Getting my horse back in shape

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Getting my horse back in shape

This is a discussion on Getting my horse back in shape within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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    12-21-2011, 08:43 PM
Getting my horse back in shape

I've been trying to get him back in shape over winter break and I will also be working on this all the way up to show season (spring) so does anybody have recommendations on how to go about building up his stamina? He's had it too easy the past couple months, time to get back to work Any training schedules you use?
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    12-22-2011, 12:07 AM
You could do some lunging at first, just a light jog, same as if you were on a light hack. At the barn I work at now, I'm keeping horses going through the winter by lunging light 20 minute trot sets every day, and maybe a light canter if I feel like they won't get too frisky.

You could then do some hacking out under saddle, maybe some hill work at that same light trot, just building stamina. I wouldn't start hard canter work (which builds air, mostly) until later in the winter :)


Exciting that you're starting back up!! How many days per week do you usually get to ride?
    12-22-2011, 10:33 PM
I'm lucky enough to be able to commute to my college so I get to ride my horses 1 or 2 times a week since they live at home and so do I :) but now that I'm on break and show season will be starting sooner than I think I want to ride or at least work them in some form 5-6 days a week. Just wanted some advice on what others usually do to start their horses back up and build their stamina.
    12-22-2011, 10:37 PM
Green Broke
I agree, I do a good amount of lunging, usually at a trot, maybe a little canter before I ride. Rides lately have been about balance, so I've been using the lunging to keep stamina up.

Also, be sure to make sure your horse is getting a well balanced diet. All the work in the world wont' build up condition unless it's getting all the proper nutrients. The more balanced, also the less time it will take to get into good condition.
    12-23-2011, 01:22 PM
PS. Make sure you are ready to go from 1-2 days of riding to 5-6. It's a lot of work and you gotta make sure you're eating and drinking just as well as your horse!

I hope you do well in the shows you enter. Keep us all updated! :)
    01-03-2012, 10:24 AM
Hacking. Lots of it. I'm not a huge fan of lunging so I honestly never do it and couldn't tell you if it actually works. It's just hard on their bodies to continuously go in a circle.

If you have anywhere where you can hack and do trot sets outside of an arena that's really your best bet. I'd start off with 15 minutes of hacking (good, working walk, stretching over his/her back and into the bridle) and 10 minutes of trot, then another 20 minutes of hacking. Eventually you can start doing actual trot sets and your rides would look like this;

30 minutes hacking
15 minutes trotting
5 minutes walking
15 minutes trotting
30 minutes hacking

You have to build up to it, but that's really an ideal conditioning schedule for a lower level horse to do once or twice a week. You could even work up to two 20 minute sets of trotting and increase the hacking if you really want to.

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