BACKSIDE LEARNING CENTER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

RACETRACK CURRICULUM – WORDS AND PHRASES 
 


VERBS: Commands

Hold back, or Whoa back (When walking a horse. Command that indicates something is ahead, and the hotwalker should stop the horse.)

Stop

Whoa (Stop)

No x [anything, cell phones, bandages, etc.]
     No bandages, please

Don’t … [some action]

Don’t pull (Don’t pull on the reins of the horse. Instead go with the horse, as it jerks its head back.)

Don’t use your cell phone

Don’t pull the tail (Don’t pull out hairs from the tail to try to make it thinner. For example, don’t use the curry comb, or comb, because it will pull hairs out from the tail. You should use a brush.)
 

Bathe the horse (Wash the horse with water and soap.)

Bring out the horse (Take the horse out of the stall to wherever is specified.)

Clean…
 
  Clean the x,
 
  Clean the stall,
 
  Clean the fan.

Dry the legs

Feel the …. (If you notice that there is heat, or some other problem, on the horse’s body, and you want to tell the trainer to feel for himself/herself. For example: Feel the leg.)

Fill the water bucket

Fix that…[whatever item]
   
   Fix that mat
(Clean and straighten the mat in front of the stall.)
   
   Fix your blanket
(Straighten the blanket on the horse. Sometimes they fall to one side.)

Give…
   
   Give the horse 10 min
(Usually a hotwalker should walk the horse for 10 minutes.)
   
   Give it [horse] the hose / Hose it off / Hose it down
(Turn on the hose without the nozzle and put the water on the horse. Sometimes you have to hit a particular spot.) 
 


Go…
   
   Go to the test barn
(After a race, some horses have to go to the test barn to do a urine test and blood test.)
   
   Go to the stall. The horse has to pee.
(When walking a horse, sometimes you have to take it into a stall and whistle, so that it will pee. Then you can take it out, and continue walking it.)

Grab your hay bag (You have to bring the hay bag with you to take to another track, if you’re traveling with a horse.)

Jog the horse (The groom runs alongside the horse in the barn area, so the vet can see.)

Keep the horse moving (This means to keep walking the horse. It could be around the barn, or in small circles in the paddock, to keep the horse from getting antsy.)

Open the windows (also, Shut the windows)

Paint (Paint the horse’s leg with a liquid medicine.)

Pull the mane (The mane is too long, and they want it to be shorter. Some trainers do it with scissors, but others use a small comb to pull the hairs.) 
 


Put…
   
   Put [something] in [something]
 
   Put the horse in the stall

   Put the horse’s feet in the ice tube (or ice bucket)

   Put the chain in the mouth

   Put the screw eyes in the stall (You have to screw the screw eyes into the stall.) 
 

Put [something] on [something]

   Put the ice boots on the horse at [a time] (Put the ice in little bags in the ice boot. Then wrap the boot on the horse’s leg.)

   Put the ice on the horse (Usually means use the ice boots. Put ice in the boot and wrap the boot on the horse’s leg.)

   Put the lip chain on the horse (This is for really aggressive or scared horses. One way is to use the regular chain, but pass it under the horse’s lips, touching the gums. Another way is to use a special small chain.)

   Put the poultice on the horse (Poultice is a white mud used as medicine for horses’ legs.)

   Put mud on the hoof / Pack the foot (Clean the hoof, then put something like mud on the bottom of the hoof.)

Put [something] on

   Put the webbing on (The webbing is a plastic piece that goes in front of the stall.)

   Put the fan on,

   Put the bridle on,

   Put the bandages on (Wrap bandages on the horse’s legs.) 
 


Take…

   Take out [something]

      Take out the feed (Take the feed tub out of the stall.)

      Take out the hay (Take the hay out of the stall.)

      Take out the water (Take the water bucket out of the stall.)

   Take [something] off

      Take the water off (Take the water bucket out of the stall.)

      Ten minutes before the race, take the ice boots off (Ice boots are special leg wraps that have ice in them. They have to be taken off before the horse races.)

