giving your horses high quality and balanced feed, individualized feed supplementation, housing them in a clean and low dust environment, and employing experienced professional staff.  After that your trainer should have eyes and hands on your horse daily or employ skilled assistants who do.

If your trainer is keeping close enough tabs on the stable's horses then high vet bills for injections, xrays, scans, etc. should be rare.  It's a big warning sign if the vet stops by the barn several times a week to check for or treat lamenesses, even in a very large stable.  It's also a warning sign if a trainer orders all manner of exotic treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture, magnetic and infrared treatments, etc., especially without discussing it with the horse owner first. 

In my opinion it's also a big warning sign if your horse is reset by the farrier as a matter of course on a strict schedule and before every race.  Shoes and feet should be checked regularly by the trainer or qualified assistant and reset on an individualized schedule depending on condition of the feet and the horse's racing/work schedule.

Horses are not machines or products and no horse should be managed by a trainer who is unwilling or without enough experience to personally monitor each horse effectively for health, soundness and fitness.  A trainer who is also a "horse whisperer" (good at re-training horses with bad habits or fears that inhibit performance) is a bonus in the new racing world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well its good to hear that somebody still holds the horse first. I find in this day and age the horse is forgotten, then the owner is never in the loop and that leads the owner out of the biz which is not good. My opinion is that's why the biz is declining. If the owners are kept informed I think they could take the truth. The owner leaves because he thinks he was lied to, they are taken for a ride for not being informed. Really an owner gets a race horse to have fun.

Some people get a trainers license today without passing a test, this is not right. Another thing I hear people in the biz say - I have been in horses all my life. If you hear this ask them exactly when they got involved. The reason why I say this is I have been in it that long. I dont like it getting worn out by people that are johnny come lately really just got off the boat and don't know anything about horses.