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How To Tell Your Horse Is Ready To Race

How To Tell Your Horse Is Ready To Race

Is your horse ready to compete? Check these things to find out.

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To bag first place in a race, an athlete must be ready. The same principle also applies to horse racing today. If you own a racehorse or you’re in charge of caring for one, there are various signs that you can look out for to be sure that your horse is ready to race. Some of these signs include:

Blurred image of running racehorses with riders

The Horse’s Physical Appearance

Sometimes, all you have to do is to look at your horse and observe its physique to determine if it is healthy and fit. If you notice any slight change to your horse's body, do not overlook it because it could be a sign that something isn’t right. You can tell that an equine athlete is physically fit when there is no trace of lameness in its every move.

Racehorses running down the track

The Horse’s Heartbeat

Heartbeat can be an instant indicator of your horse’s readiness to push itself. You can easily monitor its cardiovascular rate and pulse with a commercial heart rate monitor. If your horse has an unusual reading, it may be suffering from fatigue or internal injury and require veterinary care.

Horse with jockey running blurred

The Horse’s Body Language

You can tell that your horse is frightened or nervous if it keeps spooking. Also, jumping violently or kicking out without control is an indication that your horse is not in a good mood. It is better to think twice before listing your horse for a race if it exhibits such behavior.

Wide shot of horses racing down track

The Horse’s Eyes and Ears

Your horse’s eyes and ears are good indicators of its mood. A bright and clear eye with a sharp and focused look means the horse is alert. The ears should also point straight up or slightly forward (instead of pinned back). These telltale signs show that your horse is fully alert and ready to take on the competition.


Being sensitive to the signs your horse gives makes all the difference. You can watch your horse’s demeanor in the paddock, out on the race track, and during warm-ups to spot signs of trouble. Make sure your horse is getting everything it needs nutritionally by choosing Open Nutrition USA for quality horse supplements!

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