I hear comments sometimes, "it's so easy to ride, look there just sitting on top of the horse." There is so much more to it than the eye can see. One race is equivelant to a 20 minute aerobics excercise. You use every muscle in your body and your heart rate is excellerated quickly.(I found that out when I was riding while I was pregnant. I felt like my heart was pounding out of my chest. Thats when I decided to stop.) You are riding on a 1200lb+ horse that has a mind of there own. If they want to go to the front, run you up on top of other horses heels, lug in, bolt to the outside, won't run, won't break out of the gate, hangs because they don't want to pass another horse and a 1000 more things that can happen while riding in a race. They're strong and some horses are just plain uncomfortable to ride. You get bounced and jerked around constantly. Jockey's don't get the credit they deserve for the job that they do. I feel its because most people don't realize or understand what is involved in riding a high strung race horse. One thing I can tell you for sure is that it is extremely competitive. Every Jockey wants to win every race they ride! There are over a 1000 ways to get beat and only one way to win. See you at the races!