How Much of a Horse’s Speed is Dependent on Its Rider?


In the world of professional horse racing, horses get all the attention. It is quite understandable, but did you know that the thrill of today’s races and the speed of the horse depends on the jockey? A jockey’s riding posture and weight have a tremendous effect on a horse’s race times.

Riding Posture

Riding posture has a significant effect on a horse’s speed, and jockeys are continuously innovating to improve their performance. Although modern horse riding has been in practice for over two centuries, in its earliest days, jockeys would ride horses vertically.

A modern crouched style, also known as the ‘Martini Glass’ was developed in the late 19th century in the United States, which led to a dramatic improvement in race times. 

Does Crouching Down Improve a Horse’s Speed?

A study by Tilp Pfau at London’s Royal Veterinary College found that the crouched posture dramatically reduces the burden on the horse by disconnecting its movements from those of its rider. Pfau found that a jockey that rides while seated upright acts much like a sandbag on the horses back. As a horse speeds up, the jockey and the mount tend to move out of place—the horse rises in its stride, and the rider falls harder, weighing it down.

In the modern posture, the jockey stays level throughout a race. Although the horse still has to support their weight, the rider can move relative to the horse and minimise the forward-backwards and up-down movements.

The horse doesn’t have to accelerate or decelerate to support the jockey and their straddle through each stride cycle. It will use less than 2% of its muscle to overcome the extra drag, saving mountains of energy, which the horse can use to increase its speed.

Jockey’s Weight

Another factor that significantly affects a horse’s speed is the jockey’s weight. As the weight of a jockey increases, the horse’s speed decreases. It’s simple physics.

Larger riders or those who weigh too much for the animal they ride may induce temporary lameness and issues consistent with musculoskeletal pain on a horse. The lighter the rider, the easier it is for the horse to achieve speed and endurance.

You might find that some horses need weights added to enter a particular race because every track has a designated amount of weight that each horse must carry for a fairer competition. The Jockey Club assigns the amount of weight a horse should take, and the races implement this standard.

For instance, if a race stipulates that all horses must carry 115 lbs., but the jockey is only 110lbs., more weight must be added to comply with the qualifications.

Final Thoughts

Much of the horse race depends on the rider, but there are many other factors to consider, including posture and weight, as always spoken by popular professional casino operator จีคลับ.

Before wagering on a horse, take time to find out the horse race limit and the jockey’s weight. Go through the horse’s past form guide and see what loads it carried in comparable races under similar settings.

Information is power, and it will help you gauge a horse’s ability to carry certain weights to victory.

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