Methods to Your Madness

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 20, 2011 in General Discussion, Horse Racing | No Comments >>

Horse TrainingRacing is a world within a world to say the least. It is a good thing, and some of the best folks I have ever met are involved in the game. But, there are a few that make me scratch my head at some of their tactics, and how they get some great results.

The Truck Trainer: I knew a trainer that loved to see his horses get some road work. He had a beautiful farm and a 1/2 mile track to work over. He harrowed it and kept it pristine. Then, he would take his big Ford truck onto the track, and he would have two grooms climb in the back. Not to enjoy the cool air, but to hold the reins of a horse that would jog behind the truck. They never lost a runner, and had great success. If you could only have seen the blue truck, and the trainer going about 20 mph getting his horses fit.

Mud Man: George was a kind of do-it-yourself guy. He always wanted to swim his horses, but he lacked the funds. So, he decided to beat them at their own game. He dug a 9 ft deep, and 30 ft round oval. It had a dirt banked ramp that a horse could walk into his mud hole, and he would walk around holding the reins as his runners swam like crazy in the muddy water. They would get some good old fashioned work, but would require at least two baths afterward. He felt he was beating the system. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Now, for the millions of trainers that do an incredible job, I have also known many that go skimpy on operational costs. Be sure to check out your trainer before making a claim, or a sale runner. Talk to your local racing secretary in his office, and he will be able to advise you. Speak to other trainers. Go see the shed row, and do some research into starts/wins and look for any infractions that have dotted their record.

I had a young fella that took my first horse. He wanted to start off his training, and he would take my horse for free. But, he wanted a 1/3 share. Now, that sounds like a good deal. But how was he going to eat? The trainer said he had it all taken care of, and he would get him fit.

So, the venture began. He had our runner on a farm, and he would work him daily as he informed us. Well, after visiting a few times, I had a busy stretch at work, and couldn’t get out to the farm. I finally got out, and found our horse walking around the pasture and fed him some mints and an apple. He looked a bit thinner, and I thought maybe he had worked him a little hard. So I called him to ask how he was doing. It was then that he regretfully informed me that he had been sick, and hadn’t fed him in three days. Well, you get what you pay for and we turned him over to a solid old fella who had some luck with him.

Ownership is the greatest venture in the world, but you have to do your homework. Get to know the folks who will handle your horse. The bill with a vet is like a house payment depending on where you want to live. You can bank on roughly on $1,200 a month, if not a bit more. Big namers go way up, and the super stars send a Brinks truck to get their pay. So you get what you pay for, and it is up to you to oversee your budding star.

Good luck!