Emotional Conformation…

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I love handicapping a horse race…

I love reading about the horses past performances…

I love numbers and statistics (but only when it has to do with horse racing)…

When it comes to providing me the information I need to handicap a race I’m a fan of both Brisnet and the DRF as they each provide me the necessary information I need for handicapping a race. Important factors such as:  Statistics, workouts, speed fractions, Beyers speed figures, Tomlinson numbers, etc. are useful information when trying to weed out pretenders from the real contenders.

As a handicapper, all this information is invaluable in picking the right horses.

Last year I read about a method as equally important, and since then I have been a huge follower!

I first read about Thomas Herding Technique (also known as THT) about a year ago during the Derby. It was on the Kentucky Confidential website. As a Psychology major, I found this information fascinating and if you love the sport of thoroughbred horse racing you will also find his information intriguing. Take a look at what was written about last year’s winner, I’ll Have Another.

So what is this all about?  It’s about the emotional conformation of a horse. This information defines the mental and emotional psychology of a horse that makes up who they are.

The author Kerry Thomas has been recognized around the world as a researcher and service provider in the field of Equine Athletic Psychology.  His method, the Thomas Herding Technique provides valuable information to owners, trainers, and fans like myself.  You may wonder how does behavior such as individual dynamics, group dynamics, and patterns of motion have to do with winning a race.  I asked myself the same question, but after I found out about his method I was a believer that this information is equally, if not as important as numbers and statistics.

The analysis that Kerry Thomas has put together through observation and years of experience is invaluable. Getting in the mind of a horse and understanding its body language and patterns of movement is beyond amazing. As soon as I found out that Kerry Thomas book, Horse Profiling  (also written with Calvin L. Carter) hit the selves last April I ran out and bought a copy. I highly suggest this book for everyone who loves this sport!

So of course, when I found out Brisnet  was offering the “Thomas Herding Technique: Patterns of Motion Analysis” for this year’s Kentucky Derby I was beyond psyched!  This report was a huge factor in helping me handicap the race and pick this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Orb.  The analysis discussed the emotional conformation of each derby contender, and more than numbers and statistics; this analysis had a huge impact in what colts to leave in my picks, and which colts to toss.

(Excerpt from his analysis on Orb):

“Orb is extremely versatile. He shows no sticking points or mental weaknesses. He operates strongly in traffic or in open space. He never shows a tendency to mimic the rhythm of any other horse (weaker horses sometimes do this for comfort).  Orb is above them.”

It’s important to understand that it is more than the numerical results that pick winners. Being aware of the horse’s patterns of movement, body language and spirit from within makes each colt’s emotional conformation unique and special. Understanding the horse’s mental and emotional set up is priceless, and truly separates the winner from other horses within the group dynamic.

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