What’s all that fuzz? Training Equipment

charlie equipment

You may have noticed while watching Charlie train on Sunday that he had a great deal of white fuzzy stuff on!

We’ll start with his head and go down from there:

1) Shadow Roll: this is a piece of sheepskin that goes on the nose band. The shadow roll partially restricts the horse’s vision, and helps him to concentrate on what is in front of him, rather than objects on the ground (such as shadows). Shadow rolls can come in varying degrees of thickness. This one is moderate.

2) Rings: “rings” refer to the triangle piece of leather with two rings that slide on the reins. The function of the rings is to give the rider more control by influencing the horse’s head position. If Charlie holds his head where it’s suppose to be, the rings are not engaged…they slide loosely on the reins. However, if he tosses his head, then he engages the rings and they correct him immediately without the rider doing anything. Most horses galloping or jogging on the track will have this piece of equipment. It helps teach a horse to carry himself in a balanced frame and gives the rider some added control. Most of the time for a workout, this piece of equipment will be removed to allow the horse to stretch his head out while in a full gallop.

3) Martingale: the rings are attached the martingale. This is also referred to as a “chicken strap” by exercise riders because they will loop a finger or two into the strap to hang on if a horse gets rambunctious. It’s like a safety belt for riders where they can hang on without pulling on the horse’s mouth. The strap goes around the horse’s neck and through their front legs to the girth. It keep the rings in place and keeps the girth from sliding backwards. In the case of Charlie, Sharon has protective sheepskin covering the leather straps to keep them from rubbing Charlie’s skin.

4) Saddle pad. Charlie has a white fluffy saddle pad under the exercise saddle. Sharon will make the determination on what pad fits each horse the best to prevent rubbing and soreness from the saddle. The saddle towel (green) goes under the saddle pad and sits next to the horse’s skin.

Polos – In the photo below you will see what looks like bandages around Charlie’s legs. These are soft, fleece polos that are used to protect his legs. They have little supportive features (unlike race day bandages) but still offer a layer of protection from him grabbing himself or knocking a leg.

Bell boots – On his two front hooves you can see bell boots. Named because they are shaped like a bell, they are rubber and slip over the hoof. A horse with a big stride can over reach with their hind legs and actually grab the heel of their front hoof. This helps keep Charlie from pulling off a front shoe or hitting himself.

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4 thoughts on “What’s all that fuzz? Training Equipment

  1. Sophia … Just wanted to let you know how much I, for one, appreciate your keeping us informed about so many of the technical parts of racing. You write exceedingly well and in an understandable fashion. I plan to be down next Wednesday morning to “meet” Charile with a friend and we are both really looking forward to our first time in the barn, meeting him and getting the lay of the land. Coming from Bellevue, it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to arrive in time to see him going out onto the track — traffic is almost always just awful! You are doing a great job!

    Thanks … ZeeDate: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:29:20 +0000 To: zeestr8@hotmail.com

  2. I see that Emerald Downs is looking for a new track announcer….. I sure will miss Robert Geller. We’ve been blessed to have one of the best all along.
    Moving forward I’d like to stump for Jason Beem although John McGary is pretty awesome too. Even if Jason doesn’t get the job or isn’t available for hire I’d love it if he could call the 80’th Longacres Mile. I know that Jason loves the Longacres mile as much as all of us do and I know its a dream of his to call our favorite race.

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