Just The Job – Horse Trainer
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Just The Job – Horse Trainer

August 12, 2019

Tom: Alright Martin, we might just give old
Cajero a weigh and lead mate – he raced yesterday, so we don’t want to
work him this morning, we just trot him up
to make sure that he’s sound and he’s not lame and that sort of thing, so if you
pop a rearing bridle on him, we’ll take him down and put him on the scales mate. Clinton: Each horse is trained as an individual
on a daily basis, depending on what stage they’re at. Tom: He’s only lost 6 kilos in 24 hours
– that’s not a bad effort for a horse that size, you know? Clinton: Tom was bought up with horses and
started riding when he was 4 years old. Tom: I always wanted to be a jockey, you know
at the age when all the other kids at school were saying “I want to be a fireman”,
“I want to be a policeman”. I was always wanting to be jockey so you know, I was very
fortunate that that path worked out for me and it’s been a happy and successful career. Clinton: But not everyone working in the thoroughbred
industry has come from a background in horses. Jason Bridgman was a teenager when he first
went to the races. Jason: Training a horse is a long process.
Many people don’t realise, when they see the end product race day, how much work has
gone in to get to that point. It will often take at least a year, sometimes longer, to
get horses to get to that point. Clinton: Throughout a morning, they’ll be
different aspects of training depending on the targets for the week. Younger horses may
still be getting educated, whereas the older horses that are already racing, may get a
hard physical workout. Tom: Righto Martin, right we’re going to
give this big bloke a swim – he galloped yesterday so just to keep the pressure off
the legs a little it, we swim quite a few horses, so… Jason: We obviously don’t want to be working
in the heat of the day – the cool of the morning is the ideal time for training and
the tracks etc aren’t at their best once they dry out so really we want to be in early,
in the cool air of the morning the horses work at their best and have the best recovery. Clinton: Later in the morning Martin is out
on the track with racecourse manager Graeme Styles. Martin: So what’s going on here? Graeme: Martin, what we have here is jump-out
morning at the track – its early training, early education for the young horses. Jason: The jump-outs are a training tool for
teaching young horses to perform from a standing start, out of the starting gates, where they
have to jump away and straight into a gallop. It can take probably, maybe up to 20 sessions
of going through a gate before they’re at that efficient level to go racing. Clinton: After a full morning at the track,
Martin is back at Te Akau stables to help bring in the horses. Tom: In the afternoons is a pretty simple
process – every horse gets brushed, or stropping up is what we call it, has their legs checked,
has their hooves painted with oil in the afternoon to keep their hooves right, and then we feed
them. Clinton: Daniel Miller is an apprentice jockey
and works at the stables so Martin will be giving him a hand. Tom: Martin, this is Daniel Miller. Martin: Hi. Daniel: Hey Martin, alright? All good. Basically
what we’ve got left to do is just muck out Crug and Scotty’s box. Clinton: Daniel has been riding for 11 years
and is at the track each morning working with the horses. Martin: So how’s your apprenticeship? Daniel: Its going good, I’m in my second
year now. I started off riding on the flat, unfortunately got a bit too tall, so I’m
now riding over jumps and its going real good. Tom: It’s particularly poignant in our game,
they have to have a love of the horses – horses are quiet animals, they like to be treated
quietly, so young people involved in the racing game, they have to have a good nature themselves. Martin: What’s your main goal for the future? Daniel: Well just to keep improving my style
personally, and just riding a few more winners, and just working towards a five year goal
of hopefully moving over to England an working in a jumps yard over there, and riding full
time. Tom: You know, it’s a great industry to
be in if you work and hard and are very diligent in what you do – the old saying “have
saddle, will travel”, you know if you’re professional enough and you can ride a bit,
well, you can end up anywhere. 1.21.11 Virginia: The thoroughbred industry
is huge in New Zealand and the careers that it offers are very rewarding. Most people
come in initially as a stable assistant and working on the ground with horses, and once
they’ve achieved those skills and if they have the desire and the stature, can move
on into becoming an apprentice jockey. Clinton: The Primary ITO offers a level 3
National Certificate in Stable procedures with a strand in Thoroughbred stable assistant,
and thoroughbred track rider. The National Certificate Level 4 delivers the skills and
knowledge to become a licensed jockey to ride on race-day. Training is primarily delivered
in the workplace, so you earn while you learn. For more information about careers in the
Equine Industry, contact the Primary ITO. Martin: So in the last few days, I’ve looked
at Horse Breeding, Harness Racing and Thoroughbred Racing and it’s been really cool – all
three industries are really awesome and I’m definitely going to have to look further into
all of them and it’s been an awesome opportunity. Clinton: Hey well done Martin and thanks for
being a great sport. To find out more about the training opportunities and careers in
the Equine industry, plus information about all the careers that we feature in this series,
visit our programme website at tvnz.co.nz/just the job or simply “Google” just the job,
so best of luck and I’ll see you again next week!

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