Care of a Racehorse - An overview of who is involved

racehorse in training on gallopsTypically speaking, a racehorse will be primarily cared for by four different types of person: the stablehands, the groom, the trainer and the vet.

Of course, whilst it is possible to care for a racehorse without a legion of trained and experienced workers, the physical and mental wellbeing of the horse is crucial to its success on the racecourse.

Thus, it is important that the racehorse is given the best care available, which invariably demands a relatively large operation


As with other types of horse, stablehands are fundamental to the daily care of a racehorse.

A stablehand's duties include all those that are not performed by the groom and are predominantly menial in nature - mucking out horse boxes, tidying stable yards, feeding, and attending races.

However, this should not detract from the valuable work that the stablehand undertakes in ensuring that the racehorse is well looked after.

In fact, the role of stablehand is fairly critical to the overall performance of a racehorse and it is one that is fuelled by the stablehand`s natural affinity with horses.

Usually working long, hard hours cleaning out stables, the stablehand is also key to the horse's emotional development. Indeed, the stablehand will spend much time with the racehorse and can, therefore, build a bond with the horse.

It is through this bond that the stablehand is able to relax, calm and reassure the racehorse when the necessity arises and, without this level of support and commitment, it is inevitable that the racehorse would be unable to perform at its optimal level.


The groom is also fundamental to the maintenance and care of a racehorse. In many ways, some of the more menial tasks that a groom is required to perform, such as cleaning out the stables, is similar to those undertaken by the stablehand.

However, the groom is key to the racehorse's appearance and emotional state. Indeed, the groom will spend a great deal of time with the racehorse, perhaps more than any other person, to ensure that it remains clean and well-groomed.

The groom will also assess the racehorse on a day-to-day basis not merely to check that its coat and hooves are in the finest condition, but to alert a vet as to any health problems that can be detected.

A groom will also perform a variety of other exercises and tasks with the racehorse, such as washing it down it after a race and 'cool walking' it, where the horse is gently exercised after being out on the track.


As the name suggests, a racehorse trainer is one who works with the horse to ensure that it achieves its peak performance.

This, of course, is no straightforward matter and many people would be surprised to learn that training a racehorse demands a significant element of sports psychology in addition to the obvious physical exercises.

There is no A-Z guide for training a racehorse and the position is usually occupied by a qualified and experienced individual.


The vet is also fundamental to the good health of a racehorse and it is essential that, should the horse appear out of sorts in any way, the vet is called in immediately.


Finally, those interested in caring for a racehorse would be well advised to start off as a stablehand before working their way up to groom and, eventually, perhaps even to trainer.

Collecting qualifications along the way will do no harm at all, and it is advised that an NVQ equestrian qualification is the best way to start. Furthermore, the budding trainer may receive some useful free racing tips along the way.

Care of a racehorse. cares for a racehorse, all about the different roles and jobs at a racing yard and how a racehorse is cared for. What do stablehands, groom, trainers and vets do?