Assessing early season fitness (2)

Last month we looked at horses that were still backward at the beginning of the Flat season. The coronavirus outbreak has put paid to this season’s early fixtures, but we are all looking forward to an eventual return to normal life, and with it the resumption of horse racing.

When racing does restart, some trainers will have their strings further forward in condition than others. Until there is sufficient form in the book, the best way to judge fitness is in the racecourse paddock. In many races there’s likely to be a wide variation in the fitness of the runners, and so it will be helpful to know what to look for.

A horse’s fitness will show in its coat and in the definition of its muscles, as well as in its demeanour as it walks around the paddock. The horses in the following photos are fit and well. The shine on their coats reflects their good health. Their abdominal and loin muscles are tight, and the outline of their ribs shows faintly. Their hindquarter muscles are well-defined.






May 2020More about necksMore about necks
 
April 2020Assessing early season fitness (2)Assessing early season fitness (2)
 
March 2020Assessing early season fitnessAssessing early season fitness
 
February 2020The hind leg of the racehorseThe hind leg of the racehorse
 
January 2020The foreleg of the racehorseThe foreleg of the racehorse
 
December 2019Muscles of the racehorseNeck & Shoulders
 
November 2019Muscles of the racehorseHindquarters
 
October 2019Focus On Dark AngelThe stallion Dark Angel (by Acclamation) currently lies fifth in the list of leading sires in Great Britain and Ireland....
 
September 2019Racing Tack
 
August 2019Paddock Behaviour (2)How a racehorse behaves as the groom leads it to the pre-race paddock, or in the paddock itself, can....
 
July 2019Why do racehorses sweat?When a racehorse runs, it converts food into energy to power its muscles. This metabolic conversion creates heat, which is released by sweating.....
 
June 2019Judging fitnessAs a racehorse walks around the paddock, its health and fitness will show in the shine of its coat and in the definition of its muscles.....
 
May 2019The Influence of the sire on his progeny (2)Most sires tend to pass on certain characteristics to their sons and daughters
 
April 2019The Influence of the sire on his progenyMost sires tend to pass on certain characteristics to their sons and daughters
 
March 2019The tail: positive and negative signsThe tail: positive and negative signs
 
February 2019Hindquarter conformationHindquarter conformation
 
January 2019Leg bandaging for support / Hindquarter conformationLeg bandaging for support / Hindquarter conformation
 
December 2018More About LegsWatching a field of two year old racehorses circling the paddock, you are likely to see a variety of shapes and sizes.....
 
November 2018Conformation Of The Racehorse (5)An understanding of a horse’s conformation – Legs
 
October 2018HeadgearHeadgear: Visor, Cheekpieces, Eyeshield, Hood .....
 
September 2018BlinkersBlinkers are worn to prevent a horse from being distracted during a race....
 
August 2018Going To PostThe way a horse moves on its way to the start can be a good indication of how it’s feeling....
 
July 2018Paddock Behaviour (1)How a racehorse behaves as the groom leads it to the pre-race paddock, or in the paddock itself, can....
 
June 2018Sprinters And StayersWhether a racehorse is better over short or long distances depends largely on its breeding and ....
 
May 2018Conformation Of The Racehorse (4)An understanding of a horse’s conformation – More About Backs
 
April 2018Conformation Of The Racehorse (3)An understanding of a horse’s conformation – Back, Flanks and Loins....
 
March 2018Racehorse bridles and bitsRacehorse bridles, bits and nosebands
 
February 2018Conformation Of The Racehorse (2)An understanding of a horse’s conformation – Neck and Shoulders....
 
January 2018Conformation Of The Racehorse (1)An understanding of a horse’s conformation – the way its body is put together – is especially useful....
 
December 2017An Introduction To HeadgearRecent performances of horses wearing blinkers, cheekpieces, a visor or a hood....
 
November 2017All About Tongue-tiesA tongue-tie, also called a tongue strap, is usually a soft cotton, nylon or leather band....
 
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Picking Winners On Looks - Assessing early season fitness