now continue with run-out bits, blowouts and stops.
bits are employed on horses that can’t or won’t run straight.
The hope is that increased jockey leverage will prevent this horse from
lugging in or out. They are also sometimes referred to as bear-out
increased leverage comes about because the actual bit is extended up
to 4 inches out of either or both sides of a horse’s mouth. This offers
the jockey quicker and sharper control.
bits sometimes help, but most often they do not. Horses get
out on a turn because they are moving too fast to successfully negotiate
the turn which is sometimes the case and forgivable, but more
likely, they get out because they’re sore or their natural conformation
is seriously defective.
way, they have a hard time grabbing the surface while attempting to
run at all-out speeds!
a leveraged bit certainly can’t hurt a problematic runner outside of
possibly distracting him as he runs, very rarely
can they overcome birth defects or the need for
an extended vacation.
time that you repeatedly attempt to correct a horse’s running path,
he will slow himself down somewhat to successfully move to the path
that the jockey wants him to run in. If he doesn’t slow down a bit,
he could begin to drift in or out.
effectiveness of a run-out bit usually comes into play
when the horse begins to tire. As he begins to slow down, his natural
tendency might be to lug in or to lug out. In either case, the bit
is employed to offer the jockey more control. The more control he has,
the better his chances of keeping his horse running in a straight line.
If his horse stays in a straight line, it greatly lessens the chances
of bumping or fouling another rival.
works better in theory than in practice!
a horse is really tired or sore thru the stretch, no
racing bit on earth will keep him running in a perfectly straight line.
Again, these bits can’t hurt a horse, but they should put you wise to
the fact that this horse has a very serious problem.
I get a letter from a know-it-all hardboot trainer, I’ll also mention
that these run-out bits are sometimes used with “rogues”
that need strong handling while in competitive situations. These rogues
are neither sore nor do they have conformation defects. They are merely
horses with bad attitudes for any number of reasons.
While these bits do work in a few isolated cases, few trainers go to
the bank with headstrong horses who have a mind of their own.
bits are always a no-no!
and stops are probably the most frequently seen pieces
of negative equipment outside of front wraps. I spend quite a bit of
time in my video BEAT THE BEAM offering the viewer many frames
of these quite obvious white patches that can easily be seen via satellite
monitors for those wagering off track at a simulcast outlet.
are white adhesive patches placed on the inside of one or both rear
knees. They are found on horses who “hit themselves” when running.
They can range in size from a 2 inch square or circle to an elongated
configuration that runs down the inside of either or both rear legs.
blowouts allegedly serve as shock absorbers to relieve
some pain when the inside knees begin hitting each other, while hopefully
stopping the skin from cutting and bleeding.
first cousin of the blowout patch is the “stop”. These
are also adhesive patches about the size of a silver dollar. They also
serve the purpose of a shock absorber because horses adorned with them
are also hitting themselves. (Once in a great
while you’ll see “rubberized” black stops held on the
rear hooves with black electrical tape).
are placed somewhere directly above either or both rear
this instance, the front hoof or hooves hit directly above the rear
hoof or hooves with each and every stride as they
are running. I would assume that “stops” got their name from the fact
that they are supposed to “stop” the horse from feeling
this excruciating pain when he “hits” himself.
Frequently, they fall off within 10 or 20 direct hits and the horse
returns to the unsaddling area sans his “stops”
with rear hooves covered in blood.
racing with either one of these VERY NEGATIVE
attachments are most often losers before the gates
open unless you are playing in the minor leagues where
all horses are so problematic that it is a matter of degrees with each
and every negative problem.
yourself to be a horse running your eyeballs out and all of a sudden
your rear knees start banging against each other or your front hooves
have been striking your rear hooves since the gates opened. You might
mentally want to continue in an attempt to win,
but good sense or even “horse sense” tells you to ease up----if only
a little bit. We as handicappers all know exactly what relaxation
can do at the wrong point in a race.
one thing to relax at the 1/8 pole when you’re ahead by 5 lengths with
nobody coming at you---its another thing to relax at the ¼ pole where
the real race begins!
don’t know about you, but the last thing I want my horse to feel is
pain of any kind----either on the far turn or when turning
for home. I want my steed thinking about the finish line and getting
there first, not the pain he’s experiencing in
his rear legs.
be tough enough to finish the race on all four legs!
Asking him to do it on onlytwo,
is nothing but wishful thinking!
extremely rare exceptions, “blowouts” and “stops”
are always no-nos on any MAJOR league circuit.
week-----PART 3---Barshoes, covered frogs and martingales.