Whether you’re an experienced jockey preparing for your next racing event or you’re getting into
horse racing as a new hobby, it’s time to take off the day to day turnout rugs and get your horse
ready for their big day! By preparing both your horse and yourself with the best equipment, you’re
not only taking the necessary safety measures, but you’re increasing your chance of success on the course.
Nowadays, crops tend to be used instead of whips as they do not have a lash and require less effort for the jockey. The aim of crops is to make the horse move faster, requiring only a single movement to communicate your intent to your horse.
When on the course, the distractions from the cheering crowd and surrounding horses can be a
distressing. Blinkers are a main part of kit when on the course as they cover the ears and side of the eyes so your horse can only look forward, keeping them on track and concentrated.
Being positioned just below the saddle, a stirrup is present on each side of the horse so the rider can both mount the horse effectively and position their feet during riding. The stirrups are a key part of riding equipment for jockeys of all levels.
Underneath the blinkers, many jockeys provide their horse with a mask for their safety and comfort.
As the horse moves fast, the mask keeps their face and eyes covered from any airborne threats such as debris and insects. Many masks also cover the ears to minimise the surrounding sounds that can cause distraction.
Similarly to the need to protect your horse’s eyes during racing, the jockeys eyes are just as
important. Goggles ensure that the eyes are kept well protected and are an essential part of kit
during the race.
A bridle is used to keep everything connected, attaching to the reins which are controlled by the
jockey as well as the bit if this is used. By being able to control the reins and the bit, the jockey can
control the movements of the horse during the race and maintain a sense of power.
Being a popular part of the bridle, the bit is placed inside the horse’s mouth and allows you to
communicate when on the course. Although not an essential part of your kit, many jockeys like to
connect a bit to their reins so they can incorporate it into their training.
During high-speed racing, a girth keeps the saddle in place by attaching to the saddle billets and
connecting underneath the horse. By securing the saddle, the risk of the jockey losing their position
on the house mid race is minimised for added security.
With safety being a number one priority, a horse racing helmet is used to protect the head in case
you fall during the race. As a jockey falls mid-race, the risk of other fast-moving horses running the
course is a significant threat so a good quality helmet is necessary.