Getting a horse in shape! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a horse in shape!

Need tips on getting a horse in shape or exercises! But try to keep it down to stuff I can do in the arena!Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-17-2012, 10:36 PM
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I'm currently lunging mine for about 30 mins every day as she is too tubby! She just works in an active trot, and we do transitions between trot and walk and then back into trot again.

I work her until she is sweating and then for about a further 10 mins. Slowly she is losing the weight and muscling up.

Lunging is a great time to work on outline with side reins.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 01:43 AM
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How old is she?

If she's 5 or older, then lunging is great. But a young one doesn't need stress on his/her joints.

You could also ground drive, or lead in hand and do some obstacle courses or set up trotting poles.

ON the horse, you can of course ride w/t/c and work on transitions, some leg yielding, a few half circles, a few 20 m circles, some western patterns, serpentines, whatever you feel like doing.

Always exercise to a sweat if you're working on building muscle. Just cool down and warm up nice and slow.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post

Always exercise to a sweat if you're working on building muscle. Just cool down and warm up nice and slow.
I've been lunging my underweight rescue mare at a walk. She's at least 200 hundred pounds underweight, but she's lost a lot of muscle tone. Should I be exercising her until she sweats?
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweeney Road View Post
I've been lunging my underweight rescue mare at a walk. She's at least 200 hundred pounds underweight, but she's lost a lot of muscle tone. Should I be exercising her until she sweats?
Absolutely not - Keep steadily increasing her food so that she is able to put on weight. Once she is at a reasonable weight then you can start to increase her work.

A horse sweats when the work load reaches a point where muscles get hot and the body reacts by sweating to cool it down. You don't need to sweat the horse up to get it fit - in fact getting them fit slowly is far better than sweating them up.

An overweight horse does tend to start sweating faster than a trimmer horse. Once the horse starts to sweat the muscle fitness breaks down, the reason that you would give an eventer a day or two off after a 3 day and then bring back up again to the required level of fitness.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
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Absolutely not - Keep steadily increasing her food so that she is able to put on weight. Once she is at a reasonable weight then you can start to increase her work.
I've been slowly and steadily increasing her food, and she has gained weight since I got her. She's still underweight, and will probably be underweight for several more months.

It sounds as if I am on the right track with simply walking her, and perhaps stepping up to a trot in a few weeks?
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I've been slowly and steadily increasing her food, and she has gained weight since I got her. She's still underweight, and will probably be underweight for several more months.

It sounds as if I am on the right track with simply walking her, and perhaps stepping up to a trot in a few weeks?
Try mixing cornoil with her feed, it makes horses gain weight like crazy! Abd try trotting that builds up muscle.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 07:16 PM
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In hand work. Put the bridle on, and get horse walking and stretching into the bridle in a nice working walk. This will bring it's back up and develop the elusive topline muscles.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 07:30 PM
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Try mixing cornoil with her feed, it makes horses gain weight like crazy! Abd try trotting that builds up muscle.
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In hand work. Put the bridle on, and get horse walking and stretching into the bridle in a nice working walk. This will bring it's back up and develop the elusive topline muscles.
Ok, I'll add trotting, AND I'll start walking her in the bridle. She definitely needs work on the topline.

Can you go a bit more into how to do the stretching into the bridle?
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 08:04 PM
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You just walk beside her standing at her shoulder on her "inside" and hold the reins as if you were riding. I usually get the best feel by holding the outside rein with my thumb and first finger. The inside rein is just there as an aid to keep the bend if you start to lose it. Just start walking your horse on a circle asking for an energetic walk and let the magical pull of the circle provide you with a natural bend and outside rein connection. I've been meaning to put a video up of it since I keep finding myself offering up this training suggestion.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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