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Winter Break and Loss of Fitness

This is a discussion on Winter Break and Loss of Fitness within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        12-23-2013, 08:21 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Both of mine are out 24/7 on a 40 acre pasture. They live in a large herd, so they "self exercise" to an extent. The winter has them galloping and playing like mad! I'm very interested in extending their working years as long as possible. They're both quite young -- 10 and 8-years-old.
    phantomhorse13, greentree and Eole like this.
         
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        12-27-2013, 02:41 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Horses do not lose their conditioning as fast as humans. In fact, they hold their condition quite well. That's part of the reason big endurance riders will do a ride each month and then not ride the horses in between - the rides ARE the conditioning, and anything more than a light ride in between would be over-conditioning.

    As for holding fitness over time off, it doesn't take too long to get a previously fit horse back into shape. If it did, many of my Idaho friends wouldn't be able to compete more than a few months of the year. One experienced friend in particular actually had to give one of her Arabians 2 years off, but was able to successfully compete in a 50 after just a few weeks of conditioning (her horses are turned out 24/7 as well). That's one extreme example, but the principle still holds true. Just pay attention to what your horse needs, but it shouldn't take more than a month or so to leg them up in the spring if they were fit in the fall and have only had a few months off.
         
        12-27-2013, 03:08 PM
      #13
    mls
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jillybean19    
    Horses do not lose their conditioning as fast as humans. In fact, they hold their condition quite well. That's part of the reason big endurance riders will do a ride each month and then not ride the horses in between - the rides ARE the conditioning, and anything more than a light ride in between would be over-conditioning.
    Yes. Our ride vets told us this too.

    When I did endurance, I would take dressage lessons during the off season. Created a more balanced horse and rider.
         

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