Training for the Starting Gate

  • Medium: Graphite on paper
  • Size: 38 x 56 cm
  • Date: 31 October, 2012
  • Frame: no
  • Shipping container: tube


Young horses are often afraid of the modern starting gate used in most flat racing. They have to be trained to get to know that it isn’t going to harm them. On Newmarket Heath there is a starting gate for the purpose of training. The two year old is coaxed gently to enter the back of the gate and then gallop out of the front. It often takes many attempts. The horse is not pulled but is pushed from behind by using a long leather strap which is passed around the horse. As you can see from this drawing the pressure is on the horses rear and he is not pulled from the muzzle. The rider talks to the horse to calm him down and coax him on.

Steeple ChaseHead Lad at Palace House Stables Newmarket