What Makes a Horse Run in a Race?


by Al Badia

It’s a simple question, but it’s surprisingly complicated to answer.

What makes a racehorse run in a race? Well, there are two main factors at play here: the speed at which their legs move and how much energy they put into those movements. It’s a pretty basic equation—the faster a horse moves, the more energy it has to put into those movements, and vice versa. But not all horses are created equal when it comes to energy production; some horses just move faster than others. And that’s where jockeys come in!

Jockeys can and do make racehorses run faster. The unique movement of a rider on a horse’s back “drives” a horse faster by creating kinetic energy. All racehorse jockeys ride similarly, but some jockeys are better than other jockeys at making their horse run more quickly.


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