Q&A Questions and Answers:
I am almost 25 years old and want to learn how to care for and ride horses. I personally would like to learn how to ride a race horse. I am curious if you think that I may be too old to begin learning now or if this dream of mine should just remain a dream. I have no idea where to look for a good stable or how I can find more information about racing. I would like to hear an expert's opinion and will take nothing personal.
Your age is not the deciding factor. The great jockey Bill Shoemaker was 58 when he retired after 8,833 trips to the winner's circle.
The first thing to look at is your weight. A professional jockey rarely weighs more than 105 lbs. Depending on the age of the horse and the distance being run, the total allowable weight for the fully-clothed jockey and tack may be as low as 103 lbs.
The second consideration is your riding ability. A jockey has to have a cool head, steel muscles and nerves, and icy cool judgment in handling a high-strung horse in a chaotic race. Anything less than this is the same as signing your own death warrant. Few onlookers really appreciate the extraordinary athletic abilities of a professional jockey.
If you are just now thinking about learning to ride, it may be too late to think about becoming a jockey. But if you can find a good teacher, there's nothing to stop you from becoming a top-flight trainer. If I were in your boots, that's probably the route I'd take.
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