Distance Runners & Racehorses

What an amazing day. I must say that I have said all along Super Saver was my pick and favorite for the derby. I think Borel is one of the most brilliant and humble jockeys on the planet. Todd Pletcher’s brother Peter is someone I know well from my days on the equestrian hunter/jumper circuit and I think Pletcher is a great trainer. Most of all I really just liked Super Saver’s chances, he runs well in the slop and seems to have a heart of a champion. That was proven today.

Really if you think about it competitive horses and distance runners have a lot in common. I frequently think about the days of me riding on the circuit. How we had to condition the horses both aerobically and condition them by strengthening muscle and tissue systems. They can be easily over-trained and injuries and illnesses result. Just like runners. They have a nutrition protocol and must be replenished after workouts. Fit horses are alike distance runners has they feel more is better and become sometimes “high” on the endorphins of frequent movement. Just watch a racehorse in turnout, they are a lot more active then your typical untrained horse. Similarly, if you have watched distance runners in their everyday activity, they can also seem to be a bit hyper and complete things at a faster pace. Why rest when you can keep going, right?

Another point of likeness is that both competitive horse and distance runner need frequent upkeep. For the horse there are ice baths, poultice, frequent wrapping, liniment baths, glucosamine, magnets… For the runner, there are ice baths, compression socks, ace wraps, The Stick/foam roller, massages, glucosamine, etc. Not a whole lot different. Right?

And then there are injuries. Pulled muscles, torn tendons, stress fractures, and respiratory infections. All similar to the injuries runners sustain. So it is pretty obvious that both horses and runners have a lot in common. The good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly.

As someone who rode horses competitively for well over a decade and now is a competitive runner, I see so much of the same. And probably have become a bit more educated on what it takes to be at the top of your game. Love the horses forever and running is my passion. So similar and so rewarding, all in the same way.

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One thought on “Distance Runners & Racehorses

  1. I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog! This is really interesting about runners and horses. It all makes sense.

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