      Take the grooming box (When traveling to another track, bring the grooming box with you.) 
 

Sweat that horse with [alcohol and glycerine, furacin] (Put either alcohol and glycerine, or furacin, on the leg, then put a cotton wrap, then plastic wrap, then the bandage.)

Use your chain (Put the chain on the horse instead of just grabbing it by the bridle.)

Wait…

   Wait until …[time]

   Wait for the doctor for lasix (Wait with the horse until the vet comes. Then hold the horse while the vet injects lasix, a type of medicine.)

Watch…

   Watch your blanket (Blankets often slip and have to be straightened.)

   Watch out

Wash the legs using castile soap (Castile soap is a type of soap made of coconut.) 
 

VERBS: Talking about time (before or after)

Come…  After the horse comes from the track…

Go…  Before the horse goes to the track…

VERBS: Progressive

Coming…

  Coming in (The horse is going into the barn.)

  Coming out (The horse is going out of the barn.)

  The doctor is coming (The vet is going to come to see the horse.)

Going…

  You’re going with the pony (The pony, which is a calm horse that accompanies the Thoroughbred, will be waiting for your horse. You take your horse to the pony and hand the reins to the pony rider.) 
  

VERBS: Future

Come… [using will]

  The doctor will come at [a time] to give the lasix to the horse.

Leave…

  We leave at ….[time]. (Teach that future tense would more correctly use, “We will leave at [a time], but that they will sometimes hear a present tense conjugation for talking about the future).

ADJECTIVES

  Hot horse (Describes a horse that has just come from exercising at the track, and has to be walked to cool down.)

  Cold horse (Describes a horse that has not exercised that day. The horse is just a normal temperature, and is only going to walk that day.)

ADVERBS

  There’s heat (Part of the horse feels hotter than the rest, which means that something is wrong.) 
  

PRONOUNS

  my / your / his / her / our / their horse

NUMBERS

Horse number x in the y race on z day. Example: Horse number 7 in the 12th race on Saturday.

QUESTIONS

Did they [verb]…

Did they leave feed? (They are asking if the horse didn’t eat all of its feed. Sometimes this means that something is wrong.)

Did they eat good? (Means: Did the horse eat all of its food? Teach that using “good” here is not actually correct grammar, but it is the phrasing that is used at the racetrack.)

What is…

What’s their temperature?

How…

How about [name of the horse]? (This question is asking how the horse is doing. They could ask the groom to see how it’s doing in the stall, or ask the exercise rider to see how it’s doing on the track.) 
  

*Exercise Rider Specific (see last page)*

Situations

You have an upcoming doctor’s appointment. You have to tell your boss the day and time of the appointment. Ask your boss if it’s ok to miss work. Tell the boss the day before, not the day of the appointment.

Explain to the trainer the reason that you did something, if the foreman or assistant trainer told you to do it. Example: Trainer: “Why did you do that? Why did you give him that medicine?” You can say: “The assistant / foreman told me to.”

The doctor (the vet) has already seen the horse, and you need to ask about what to do next. You can ask: “Is the doctor coming back to check, or not?” or, “Is the doctor finished?” or, “Should I put the horse open, or should I put bandages?”

The response to the last question might be: “You can leave.” or, “Leave it open.” or, “Put bandages on.”

When the horse is open, that means that you do not put bandages on it. If you are told to put bandages, then you wrap bandages around the legs. 
  
  

You notice a problem with a horse, and what to tell someone in the barn. “Come look at x [possible problem with a horse].”

You lose your room key. If you are in the dorm, go to the Stable Office by Gate 5. Say, “I lost my room key.”

You have to do laundry. Where do you get quarters and soap?

You need counseling or help. There is a therapist who works at the clinic (Kentucky Racing Health Services Center – 422 Heywood Avenue). To make an appointment, go to the office of the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund (with Erica). Show your last pay stub and your racing license at the office, and pay $5 to make an appointment. Your appointment will be with the therapist at the clinic. 
 

