Looking at 4 Traits of the Perfect Race Horse
Similar to humans, all horses are different in their own way. Some may be temperamental, others may be gentle, but some breeds have a distinct knack for excelling on the racecourse. These are horses that share a few common traits that make them stand out against other types of horses, and the kind of traits that trainers learn how to spot thanks to years of experience.
It’s important to know what to look for when purchasing a new racehorse or buying shares, as a premium racehorse can be extremely expensive.
1. The Pedigree
Perhaps the most important factor to consider when looking at getting a new racing horse, the pedigree or bloodline of the animal is the first thing that a trainer will research. A sire that has produced a number of winners over the years is obviously the kind of animal that potential buyers will want as a parent to their new horse, but this can also mean much higher buying prices.
The type of sire can also make a difference in the horse that’s being purchased: some sires produced speedy racers, while others may have children that tend to have higher than usual endurance.
The dam is also a vital aspect to consider, and checking out how successful her previous offspring were is a good place to start.
2. The Bone Structure
A horse that’s fit for taking up racing for a large part of its life will need to have the correct proportions. “Plenty of bone” is a fairly common term in the horseracing world, and is most commonly used when buying a new horse.
It refers to the right amount of bone for the animal’s size, meaning that a big horse that has thin, weak bones is best avoided. When looking at the front of a horse, the leg bone should go straight down from chest, to knee, and then to hoof.
A horse that doesn’t have these proportions is most likely to have weaker bones that can’t handle the weight of the animal, and are more likely to break or fracture when put under the stress and rigours of training and racing.
3. Muscle Tone
Most of the power in a racehorse comes from the back legs, and its quarters are usually thoroughly inspected before a purchase is made. The trainer is looking for noticeable muscle definition in the quarters that will contribute directly to its running speed.
This isn’t noticeable in offspring that hasn’t been correctly trained since it was young, however. The forearm muscles are a different story, and it’s possible to tell from birth whether the horse will be able to handle the impacts of racing or not.
4. The Coat
A shiny, smooth looking horse is usually what a trainer will look out for when buying a new horse.
The coat of any horse is a good indication of its overall health, and can give an idea of whether the animal is suffering from any diseases or infections.