How to get my horse into shape... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-02-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Upstate NY
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How to get my horse into shape...

My 17yr old tb gelding Beau has been out of work for about 4 years due to my fear of him. Now I am 20 and am ready to begin working with him again. But, he is so out of shape with not the smallest amount of muscle tone, he has also dropped weight like crazy. At the moment he is being started on a steady diet of a pound of grain, 3 scoops of weight builder, and some alfalfa cubes to get his weight back up to normal. But what I need to know is how to get Beau back into shape without over working him, but effectively gaining his muscle back. What types of methods have you heard of or tried out on a horse that has had too long of a horsie vacation. I hope to start working with him next month and hope to be ready for jumping shows in the spring.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-02-2012, 10:18 PM
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Since this is a TB who probably think he was retired and might object to going back to work, I would condition his mind along with his body. If you have trails or fields, I would start out doing a lot of walking. The uneven terrain is going to start working his muscles and engaging his mind to put his feet where they need to be to stay balanced. The walking is going to keep him relaxed while being re-introduced to work. After a week or so of that, I would start working him a little at the other gaits but incorporating frequent walk breaks so he stays in the proper state of mind. If you can do the trot/canter work also out in uneven terrain, all the better. Trotting on shallow hills puts muscle on a horse very quickly and greatly helps with balance. If at any time, he gives you any sign that he's feeling overfaced with what you're asking for his stage of conditioning, listen to him and don't force him to do anything that you think he might not be ready for. Have fun and good luck.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-05-2012, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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when i rehab a horse, i start at twenty minutes in the round pen walk trot. usually, 5 min trot each way. up that after a week to 10 min both ways trot, and ten minutes walk for a week or two. after that, walk 10, trot ten both ways, canter a couple times around each way for a week or so, then start back walk trot under saddle. i agree with the uneven terrain, and with paying attention to how much he can handle. good luck :)
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