You have a medical problem. You can receive medical treatment at the clinic (Kentucky Racing Health Services Center – 422 Heywood Avenue), if you have a medical problem, need, or concern that is not a work-related injury. To make an appointment, go to the office of the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund (with Erica). Show your last pay stub and your racing license at the office, and pay $5 to make an appointment.

New horses are arriving to your barn.

You have to go with a horse or horses to another racetrack.

You have to tell your boss that you have to go to court.

You have an upcoming doctor’s appointment. You have to tell your boss the day and time of the appointment. Ask your boss if it’s ok to miss work. Tell the boss at least a day before. Do not wait until the day of the appointment. 
  

 

Body parts of horse:

Neck,
Throat,
Backbone,
Hips,
Back,
Abdomen,
Torso:
  Ribs, chest, stomach, intestines.
Legs:
  Shoulder (front), Thigh, Skin, Knee, Ankle, Foot, Hoof, Pastern, Fetlock, Cannon, Pelvis (back), Hips (back), Butt (back), Lower leg, Elbow, Forearm, Coronet, Hock, Stifle, Gaskin, Hind or Back Legs / Front, Splint, Sesamoids, Coffin, Navicular, Suspensories 
 

Head:
  Mouth, Teeth, Tongue, Nose, Nostrils, Forehead, Face, Lip, Eye, Cheek, Ear, Eyes, Mane

Withers,
Lungs,
Heart,
Veins,
Blood,
Muscles,
Tendons,
Ligaments,
Joints,
Skin,
Nerves,
Fungus,
Gums,
Hoof,
Heel Bulbs,
Toe,
Sole,
Frog,
Quarter 
 

Nouns: Equipment, Items:

Alcohol,
Ambulance,
Babies,
Baby oil,
Bandage,
Bandaging pins,
Bam,
Bit:
  D Bit, Doctor Bristol, Elevator Bit, Hunton Bit, Ring Bit, Rubber D Bit, Rubber Ring Bit, Snuffle. 
 
 

Bite,
Blanket,
Blood test,
Boots,
Bottle,
Braces,
Bridle,
Broom,
Brush,
Bucket,
Buckle,
Burn Pad,
Bute,
Chain,
Chamois (Shammi),
Chaps,
Comb,
Cotton,
Curry comb,
Disinfectant,
Dryer,
Dump Bin, or Muck Bin,
Elastic Bandages,
Epidemic,
Fan,
Feed,
Feed Bag,
Feed Tub,
Figure Eight,
Fly spray,
Furacin (cream),
Gate 
 

Girth,
Girth Channel,
Girth Cover,
Gloves,
Glycerin,
Grass,
Groom box,
Grooming glove,
Halter,
Hand wash,
Handful (describing quantity of food)
Hard Brush,
Hay,
Hay bale / Bale of hay,
Hay loft,
Head stall,
Helmet,
Hoof pick,
Horseshoe / Shoe,
Hose,
Hot water,
Ice,
Ice Boots,
Injury,
Kick,
Ladder,
Lasix,
Lead,
Lead Shank,
Lip Chain,
Lip Cord,
Lip Shank,
Loading Ramp,
Masking tape,
Mat,
Medicine,
Mop,
Muck Basket,
Nose Band,
Other side,
Pad,
Pitchfork,
Polo,
Poultice,
Rail,
Rake,
Ramp,
Reins,
Rings  
 

Rope, or Shank,
Saddle,
Saddle Pad,
Saddle Towels,
Saddle Tower,
Same side,
Scoop, or dipper (describing quantity of food),
Scope (used by vet in nostrils),
Screw Eye,
Shank,
Shavings,
Shed Row,
Shovel,
Sponge,
Spray bottle,
Stable Employee,
Stall,
Stallion (male older than 5), mare (female older than 5), Gelding, Yearling, Baby, Colt (male younger than 5), Filly (female younger than 5) 
  

