Dreaming of becoming a professional jockey? Or maybe you just ride horses for fun, but would like to improve your skills and wow your mates when you next challenge them? Whilst having special skills is not essential if you only ride with your friends, most organisations assess unlicensed riders according to a set of rules. So, whether you want to be a pro or just ride for a charity, here are the 5 crucial requirements to become a jockey.
1. Keep Your Weight Under Control
Professional jockeys must not exceed a specific weight if they want to ride at the races, and if you aspire to become a jockey, you must obey these rules, too. Typically, the weight of the jockey plus all necessary riding kit must not exceed 11 stones. So, if you’re heavier than this, it’s time to start a diet.
2. Keep Up With Your Fitness Level
Keeping your weight under control goes beyond watching what you eat. As a jockey, you have to control a fast-moving horse, and you won’t be able to do that unless your fitness level is top-notch. Regular training to improve your strength and endurance is essential. Besides, you must also undergo regular health checks to make sure you are fit to ride and control a horse. Among the most important types of exercise you should include into your workout we can mention cardio as well as exercises designed to improve your core strength.
3. Improve Tack Up Time
Being an excellent rider is only part of being a good jockey. Your horsemanship skills count too. As a jockey, you should be able to tack up your horse appropriately and in a timely manner. Whilst this might not matter when it is only you and your mates, an assessor may disqualify you if you fail to prepping your horse in a realistic timeframe. This is massive if you want to compete in rich competitions such as the Grand National in the future, here are some Grand National tips to see what your future competition could look like.
4. Master Warm Up
As a jockey, you must also master warming up before a ride. This step is important, because just as you shouldn’t exercise before warming up, your horse shouldn’t race before warming up either. Indeed, both you and your horse should be physically up for the race before reaching the course track. Warming up for the races includes walking and trotting in an open area. It goes without saying that you must demonstrate your abilities to control and handle the horse during this important step.
5. Prove Your Riding Abilities
Last but not least, you must demonstrate your riding abilities. That’s because as a jockey, you won’t be riding any horse, but a thoroughbred horse, which could be a challenge. Most organisations (as well as trainers and horse owners) require jockeys to be able to gallop at least six furlongs at a time. You must also be able to demonstrate that you can monitor and control pace at any given time.
And now that you know what are the crucial requirements to become a jockey, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to start training and become a pro?