Horse Racing Equipment Defined

Hello fellow horse racing handicappers! In horse racing as we all know there are many different factors that you can look at when deciding which horse you want to wager on. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but it is important to take note of specific changes. Equipment on a horse while he is racing is one of those changes. In this article we will cover the main equipment that trainers will use to improve the horses performance. These are Shoes, Blinkers and hoods, Front Wraps and rear wraps, Shadow rolls and Tongue Ties. We will explain them and how they affect a horse in the race.

Shoes– The shoe is a very important piece of equipment for a racehorse. While a horseshoe can be made of any type of metal a Thoroughbred will race in aluminum shoes usually called racing plates. Also a shoe may be glued to the foot oppose to being nailed. Most shoes are open at the heel but sometimes a horse will race on a shoe that may cover the entire base of the foot when he or she has a foot problem. A horse wearing a bar shoe is usually noted in the track program. Many people will not bet on a horse wearing a bar shoe due to fighting a foot problem.

Blinkers and Hoods– Blinkers are small plastic cups placed around a horse’s eyes to restrict its range of vision. By restricting the range of vision blinkers can help a horse focus on racing rather than on other things such as horses, crowds etc. Not all Blinkers are teh same they can range from some that will block very little and some that will block vision in one whole eye. IN all cases blinker changes are noted at the bottom of your program and in the horse’s past performances in the Daily Racing Form. In general the addition to blinkers may help a horse improve and show more speed early in a race.

Front Wraps and Rear Wraps
– Trainers can use leg wraps on a horse’s front and or hind legs. Front wraps are either elastic or a combination of cloth and elastic wrapped around a horse’s front lower legs and ankles. They are used to prevent nicks and scrapes during a race or workout. Front leg wraps also can help support the legs/ankles of a horse that may have a minor problem with its ligaments. On a Final note front leg wraps can be placed on a horse or removed from a horse to prevent a claim or attempt to get a horse claimed. They may do this to throw off people who want to claim because they believe a problem might be disguised.

Shadow Rolls– These are thick bands of fleece placed on the nosebands of horse’s bridles. Shadow rolls prevent horses from seeing the ground while they run. Sometimes a horse will see its shadow or the shadows of other horses and try to jump those shadows. A shadow roll will help prevent this in the horse’s next start. Also sometimes it allows them to run with their head high making them run more smoothly.

Tongue-Ties – This thin piece of cloth secures the tongue while the horse is running. On occasion if the tongue is not secured it may interfere with a horse’s breathing. The addition of a tongue-tie is not noted in the program or racing form. So keeping track of a tongue tie is not easy be aware that some trainers will use a certain type of bit that keeps the tongue pressed down while the horse is running. If a horse had a breathing problem in one race adding this can stop it.

So these are some important equipment that horse’s will have to improve their racing. Watch close because that slight edge can be the difference between just missing a bunch of races or hitting a lot of them. 

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1 Comment

  • By Brian Wells, September 17, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Hi again,
    I think in horse racing there are numerous ways of picking a winner but i must admit looking at the equipment is one I have never used, I shall start keeping my eye open for differences…

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