Standing Bandages,
Stirrup,
Strap,
Straw,
Straw bale / Bale of straw,
Sweats (type of wrap used for the horse’s legs),
Tack,
Temperature,
Thoroughbred,
Tongue Tie,
Tools,
Top Chain,
Trailer,
Truck,
Turpentine,
Twitch (Nose twitch: to restrain the horse. Made of rope, or chain loop at the end of a handle, applies pressure on the nerves in the upper lip for a tranquilizing effect.),
Urine test,
Vest,
Vetrap,
Wash Bucket,
Washing Machine,
Water Bucket,
Webbing,
Wheelbarrow,
Whip,
Wrap,
Yoke 
  

Feelings:
   Sad, Nervous, Anxious, Happy, Mad / Angry, Surprised, Alarmed, Sick, Interested, Curious, Relaxed, Annoyed, Worried, Calm, Sleepy, Tired, Energetic, Spooked

People:
   The doctor (vet), Hotwalker, Groom, Exercise rider, Jockey, Foreman, Assistant trainer, Trainer, Boss, Coworker, Blacksmith (farrier), Partner, Dentist

Adjectives:
   Humid, hurt / injured, Sound, Dehydrated / Dehydration

Verbs:
   Whistle 
  

Riding Terms:
   Furlong, 1/8th (one-eighth, octavo), Quarter pole, 3/8th (three-eighths), Half mile, 5/8th (five-eighths), 3/4th (three-fourths, or three-quarters), 7/8th (seven-eighths), Finish line, The chute, Starting gate, Regular gallop, Slow gallop  
 

Problems with horse:
   Abscess, Allergies / Allergic Reaction, The leg’s blown up, Bowed tendon, Capped Hock, Cast, Chip Fracture, Colic, Cracked hoof (Crack in the Hoof / Quarter Crack), Cut, Dry skin, The horse is falling out, Fever, Fly strike, Fracture, Heat stroke, Hooves are too soft, Hurt, Infection, Inflammation / Inflamed, Injury, Lame / Lameness, Pop a curb (back of hock), Puffy eyes, Shin Buck / Bucked Shin, Shoe Boil, Sole Bruise, Sore, Splint, Swollen / Swelling, Tendonitis, Tense muscles, Thrush, Tick, Too hairy, warts 
   

Places:

Receiving Barn,
Paddock,
Tack Room,
Tack Shop,
Test Barn,

Racetrack Names:
  Churchill Downs (Louisville, Kentucky)
  Spectrum (also called Trackside) – Training Center in (Louisville, Kentucky)
  Keeneland (Lexington, Kentucky)
  Ellis Park (Henderson, Kentucky)
  Turfway (Florence, Kentucky)
  Kentucky Downs (Franklin, Kentucky)
  Indiana Downs (Shelbyville, Indiana)
  Saratoga (Saratoga Springs, New York)
  Belmont (Elmont, New York)
  Arlington (Arlington Heights, Illinois)
  Gulfstream (Hallandale Beach, Florida)
  Payson Park (Indiantown, Florida)
  Fairgrounds (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  Oaklawn (Hot Springs, Arkansas)

Safety:

Maintain contact with the horse, touching it with your hand, as you go down to pick the hoof. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
 

EXERCISE RIDER SPECIFIC:

Phrases (Exercise Rider):

Gotta (Explain the correct grammar of “has to,” but the use of gotta.)

He’s gotta get schooling (Schooling is when you take a horse to the paddock before the races, to teach the horse how to be saddled in the races, so that they are more calm and comfortable with the process when they race.)

Let me know….

  Let me know if he [the horse] feels good (Means that the exercise rider is supposed to report back to the trainer if the horse seems to be riding good and normal, or if he / she notices any problems.)

On / off…

  You’re on today, off tomorrow. (Means you will be working today, but not tomorrow.)

  
VERBS: Future (Exercise Rider)

Break…[using going to]

The pony is going to break you off. (The pony, which is a calm horse, will gallop with the horse, to start the workout. The pony will gallop with the horse until the pole, where the horse will start breezing, or working out, which is faster than galloping.)

Adjectives and Nouns (Exercise Rider)

Dominant leg

VERBS: Commands (Exercise Rider)

Beat up / Don’t…

Don’t beat him up (Don’t hit the horse at all, or don’t hit him a lot with the whip.) 
 

