I do a ton of cross training with my horses. I go by the 50:50 rule when it come to schooling & conditioning. I keep a log for my endurance horse that records the type of ride (schooling--arena/flatwork, conditioning--trail/mileage), duration of the lesson/ride, mileage (if on trail), and HR/recoveries (if on trail). I do not particularly enjoy being in the arena, however keeping a journal forces me to notice if I'm favoring trail work or not doing enough of one or the other.
I have seen a HUGE different in my mare's muscling and overall strength when comparing her this season to last season when I did not cross train much. Some of the things we do when cross training include dressage/flatwork, jumping/jumping gymnastics, longeing at all 3 gaits in side reins/pessoa, lateral work at the walk on trail, cardio trail days (consistent speed), rapid-fire transitions in the arena, track work (high speed), etc.
Cross training also involves desensitizing...if we have an opportunity to do something fun/scary/out of the ordinary we do it, so long as it is safe and it sets the horse up for success. This could involve chasing the barking dog, herding a loose cow back into its pasture, following farm equipment down the road, riding through construction, etc.
Some pictures of us cross training/desensitizing...and a final before and after picture of my mare after a year's worth of work.
Approaching the scary grain bag grainbag.jpg
Jumping chute jump2.jpg
Western Pleasure rach2.jpg
Track Work blackwhiteselena.jpg
Beginner Lessons (aka. my boyfriend) CAM00158.jpg
Riding through deep snow IMG_20140220_011228.jpg
Free Longeing 144df6ff-6958-4e42-bbb6-7fe91fe412be_zpsad0fd851.jpg
Before & After Untitled.jpg