Why do race horses have a buddy horse?

When you go to the races, you will be going there to enjoy a day of fun, frivolity, and excitement. Watching a horse race can set your heart thumping and leave you wanting more. However, it can be quite stressful on the horses themselves.


That’s why you may find that the race horses actually have a buddy horse to keep them company. So, what other reasons are there for a race horse to have a buddy horse? That’s what you are going to find out below.


What is a buddy horse?


A buddy horse is a horse that acts as a companion for either one of the race horses, or potentially a group of horses, to allow the race horses to calm down before a large event.


In most cases, an older horse will have a calming effect on horses that are younger. This will ultimately allow them to focus on the race and perform better.


So, imagine you had a very young horse that acted silly or refused to run around the track. If they follow an older buddy horse, they are often likelier to behave well on the track. This should lead to more victories and make it safer for the riders and audience.


Training hours


If you take a look at the horse racing calendar for 2022, you will see that race horses do have a lot of fixtures that they need to compete in on a regular basis. That’s why it’s crucial that they undergo consistent training to ensure they are ready for the day they take part in the race.


A lot of the time, trainers will actually have a pony or horse there to encourage the race horse to remain on the track and follow the path of the arena. They are useful for guiding new race horses around specific areas, as well as to and from the track.


If the race horse has just started their training on the track, the older pony or horse will show them how to jog or gallop. This speed can increase as the horse becomes fitter and more aware of the course.


An older mentor


It’s important that any new race horse has time to grow and learn how to actually compete against others. That’s why a buddy horse is so important. Not only can the buddy horse help the new horse learn how to gallop, trot, jog or run quickly, but the buddy horse can actually “backtrack” and go around outside of the race track until the horse can start to gallop on its own.


Routine and experience


When a race horse is introduced to a new environment, it may become fearful or unsure about how to proceed if it is on its own. However, if it goes around the track with a buddy horse, this can inspire it to act more confidently.


Not only can the buddy horse accompany the race horse on its regular routine in and out of the paddock, but if the race horse appears a little nervous or unsure, the other horse will help provide it with more confidence.


Riders & horses


Very stubborn horses can be very difficult to tame them when they go onto the track. When there is an attempt to introduce a rider in this kind of situation, there could be a risk of the rider getting hurt. Even worse, the horse may become used to treating riders in this manner, to the point where they will not be able to enter races in the future.


The use of a buddy horse can help such horses become easier to tame. It can also help young horses improve their fitness; thus, it will give them confidence and experience before they head out onto the race course.


Are you ready to see the horses?


When you visit a venue like Newbury Racecourse, it’s very exciting to see the horses in their prime. A buddy horse can help a race horse perform at its best. The buddy horse can help the race horse stay calm and collected in any type of environment. Not only that, but buddy horses can become fantastic mentors to young horses that start off on their training programme.


If you are interested in seeing a race horse for yourself, why not visit Newbury Racecourse? It will be a fun day out for you, your friends and family. There is a wide variety of fixtures available for you to enjoy; simply consult our ‘useful info’ page for further details on some of the things you need to know about in preparation for attending an actual race day with us.