Quarter Horses and Race Horses

We went to the horse races over the weekend which is something I really enjoy.  I just love to watch the gorgeous horses running past me so I am always right up there on the rails as close as I can get.  As fun as this part is I noticed something else that is fun to watch at the horse races.

If you like horses you already know this but if you are not that into horses (I don’t even understand how that could be) let me explain before I continue.  Race horses and Quarter horses are very different breeds.

Race horses are pampered, fed the best feed and hay, have constant veterinary care and, to be perfectly honest, they are a bit “uppity”.  They touchy, high maintenance and feel very entitled. However, they are beautiful and to watch them run is just amazing.

Quarter horses are beautiful and just as cared for by their owners but these horses have a slightly better grasp on reality than a race horse. Quarter horses are much more down to earth and they aren’t afraid of a little hard work.  This is the horse you can count on to stay with you and help if the fence goes down in a storm, or to take the extra weight of baby calf that needs to be taken back to the barn for care.  A race horse is not going to even think about going into a storm for any reason but certainly not to work and if you think a race horse is going to let you put a sick or injured calf on its back you have another thing coming!

These are some of the basic differences between a race horse and a quarter horse. There are lots of other differences but I think you get the idea.

Back to the races….
Prior to each race, after the jockey has mounted the race horse, they are escorted to the track at which time they are paired up with a quarter horse whose job it is to lead the race horse out to the starting gate. I started watching this process during my last visit and I could not help but laugh each time!  If you look at the eyes and the faces of these quarter horses as they are pairing up with their race horse to lead each race it is hilarious.

The race horses are coming out all jumpy and pulling against their lead and you can just see the thoughts inside the minds of the quarter horses.  I just know they are thinking “How dumb can a horse be that I have to take them to the starting gate? Seriously? They can run fast and look pretty but they can’t manage to walk themselves to the gate without me to lead them!”  I swear you can actually see them roll their eyes when they pair up and start walking them down the track.

What is your favorite part of going to a horse race?

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