Break…

   Break from the gate (Take the horse to the gate to practice going in the gate, and running out of it like horses do at the start of a race.)

   Break and after slow him down (Take the horse to the gate to practice going in the gate, and running out of it like horses do at the start of a race. At the 1/8th pole, the exercise rider should slow down the horse. The 1/8th pole is out on the track, and marks 1/8th of the way around the track.)

Breeze…

   Breeze the horse (Breeze means work the horse, or work it out. This is when the exercise rider rides the horse fast for its training. This is the fastest that the exercise rider will go with the horse.)

  Breeze the horse half mile (See “breeze” above. The exercise rider will do this for a half mile.)

Bring…

   Bring them back to you 
 

Finish…

   Finish at the (This indicates the distance the exercise rider is supposed to work out the horse. The workout should end at the 5/8th pole on the track.)

Flop…

   Flop him out

Gallop…

   Gallop two miles

   Gallop nice and easy

Get…

   Get it to relax 
 

Go…

   Go jog one (Means to jog the horse once around the track. Jogging means to ride the horse at a slow speed that is faster than walking, but slower than galloping.)

   Go and gallop a mile and half

   Go to the gate (Take the horse to the starting gate that the horses usually go out of, for the races.)

   Go to the wire (Go to the finish line.)

   Go straight

   Go together / Go (or Gallop) in company / Go head and head / Go with your partner (Means the exercise rider will take the horse to the track and ride it along with another exercise rider from the barn. They will go together.)

   Go to the paddock (The paddock is the saddling and parading area on the frontside of the track, where horses can be seen prior to the race.)

   Go to the chute (The chute is an extended part of the track, so that there is more of a straightaway. It extends off of one of the turns of an oval track.)

   Go ahead and break him / Let’s break him

   Go across the chute

Give…

   Give me a leg up (An exercise rider can say this to anyone, when they need that person to hoist them up onto the horse. This person will let the exercise rider step on his / her hand, so that the exercise rider can swing the other leg over the horse.

Keep…

   Keep them in the bit (gather up)

   Keep him walking (exercise rider says to groom)
 

Stand…

   Stand them in the gate (Take the horse to the starting gate just so that the horse can practice standing in the gate. It will not run from the gate, but just stand there.)

Start…

   Start to gallop to the half mile

   Start slow and finish stronger

Make…

   Make sure he switches leads (Switching leads refers to altering which set of legs advances forward to the greatest extent. It is important on the turns, and sometimes at the end of the race).

   Make it pay attention

Whip / Don’t…

   Don’t whip the horse

Questions (Exercise Rider)

Think…

   Do you think he needs blinkers? (Blinkers are equipment that goes on the horse’s face around the eyes, to prevent the horse from seeing behind it, and sometimes prevents it from seeing to the side.)

   You think you got it?

   Where do you think the problem is? (What part of the horse do you think has a problem?) 
  

Got / Have…

   You got his number?

   You think you got it?

Need…

   You need company?

Want…

   You wanna go alone? (Explain the correct grammar of “want to,” but also teach that “wanna” is often spoken.)

   You want somebody else to get on it?

Feel…

   Did he feel OK? (Used to ask an exercise rider about the ride / training on a particular horse.) 
  

Responses (Exercise Riders)

Vocabulary for talking about parts of the horse or problems:

Right / left,
hind / front,
ankle / knee / stifle / hock

Can’t / Breathe…

   He / She can’t breathe.

Feel…

   He / she feels flat today.

Need…

   He / She needs a figure eight or tongue tie (A tongue tie is a piece of equipment that prevents a horse from getting its tongue over the bit. It is usually a strip of cloth or rubber, passed through the mouth and tied below the chin.) (A figure-8 is a type of noseband that crosses over the bridge of the nose, and runs under the lower jaw.)

Let’s / Put…

   Let’s put draw reins. (Draw reins are an extra specialized set of reins. They have the effect of lowering the horse’s head.)