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jwracing
20 Jul 15 10:27
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Date Joined: 31 Dec 03
| Topic/replies: 312 | Blogger: jwracing's blog
I was at a trotting meeting & was surprised how vigarous a warm up they do before a race, half the track full speed then walk & they repeat this 3 or 4 times with horses in a real sweat. All athletes do full warm ups, should racehorses do more?
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Report salmon spray July 20, 2015 11:55 AM BST
I don't think any athletes warm-up by running half the distance they are going to do at full pace.
In Britain thoroughbreds usually have a fair canter to the post. If a horse does get free and gallops for more than 100yds there is an outcry on here if it is not withdrawn.
Report ged July 20, 2015 1:16 PM BST
I can remember a big cross country event (70s or 80s) run at Crystal Palace (not track), where the guy that won it in the afternoon ran a 9 mile warm up in the morning. I think the race itself was 13 or 14 miles. I remember being amazed that it set him up for it, rather than tire him out. It might have been David Black - his surname was certainly Black.
Report The Pies July 20, 2015 1:50 PM BST
An interesting question. I do a bit of running and for 10k and half marathon races I'll spend about 10-15 mins warming up by running at pace considerably slower than race pace with a few short faster bursts. As a consequence I can be on my race pace from the start of the event without needing to breathe too hard. For sprint races horses will invariably trot the race distance to get to the start so I should imagine that combined with the walking in the parade ring would probably be enough.
Report ged July 20, 2015 2:07 PM BST
Even Keel was a blazing front-running hurdler and chaser in the late 60s/early 70s that Barry Brogan rode for Ken Oliver. He was often seen at the start running round and round in circles before they set off. I don't know whether that was a conscious effort to get him ready to go, or whether it was the horse just being a live wire. He still sometimes fell at the first.
Report Ramruma July 21, 2015 5:51 AM BST
iirc Sir Mark Prescott spoke about changing his mind on abolishing the whip by seeing how horses would be buzzed up before the start.
Report sean rua July 21, 2015 8:12 AM BST
For standard breds ( trotters), I'm sure warming up is very important and, as the OP says is the norm. Maybe thoroughbreds have been weakened so much by in-breeding and poor methods of wrong horsemanship that the animal's natural resilience is reduced and frayed to a bag of ulcerated nerves? Dunno.

Personally, I think a lot of trainers are far too precious with their charges, eg " we NEVER gallop them at home" etc.

Trotters are used to all sorts: tractors, animals, dkheads, stones on the field, holes in the ground, etc.

Like so many things involving health, there is controversy and a lack of logic. Maybe bc we're only human?
For instance, with the greyhounds: my mate's dad was a greyhound walker. These were racers, and his job was to walk them at least nine miles a day. Bear in mind that they race flat out over far shorter, and that after a mile of running they're fkd compared to, say, sheep dogs, that can run much further.

I can't follow the logic of walking them distances for sprint racing, especially as my doctor used to tell me that running and waking are very different exercises.
Who's kidding whom?Happy

