Getting fit!

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Getting fit!

This is a discussion on Getting fit! within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        08-12-2013, 03:52 AM
    Green Broke
    Getting fit!

    After some advice.

    I am currently loaning a 16.3hh 11YO mare. She was previously a XC/SJ horse until some sort of infection last year has left her with a constant puffy hind leg. There is no lameness, and after work it goes down considerably.

    The owner is brilliant, and we have become firm friends. But she has her competition horse to focus on.

    There are two other ladies that ride this mare, one of which I am replacing 01.09 and will be given firm days rather than squeezing in rides where I can.

    She is difficult to canter and owner is nervous about anyone doing so. I had a free school at the weekend, and with owners permission and watchful eye cantered. Urgh. It needs work. Her canter idea is BOOM GO. As soon as you touch the reins its sonic speed.

    Not only that. She is... rotund. My hips feel out of place by the time I have finished!

    The others ride her in a hackamore, because she can be fussy on the bit. Teeth are checked etc etc all is well. I soon came to realise that this is pure mickey take.

    She works beautifully on the bit, she just requires.. ahem.. a talking to. No whip or spurs, but a good placed pony club kick did it.

    Really after some advice on how to slowly build up this mare, but also idea for the canter so I don't end up using the school like a race track!

    Also, owner said if she is worked too hard she colics? I have never heard of this before, and due to the language barrier don't fully understand :S
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        08-12-2013, 06:03 AM
    Subscribing. You have a lot of interesting questions... I would like to hear what other people have to say.
        08-12-2013, 06:06 AM
    Green Broke
    Me too :P

    Don't get me wrong, I can ride.. but I'd rather find out what people have to say in case my way doesn't work.

    After the canter at the weekend she tried to get faster and faster in a trot. Muaha. She is very much a seat and legs horse, thank goodness, so I really.. really slowed my rising down, leg on and she had to come back and listen. Had the most amazing trot from her (not astounding, she was definitely built to jump but the best so far ;) ) and was really pleased so called it a day.

    I am also worried about this whole colic thing, so anyone who has experienced something similair or has experience, or just thinks the owner is being over protective.. please say!
        08-12-2013, 06:15 AM
    I totally get that! Even I have a few ideas of my own, but I'm not entirely confident in them... so I would like to hear other's opinions too.

    I've heard of horses getting colic from being over worked, but I never heard of it being a consistent thing nor have I ever experienced it first hand.
        08-12-2013, 06:18 AM
    Green Broke
    Yeah.. I give her a good ten minutes walk up and a nice stretchy trot and walk before any 'real' work, plenty of walking breaks and don't do anything that will make her eyeballs pop out. Cool down we take a nice long mooch along too for at least 10 minutes. I know horses can colic from work and not being cooled down correctly, but still wanting to hear if anyone has anything to further it. I am signing a contract, and unless I am totally at fault, say I decide to jump 1m30 course and she packs in, then I am not responsible for vets bills.

    When I had my youngster he had a habit of cantering off in his awkward but high stage, but that was discomfort and training. This mare just likes fast. And fast she will go. You want to stop? Pfft.. no fun in that!
        08-12-2013, 08:22 AM
    Green Broke
    THe best thing I've found for getting horses fit is walking up hills, make her do it in a proper outline up a nice steep hill and she will get very fit very fast! Also slow steady work on roads is good for bringing horses with tendon/ligament problems back into work.

    As for the canter, the thing that has helped Reeco immensly with his transition is work in the passoa, or if you can use them longriens.

    Finaly It could be that as she rushes her transitions she is not confident in the canter transitions, I personaly would just keep bringing her back every time she rushes and ask again, treat her like a baby that can't balance itself in canter.
        08-12-2013, 08:36 AM
    Green Broke
    Hmm, will have to see about hacking.. apparently she can be a handful and we all know what I am like.. -freeze- and fall off. I will speak to owner!

    Pessoa sounds like a really good idea, will dig mine out!

    She doesn't rush in to it, she will do a few nice steps then gets her happy on and wants more... horses, eh!

    Will start working on it more with her!
        08-12-2013, 08:57 AM
    Green Broke
    Reeco has started that recently, he has found his confidence in canter now and enjoys it far too much
        08-12-2013, 09:00 AM
    Green Broke
    If the canter was comfortable I wouldn't mind so much!

    Unfortunately.. it isn't so much.

    I think we are going to have a bit of trial and error when I get the school to myself!
        08-12-2013, 11:24 AM
    Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
    Her canter idea is BOOM GO. As soon as you touch the reins its sonic speed.
    Have you looked into having a good quiet lunging session before riding? I think this mare would really benefit from a lunging relaxation pre-riding regiment. I would allow her to blow off some steam, you to assess what your ride is going to be like, and for her to do some cantering and focus on that pace prior to being on.

    I just sold a mare we owned who had zero experience. VERY sensitive mare at all paces(except the walk ), and would become an explosive bomb when quietly asked to move into the canter.

    Before every ride, I would warm her up on the lunge line with the main focus being canter work. Make sure you have the clip of the lunge line through the outside bit-over and behind her ears-and thru the inside bit to your hand. The work allowed her to stay bent, learn voice commands which at times was convenient and she eventually(about a 2 months or so), learned to settle herself down into the canter. She eventually had the most beautiful, slow canter anyone could ask for(the most uncofortable horse to ride!).

    Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
    I soon came to realise that this is pure mickey take.
    A lot of owners are that way(Ill admit I'm that way myself when it comes to handling my own horses on the ground).

    Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
    She works beautifully on the bit, she just requires.. ahem.. a talking to. No whip or spurs, but a good placed pony club kick did it.
    Nothing wrong with that! Every horse needs that every once in a while, and from your description it sounds like a really well cared for with over caring owners who adore her, and just treat her like china glass.

    Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
    Also, owner said if she is worked too hard she colics? I have never heard of this before, and due to the language barrier don't fully understand :S
    EVERY horse in the world is at risk of colic if worked hard, and proper cool down precautions not taken. If the horse colics that easily, then the horse should not be ridden-period.

    What makes me wonder is if this mare has a history of colic? And the owner is over cautious of that? Even if that is the case, proper warm up and cool down etc will prevent her from getting sick. But keep in mind a horse who has colicked(spelling???) in the passed, is always more prone to colic again.

    ....and by the way, you have the most adorable avatar I have EVER seen! If you ever decide to retire it, let me know because I would love to steal it!

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