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For a horse race, a jockey's equipment will include riding pants, patent leather jockey boots, a safety vest, jockey silks, a helmet, several pairs of goggles, and a variety of different saddles. Find out how a jockey secures the saddle to the horse for safety during a race with information from a former professional jockey in this free video on jockeys.
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I would like to explain some of the equipment that jockeys use. Of course, it goes back to everything has to be very light. Jockeys have to be able to remain flexible and not constrained. We can't wear equipment, or safety equipment such as, like, a football player, which would be nice. But, let me just give you an example. Here is a pair of riding pants, only weights an ounce or two. They're very....nylon material. Very lightweight, and certainly can move in 'em. Not much protection, though. This is a pair of jockey boots. These are made from a patent leather. That became very popular because they're easily wiped off and cleaned. Jockeys ride races in a row, this is a great way...to just take a damp sponge and wipe 'em off clean. Get the mud and dirt off. And then this is a safety vest. It only weighs...it weights just about a pound. It's mandatory in just about every state, now, in North America for jockeys to use a safety vest. And this does protect us in some levels, but as you can see, not all that much. Here I have a set of jockey silks. The jockey silks, the owners provide. These aren't....these don't belong to the jockey, these are like the uniform of the trainer or owner that you're riding for. So when you see jockeys, we'll have...for the day we'll have different silks lined up for the owners and trainers that we're riding for. And if you see a jockey wearing a pair of silks, they belong to the owners. Here I have my helmet and my goggle set-up. The cap is matching the silks. This cap is interchangeable. Between races, jockeys will pull their cap off. They have all different colors to match the next set of silks that they'll be wearing. We have a valet that handles a lot of our equipment, because we don't have a lot of time between races if we're riding consecutive races, that these things will be set up in line for us when we come back into the jockey's room to prepare for the next race, because we only have a few minutes. I'd like to give a little demonstration. Here I have a set of...I have three pairs of goggles. And a lot of people don't understand this, but there is....in dirt racing, especially, there is a lot of debris, a lot of kickback from the horses that are in front of you. The mud that gets kicked off the heels. So, what a jockey does is when they get into the starting gates, and if you watch the races, sometimes you'll see this firsthand, they'll pull the goggles down over their eyes. Now I have three pair, depending on the mud. It could be...if it's very muddy, I'll use four, sometimes five pair, if it's a sloppy racetrack. If it's raining. We put layers at one time. And, as we're racing and we're running down the track, we will pull down a pair of goggles as that one gets muddy, and now we have a clean, fresh pair. And, as you go down the racetrack again and you get some more mud in your face and you can't see, you'll pull down a new pair. So that's just a sample of how we do the goggle thing. I would like to show you a couple of saddles, the different saddles. Now, we mentioned with jockeys we have to do different weights, there's different weight assignments. One weight assignment might be 114 pounds. The next race might be 122 pounds. How we do that is we use different size equipment. This equipment weighs what it weighs, so we pretty much have to weigh in, that doesn't change. But what we can change is the size of the saddle. Here I have a saddle that weights about 12 ounces. There's not much to it. Jockeys only really need the stirrups and the...where it's girthed to the horse with the girth straps, here. So we're not sitting in a saddle. We don't sit down when we ride. We're up out of the saddle. This saddle I would use for my lightweights. Now I'm going to go the extreme, if I had to do a heavier weight. So this....I got this saddle, here. This saddle rigs up about six pounds, where this one was only about a twelve ounce..twelve ounces, this one can rig up to about six pounds. And if that's not enough weight, I also have some lead pockets in here. And here I can demonstrate. There's some little pouches in here that I can stuff lead into to even increase more weight. This particular saddle, just to mention, means a lot to me because this was the saddle that I rode the Preakness and the Belmont in. Those weights require horses are mandatory. They're assigned a hundred and twenty six pounds, so that's one of the few times I got to use this saddle. And these are the girths. There's two girths that a racing saddle requires. One is called the under girth. This goes on the actual billets of the saddle. These are tightened, and because there's not much of a tree there, and horses in a dead run, those saddles have to be on there very tight. There's also an over girth. Now this girth stretch arounds the inside girth, and goes completely around the saddle, as well. So this is a bit of security that keeps that saddle, hopefully, to stay put and keep your jockey in place. And this is a whip. This is a standard size whip. There's regulations with whips. They're only allowed to be a certain weight and size, and they also have to have these feathers, this is to protect the horses? hides. So, there you go, there?s basically the equipment that a jockey has to race in.