Personally, I believe in warming them right up, preferably without the cosh or the drugs. Some days they bound out of the lorry like mad broncos; other time ye see them staggering down the ramp with their fkn eyes shut.
Then, in the race, the one with the eyes shut beats the mad bronco by a distance!
Report breadnbutter July 21, 2015 11:46 AM BST
Lol seanie ....walk sprinters so you dont take the edge off their speed .
putting greyhounds behind a bike say or horse  regular  would affect the muscle mass  ,at least thats the theory .
They use swimming with both greyhounds and horses ,particularly horses ,reckon its for cardio though and allows muscle to be put on without the weight on joints ,prob a bad thing but its part of a program so allows mass to be built up without the chance of injury .
then they need work ,depends what sort of trip they are being aimed at ,its slowly slowly imo for these sprinters and chasers ,and knowing when to stop if there is a prob ,many a great animal has been ruined by pushing on when they should be rested .
A small injury leads to bigger more serious injuries developing , in the joints ,particularly the back ,horses are complicated feckers.
Often a small injury will be transferred from one foot or place to another ,sometimes causing a more serious problem .
Once watched a bit about horses and their preferred speed in the wild and they were looking a zebras ,natural speed was just over 2mph .
Warming up is important ,particularly when its cold ,but so is warming down and we dont see much of that .
ALthough i have seen horses being walked about in the paddock after a race .
Dont forget a horse traveling to the races must be using muscle as the van stop starts as well ,reckon technology has moved on here as well and they are better supported  in transport going to the races .
Report kansas July 21, 2015 1:10 PM BST
Trotters warm down as well after the race - I was at a meeting a few weeks ago at Le Touquet and mistakenly ending up backing a couple I thought were in the next race who looked good only to subsequently discover they were warming down. Very confusing.

A horse of Mick Easterby's a few years ago won a sprint at Pontefract after getting loose and galloping a whole circuit before being caught. So I'm not convinced a gentle warm up canter to the start is optimally beneficial.

When I was doing cycling time trialling several years ago the advice for an ideal race-ready scenario was be sweating when waiting for the push off.
Report jwracing July 21, 2015 7:24 PM BST
some gr8 responses to a question I never heard asked before or discussed. Interesting last sentance " ideal race-ready scenario was be sweating when waiting for the push off" I couldn't beleive the sweat these horses work up & thought the ones that were covered had no chance however they ran well. Also a racehorse receives very little in the way of a warm down, be good get get a trainers view on this.
Report Oldgit1 July 21, 2015 7:27 PM BST
They have more of a warm up in the States.
From Turfway Park webste:
After one or two circuits of the walking ring, the horses head to the track for the parade to the post. Like all athletes, horses must warm up. They walk or trot alongside escort ponies (so-called regardless of size) in the post parade and then jog to the starting gate.
Report J.R.Hartley July 21, 2015 9:55 PM BST
A horse will be walked 30-45 minutes before they enter the parade ring where they will walk a further 15 mins

before the jockey is legged up...then of course they canter 5-8f down to the start....by the time they get there

they should be 'warmed up'........after the race the horse's will be walked a further 30-45 minutes to warm down.

Pretty much the same as their every day routine really....most horses will spend 45 mins on the horse walker before and after exercise.
Report sean rua July 22, 2015 9:06 AM BST
Interesting stuff!
Thanks for all the replies.

I still think thoroughbreds have been weakened by in-breeding and wrong training methods. I'd be interested in the stats for injuries, pu, early-retirement etc that compared nowadays in UK and forty years ago.

Btw, in Ireland, imo, they don't ****-foot about near as much, and still produce some pretty good ones.

A lot of the "sweating" and other so-called problems comes from the diet, imo. I haven't noticed many standardbreds sweating and shying at fk all. There's something going on that's not detected ( or well covered up), imo.

Interesting a poster has mwentioned one of Mick's.
I was at Wolver one grim afternoon, and all bar Mick's runner had been circling in the paddock for some time. Jockeys were mounting, when Mick's comes rushing in, near tearing the handler's arm off. It looked a right mess with a rough old coat, a bit like an old cow looking over the hedge.
Considering myself to be a bit of a paddock judge, I drew a line through that one.
The fkr went out and won by five lengths!


Years later, at Wolver again, I noticed that most runners shunned the pre-parade ring ( even though they'd done it up) and just went straight to the paddock for a few cursory, gloomy, circuits.

Though I remain a firm believer in a good warm-up, I honestly think that, in thoroughbred racing, the race is lost or won long before the critters come into the paddock.
That's why so much "punditry" on tv is total bo llix and often as not way off target.

