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Vision Training For Horse Racing

Horse racing is a much more complex sport than some might think, and many important vision skills play major roles in the racer’s ability to steer him/herself and the horse to victory in the fast-paced world of horse racing.

 

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Vision Training For Horse Racing Optometrist
Table of Contents

Sports vision training is customized training that gives athletes a major edge against the competition by improving the specific visual skills needed for the position and sport that they play. 

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Core Visual Skills

While there are a number of vision skills that are important for horse racers, some are more crucial to performance than others.

Core vision skills for horse racers include:

  • Balance and Proprioception: The rider’s balance is doubly important during a horse race. Improved balance helps ensure he stays on the horse as it moves along the track, but also, an enhanced ability to manage his/her weight on the horse, to give it the best chance to maintain its speed throughout the race.
  • Peripheral Awareness: In a race, it’s also important to remain aware of your opponents as they speed along nearby. Improved peripheral awareness will improve this ability, giving a rider a better sense of what he/she needs to do to ensure he emerges victorious.
  • Timing and Rhythm: Timing is important during a horse race, as the rider needs to know precisely when to alter his position slightly to keep his/her balance correct, to work with his/her horse to achieve the best outcome.
  • Visual Distance Calculation: In order to know when a particular action must be taken during a race, the rider needs to have an elite ability to calculate distances, whether that is the distance to the finish line, or the distance between another horse and rider that he is trying to catch or are trying to catch him.

 

Secondary Visual Skills

Secondary Visual Skills

Secondary visual skills for horse racers aren’t necessarily any less important than core visual skills, though they are not quite as central to what is needed for a horse racer to be successful.

  • Visual Memory: Visual memory is the vision skill which helps us remember visual input we have seen previously, such as a racing track. Improving this skill both gives a rider more knowledge of the track for a race in a general sense, and gives him improved ability to adapt if there are changes in track conditions, such as from weather.
  • Visual Spatial Localization: This vision skill grants the ability to act in response to changes in the surrounding environment and to know where one is relevant to other things around. As a result, the rider is better able to respond to the course development and the positioning of other horses and riders around them.
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