Travelling the world looking after thoroughbreds might sound like a dream, but there is a group of people who are making this dream a reality: the strapper.
Strappers look after horses. Depending on their role they may look after a single horse though a lot of the time they have multiple horses they need to take care of.
They look after the horses in the stables, in the yards and on race day. They do everything involved in looking after the horse (or horses) assigned to them. The duties include:
- Cleaning out the stables and yards of their horses
- Feeding their horses
- Grooming their horses
- Preparing their horses for trackwork
- Saddling and parading the horse for both trackwork and race days
A strapper’s day starts when most of us are still fast asleep and often end late into the night. It includes travel and long hours but the bond that forms between a strapper and their horse is one that is likened to best friendships or that of a child and parent. And it is this significant bond that provides the rewards that strappers come to crave.
RECENT NEWS: Racehorse Ownership at Cost Price with miRunners
It is little wonder that such a strong bond is formed when the horse and strapper spend so much time together. Every high and low is shared and when a strapper watches their saddled horse head to the gates it is like watching a family member.
Grooming is such a large part of a strappers job and they are responsible for picking up any signs of change in their horses. Grooming is not just brushing the horse it is also about using the reactions of the horse to a physio style massage/exam each day to pick up signs of soreness or any potential issues the horse might have. Strappers watch their horse’s eyes to spot any signs of discomfort early when they are following this daily routine.
RELATED NEWS: miRunners has four of the top 10 trainers in Australia
Shannon Betts, Owner and Founder of Emeran Park, is known for saying a happy horse is a fast horse. The strappers bond with their horse gives the horse so much love and attention that they can be nothing but happy.
Given the long and socially awkward hours strappers are needed at work, it takes a special kind of person who has nothing but love for the thoroughbred to become a strapper. But the positive side is that many thoroughbred lovers can travel the world working with their passion.
Many strappers work their way all over the world: from Ireland to England to the USA and Australia. And as such an integral member of the prep team strappers can make friends for life out of their workmates.
If you are not a strapper but want to be heavily involved in the racing industry, you can become a thoroughbred owner for just $275 with miRunners. Premium racehorses matched with Australia’s best trainers for an affordable price. Monthly fees are $15 for your first unit and $5 for any additional units.