Power hours

Power hours
Feeding time: Mr Khoo carrying the buckets of mixed food for the horses.

Mornings are the power hours for athletes because how they start the day can affect their performance.

Most top performers have specific breakfast routines that include a special diet.

Racehorses - athletes created by nature and trained by man - are no different. They have their mornings planned to ensure the highest performances.

Those at The Singapore Turf Club stables start their day at 9am by meeting the farrier to see if they need to get new shoes - horse shoes - fitted for them. And this is not just for good luck.

Farriers specialise in equine hoof care and they see to animals such as horses and donkeys, but mostly horses.

Horses have to get their shoes changed every six to eight weeks as the hooves grow and the shoes wear out with the pressure put on them during races.

Mr Lawrence Khoo, 35, an equestrian care taker, said: "Just like humans, horses have shoes in different sizes, for both the front and hind legs as well. "

The old shoes are removed by cutting the nail clinches, which are nails folded over to hold the shoes to the hooves.

After some trimming and cleaning, the hooves are levelled by rasping, which is something like buffing nails during a manicure.

The shoes are placed against the hooves and a pocket anvil is used to bend the shoes according to the shape of the horse's hooves.

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