The Equipment Horses And Jockeys Use
Almost every victory that’s taken place in horse races throughout history was almost all due to the combined skill of the jockey and the horse. But this duo is only made possible by the equipment that they use. Racing gear, also known as racing tack, is used in events around the world, and has been developed to keep the horses calm and agile on the track, while allowing the jockey as much safety as possible in an otherwise dangerous sport.
For those that want to learn more about horse racing gear and what each pieces does, this is a beginner’s list that’s worth knowing.
Blinkers are small, protective covers that are placed around the horses eyes during a race. This is done to restrict the amount that the horse can see, and narrows their vision down to whatever is in front of them. They do this to keep the horse focussed throughout the race, as they can easily become distracted or overwhelmed and cause damage to themselves or their riders. Blinkers tend to be used fairly widely, although it isn’t uncommon for a team to opt not to use them.
Known also as a shadow role, this sheepskin roll is placed across the nose of a horse, and is put their to try and encourage the horse to keep its head down while its running. It doesn’t generally have any negative effects on the horse, such as causing any pain. Race horses will use nose rolls for their entire professional careers, and it becomes second nature for them to run with it on.
A tongue-tie is a piece of nylon that hooks beneath the lower jaw of a horse to prevent its tongue from getting and over the bit. It can help those horses that have any respiratory issues, but it’s not something that is always permanent. The horse can learn to keep its tongue out of the way over time, and the tie may be removed at a later stage in life for the rest of their races.
Bar plates are special plates that are fully enclosed around the hoof of a horse, and prevent the hoof from shifting at all the while horse is racing. These are often good indicators of whether the horse has had any hoof issues in the past, and is mainly used by punters when they put a wager down on a specific horse when they’re not having fun with bingo Australia.
Earmuffs shield the horse’s ears from any loud noises, such as a loud audience during an event. They can help settle the horse on racing day.
These are a smaller, less intrusive version of blinkers, and while they do the same job, they aren’t nearly as controlling and restrictive as their more popular counterparts.
The lugging bit, also known as the lip bit or ring, gibes the rider more control of his mount and helps the horse run in a straight line. This is essentially what the jockey uses to steer the animal over a track.