I know quite a lot about how horses work, how their muscles are, bone structure and some about behaviour as well. At least I have the info in the back of my head after school times :P
BUT... when it comes to training in reality and how it works when you actually do it, rather than reading a book, I'm quite inexperienced :P At least when it comes to get the shape and condition up from ''scratch'', a few tips about how I should maintain it too probably wouldn't hurt either :) So I'm asking you!
I have a standardbred, never raced but supposed to have been trained for it. He has been ridden very irregulary the last year, mostly/only in walk, and the past three months he has learnt to be ridden (he's ''green broke'' according to the dictionary :P Still working on canter, and he has been under a rider 5 days a week, short sessions and occasionally a few longer rides in the woods) he has been worked mainly in walk and in rack, and we've just started to sniff on the canter. Unless we're in a really high speed, the most we get is a very comfortable canter-rack, but it has made him muscles build in the hindquarters at least :P Anyway, as you can see, he's not really in any great shape :)
We're working on getting him to slow down in his walk as well, at least in the woods. He uses so much energy and probably wears unnecessarily much on his body when he just stomps away like a stressed moose or something :P But we're getting there, he was great today and slowed down quite easily after racking and galloping :) I don't trot him at the moment, his rack is stronger and he works better in it, so trot will have to wait a while. I'm trying to define the rack too.
Anyway,.. enough about that..
I want him to get a good condition for long rides, and with both rack and canter, but I don't want to do it too fast and risk injuries on tendons and joints, caused by them not being strengthened enough to keep up with his spirit and will. :)
Can you give me any advice? Anything I should avoid? How to train him? How much to train him?
I get him home in january and I can't wait!