Saturday, February 05, 2011

owner interviews trainer

Actually this was a school project that my husband Jere helped with by answering the following questions, but would be great questions for an experienced owner to ask a trainer who they may be thinking of hiring:

Can you tell whether or not horses will be successful when they are foals?
You make assessments on size and comformation - to say how successful they are going to be you need the crystal ball everybody is looking for.

What type of  temperament do you prefer your horses to have?
The best is low key and not too aggressive toward people, but when the horse trains his aggressiveness comes out on the track - when training in company you want the horse to be competitive toward his opponent. Then after training he goes back to low key and not aggressive toward people - this can't be taught to the horse, it is the way he is born and is the type to look for when selecting a horse.

What running style do you find more favorable when choosing a horse to train? (front runner, stalker, late closer)
All running styles are acceptable if they win! Most people like the front runner because the horse wants to be in front from the beginning. But the stalker is probably the one I like most because they can lay 4th -5th and make the short move to win. The stone closer is the most difficult because he is usually last in the race most of the way. The jockey has to time a move perfectly and if there is traffic he gets in trouble, stops his momentum and his chances of winning are slim if that happens. I will admit that the closer is the most exciting to watch.

When do you begin training?
Usually November of the yearling year the horse is broke to ride on a farm or training center. He would come to the track in the spring of the following year.

Before you begin training a horse what do you look for?
Size and comformation - that is if the legs are correct, this helps them stay sound during training and racing. I also look at the head for an intelligent look in the eyes.

Is there anything special that you do while training your horses that sets them apart from the rest?
Nothing special the special horse sets himself from the others its my job to keep that special horse healthy and happy.

Do you train all of your horses the same?
I train them the same until I have to change due to injury or temperament. A trainer likes a straightforward horse with no quirks but those are rare. If I see that a horse may be getting a little sore I back off his training until he is better. With some I constantly walk a fine line between keeping them from getting sore and getting them fit enough to race. Also if a horse seems to be getting rattled because he is being asked to do more than he is comfortable with, then I take him a little slower.  Every horse is different - just as all people are different.

Do you train boys and girls differently?
Yes fillies don't take as much training and they often get sour faster with hard training. But some colts (boys) thrive on hard training.

Do you prefer working with boys or girls?
I like to have a mix of both.

How do you decide what races to run your horses?
All have a class they belong in and what often separates the good trainers from the bad is finding that class for each horse, you learn this about your horse in his morning work and refine it as he starts racing.  Of course it's best to place your horse correctly in appropriate races from the start, especially if there are economic considerations at stake.  For this reason it's best to have a very experienced and proven trainer.

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