Why do horses get weight penalties? – Gulfstream Park Horse Racing Handicapping Systems That Work

When a horse receives weight penalty, it has a very short time frame to recover from the penalty. Typically, a horse with a weight penalty takes about 10 days to recover. However, most horses will recover within a week or two, depending on whether they have taken medication, or how severe the weight penalty is.

The longer a horse takes to recover, the more work it is going to have to do to get the weight down. This can be a really great time for horses to recover, but they are also prone to getting injured. When a horse is heavy, not a lot of space is available to carry the weight. A horse with moderate to severe weight penalty can have its stomach and intestines torn. If injuries occur, we can advise a horse to not race, which is the hardest thing for the horse.

Can I take my horse in for a health exam if you haven’t checked with a veterinarian?

We don’t offer health exams in our barn, but we can work with you to find someone who can. In other words, do not take your horse in if you’re not sure. Your health can have a lot to do with whether or not you can race. You need to find another trainer and owner who understands, and allows you to race. We try our very best to do this, but you do have to be able to trust the trainer to explain it.

I don’t want to go to a different trainer. What should I do?

When this happens, we’ll be very good at explaining it to you. We won’t ask you to do anything you are not comfortable with, such as a blood test. We’ll explain how, if desired, you can make the test more efficient.
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I don’t want to train my horse because it has already gained weight. What do I do?

If you still believe you must train your horse after taking a weight penalty, keep in mind that they could be having a thyroid issue. Some horses are hyperactive and have an overactive thyroid gland. If they have had too much training, the hyperactivity will likely be more severe and affect their ability to recover. The good news is that many of these horses recover quickly. We don’t necessarily want a horse who cannot recover at all. If a horse has already gained weight with a weight penalty, there may still be areas where it could be improved and we will work with you to find the appropriate treatment.

If you’re still unsure,

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