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This is a discussion on Rest within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Rest fir endurance horses

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    12-27-2013, 03:20 PM

I know that rest time is really important for conditioning for endurance, but I've never heard what exactly that rest is. Do you turn the horse out to pasture and not exercise them at all? Are short hacks ok? Basically I'm wondering how you all plan your horses' rest times. :) Thanks!
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    12-27-2013, 06:44 PM
I used to give my horse the days off equal to the trip. So if I had a ride on Saturday, and Friday and Sunday to travel, then they got 3 days off. My horses have always lived in the pasture. Usually, I was TOO sore to ride for 4 days anyway.

But for conditioning, they usually got the weekends off unless we did a ride. Also, we never really rode any distance every day. The arena work and trail distance work usually alternated days.

    12-27-2013, 08:58 PM
What "rest" is for our horses depends on what part of the season you are talking about and which horses.

During the late winter/spring legging up process for the older, experienced horses, they are generally ridden 2-3 times a week. [They are turned out in pasture 24/7.] Once the season gets going, my general rule of thumb is 1 week off for every 25 competition miles ridden to start. So an LD would get a week off, a 50 2 weeks, etc. But as the season progresses, the time off generally increases. By mid-season, the horses are doing roughly 1 ride a month and often are not ridden between rides at all.

My plan for Dream, who was out of competition most of last year and then was in jail (aka stall rest and then rehab) for a few months will involve a lot more slow legging up. Once she returns to competition, I will likely continue to ride her more frequently than I would the boys between races simply to assure myself she is fit.

For Gamer, the plan is lots of long, slow distance. That will be both as training/conditioning and as LDs to get her used to the competition game. She will get less chunks of time off as she won't be going the farther distance of the older horses. I want to get her a good solid base.
    12-27-2013, 10:09 PM
Short, light work won't hurt. Don't ride any faster than a walk or work for more than an hour depending on what you're doing. We do ground work.
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    12-28-2013, 04:45 PM
Thanks everyone! So how would you adjust rest time for an older horse? Mine is 18 and she's never done endurance before, we're just trying it for fun.
    12-28-2013, 06:51 PM
Originally Posted by TrailDustMelody    
So how would you adjust rest time for an older horse? Mine is 18 and she's never done endurance before, we're just trying it for fun.
Assuming the horse lives outside, I would perhaps adjust the rest time to be slightly longer for an older horse.. but that would be for a older, fit horse. A horse that is being brought into condition is going to need more consistent work to build up that fitness level.

What distance rides are you planning in terms of competition? And how often were you looking to do them?
    12-28-2013, 08:31 PM
Yes, she does live outside.

I'm hoping to do some limited distance next spring, maybe one per month. It really depends on what I can get a ride to. I don't have a trailer yet so I'm depending on a couple of endurance friends to take me with them on conditioning rides and eventually to competitions.
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    01-02-2014, 01:44 AM
I got to haul out to the trails today and rode for a total of 11.5 miles in 3.5 hours (took a break 2/3 into the ride), at an average speed of 3mph. That was mostly walking with some trotting and an unfortunate amount of jigging. Lia is getting trimmed tomorrow so she'll have the whole day off, and then I'm thinking of some light work the day after (like lunging or a quick bareback ride). Then we'll hit the arena a few times over the weekend to tune up and find that sane mind, soft mouth, and floaty trot again. :)

Does that sound like an appropriate amount of rest?
    01-02-2014, 02:01 AM
Rule of thumb for conditioning when getting ready for a ride: do a total of 20-30 miles per week with more days of than on. That means you could break your riding up into 2-3 rides of 7-10 miles each, so one 20 mile ride, or something in between. I'd also make sure to give at least one day completely off between rides or just do sine light groundwork
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    01-02-2014, 02:01 AM
But what you're doing sounds good :)
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