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How Do Horse Jockeys Stay So Small?

Horse racing is a thrilling sport that has been around for centuries. It requires a lot of skill to be successful and a great deal of fitness. One of the most important roles in horse racing is that of the jockey. Jockeys are incredibly small, usually weighing no more than 110 pounds, and yet they are able to guide and control a 1,200-pound horse around the track. So, how do horse jockeys stay so small?

Calorie Deficits

One of the most important aspects of a jockey’s weight is to ensure they are lightweight enough to be able to ride the horse properly and not be a burden on them. To achieve this, jockeys are often required to adhere to strict diets and calorie deficits. They will eat a limited number of calories each day in order to maintain a low weight, and this often involves skipping meals or eating very small amounts.

Exercise and Strength Training

It’s not just about what jockeys eat, though. They also have to exercise and train to stay in shape and be able to control the horse effectively. Jockeys will often spend hours in the gym each week, doing strength training and cardio to stay fit. They will also use the time to work on their core and leg muscles, which are essential for being able to sit atop the horse and control it.

Weight-Monitoring Programs

Many racing organizations require jockeys to participate in weight-monitoring programs. This ensures that they are able to maintain a safe and healthy weight. The programs often involve weekly weigh-ins and body fat measurements, as well as regular meetings with dietitians and nutritionists. This helps ensure the jockeys stay within the required weight range.

Fluid and Sweat Loss

One of the most important aspects of a jockey’s weight-loss regimen is the management of fluid and sweat loss. Jockeys will often have to wear sweat suits and other tight clothing during their workouts and time on the track in order to prevent them from sweating too much. This helps the jockey maintain their weight and not become dehydrated.

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Jockeys may also take supplements in order to help them stay at a healthy weight. These supplements are often specifically tailored to help with weight loss and muscle building. They may contain things like protein, vitamins, minerals, and herbs. It is important to note, though, that these supplements should always be taken in accordance with a doctor’s advice.

The Importance of Rest

It is also important for jockeys to get enough rest. This helps to ensure that they are able to perform at their best when they are on the track. Jockeys will often need to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to stay healthy and alert. They should also take regular breaks during the day in order to give their bodies time to recover.

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to being a jockey. It is very easy for jockeys to become overwhelmed by the pressure and stress of the sport. It is important for them to take time to relax and de-stress, as well as to talk to someone if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Healthy Habits

In order to stay healthy and maintain a low weight, jockeys should develop and stick to healthy habits. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest. It is also important to avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.


Jockeys have to be incredibly fit and light in order to be successful in their sport. In order to maintain their weight, they must adhere to strict diets and calorie deficits, exercise regularly, and take part in weight-monitoring programs. They must also manage their fluid and sweat loss, take supplements, get enough rest, and maintain good mental health. With the right habits, jockeys can stay healthy, fit, and light.

Keywords: Horse racing, jockey, weight, calorie deficits, exercise, strength training, weight-monitoring programs, fluid and sweat loss, supplements, rest, mental health, healthy habits.