Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I can't repeat this enough - hacking. Hacking is the most important factor to conditionin for the tough demands of eventing. Hack, hack, hack, hack, hack again and then when you're done hacking, hack some more.
Miles, miles, miles. Just the same way, an Endurance Rider would condition their mounts. It is about strengthening those lungs and that heart. Top physical condition takes a long time to achieve, and you have to do it correctly to ensure your horse develops properly and conditions properly - but it can be done.
When you ride, you have to make sure your horse is engaged, working at all times *even at the walk*, back is lifted up into your seat, tracking up and using his/her body correctly.
Lots of intravals, transitions. Always start out at a good working walk - engaged, opened up, moving under themselves, back lifted up into seat and moving forward. I always start my walk work at the beginning, and start out at about 20 mintues. Then I let him relax, and then I ask again.
I ride for about an hour, at walk work. I gradually up it from walk work to trot work, back to walk, back to trot. More walk time than trot. Then I increase the trot time to be longer than the walk time.
Only go at the pace your horse can go. If your horse is telling you, that the trot work is too long, then listen.
Then gradually transition to canter. Same story as the walk work and the trot work.
That, is how you condition for Eventing. When I prepare my horse for the eventing season, I start out by hacking 5, 6 days a week. As he starts to come around, I start introducing arena work once a week out of those days, and then when he starts coming around even more, I then start to include a jumping lesson.
Monday - hack. Tuesday - hack. Wednesday - dressage work. Thursday - hack. Friday - jumping lesson. Saturday and Sunday - off. Just examples.
For me - I don't do much for exercise. I work 80 hours a pay period as a Certified Nurses Assistant in a Nursing Home. I get plenty of work out's there - but when I ride, I do a lot of work in the 2 point position. Where I can work on staying up, off of my horses back, solidifying my position and my lower leg. Transitioning from a 3 point, to a 2 point to a full seat. You can add that in your hacking regime.