I was surprised to find chatting with a young girl at the riding school where I teach the other day that she wants to become a jockey. But why should this surprise me? A riding school would be the perfect place to start out learning how to ride a horse at a young age.
If you have a desire to one day be involved with racing horses – be it thoroughbreds, quarter horses, arabs or perhaps standardbreds – then the best place to start would be at a young age getting hours in the saddle and around horses, learning about how they move, their temperaments and general health. Gaining experience in the saddle at a young age will make it easier I believe to pursue track work at training properties in the future.
Research your possibilities – it’s great to get experience but make sure you’re learning where you’re working, that you’re not being given horses past your capability as you start out but that you’re also being given opportunities to prove yourself.
Also consider taking up a job as a track rider or an apprenticeship if offered to you and be willing to travel – the best races across the world or even one country will be found in different states/regions. You’ll need to travel to take part in these race meetings.
Take a look at http://www.jockeysroom.com/msg4.htm -this page answers many questions about becoming a flatwork jockey and provides links to relevant sites as well as some information about being a jumps jockey.
http://www.northernracingcollege.co.uk/ – offering courses and apprenticeships on a range of horse related vocations but especially becoming a jockey.
The Australian Thoroughbred Racing Employment Centre site lists positions across Australia in relation to track work.
http://www.jagb.co.uk/wanttobeajockey.aspx – Professional Jockeys Association
http://www.brs.org.uk/ – the British Racing School
“There is nothing wrong with being an intelligent rider” – Mike Smith.