In reality, a horse is far more like a fkn old goat than a spoiled pet labrador. They are powerful beasts that would kill ye without a worry.
I don't know about zebras, but wild horses can fkn motor, especially when the stallion gets the horn.
Report sageform July 22, 2015 1:47 PM BST
It is a good question. I know a bit about athletics and when I had horses in training I often asked trainers why they didn't do any over distance training (farther than the race distance) at home. They all said that horses would not stand long distance gallops even at half speed. Almost all athletes would typically train over farther than their race distance as well as shorter speed work. As far as warming up is concerned, it does vary a lot depending how far it is from the paddock to the start. 5 furlongs at a strong canter is probably enough but less than that might not be. The real issue on a cold day is how long they might have to hang around after arriving at the start with little chance to keep warmed up. Athletes keeep jogging in warm suits until the last possible moment.
Report The Pies July 22, 2015 1:55 PM BST
Sage - amazed that horses would not run their race distance in training even at considerably less than race pace, obviously they'd never go anywhere near full speed except at much shorter distances. Sounds like tempo runs are probably used in equine training as well as human.

I seem to recall the Ramsdens in the past saying they'd run a horse at a decent pace over a 3f stretch to give them an idea of its ability.
Report sageform July 22, 2015 2:10 PM BST
A lot of NH trainers only have a maximum of a mile gallop-some less than that- and then expect the horse to run in a 2 mile bumper. It has always baffled me. It is a mental as well as a physical issue and explains why many bumper horses stop to a walk after 10-12 furlongs.
Report OliasOfSunhillow July 22, 2015 2:48 PM BST
It is rare that you get a really interesting intelligent question on here but this certainly is one. You cannot help thinking that there is a Martin Pipe II out there somewhere who will revolutionize this area with solid science.
Report Outpost July 22, 2015 6:52 PM BST
most horses are walked around the pre parade ring for half an hour or more before being taken to the saddling box, and then after saddling they are led into the parade ring for another walk around.

after leaving the parade ring, they have a canter to the post and then a further walk around there before being put in the stalls so I think most horses are warmed up by the time the race starts.

I have also never heard of any horse being trained over the race distance or even trained at racing speed on the gallops.
Report jwracing July 22, 2015 7:31 PM BST
I think the could be an opportunity for a Martin Pipe II  who will revolutionize this area with solid science. Although I posed the inital question, I do remember Lochsong bolting to the start in front of me before the Nunthorpe when a short price fav & it ran a stinker!
Report sean rua July 23, 2015 9:50 AM BST
OK, what does the panel think
about
Interval Training
and
Training Uphill?

I'm a believer.
I still think that thoroughbreds have been seriously weakened by in-breeding and bad training methods. That "cotton-wool" approach is total bo llix, imo.
Several have broken down or died on the course, despite all the molly-coddling.

Ye have to let 'em rip!
Report ged July 23, 2015 10:45 AM BST
I'd say the breed has certainly been weakened by in-breeding, and by the commercial 'necessity' of getting the 'best' off to stud at the end of their 3yo careers when they are still immature, and have always received weight when racing against mature (usually inferior) horses.

If you compare today's best with the likes of the filly Sceptre, who as a 3yo in 1902, ran twice each at Newmarket (both Guineas), Epsom (Derby and Oaks), Royal Ascot, Goodwood, and Doncaster (Leger and Park Hill) - and won 6 of those races, including 4 classics, and all that after starting off in the Lincoln, and included a trip to France mid-season; and with Citation in the US, who in his triple crown year in 1948 ran 20 times, winning 19 - then it's impossible to believe that horses are as robust as they used to be.

And if people want to believe that 100 years ago, it was half-fit carthorses beating half-fit carthorses, then looking at this photograph of the infamous Anmer, brought down in the 1913 Derby, taken over 100 years ago, I'd say he 'looks' pretty similar to a fit modern thoroughbred to me.

http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/anmer.jpg


As for bad training methods being in any way responsible for weakening the breed - I don't know. Medication, perhaps.
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