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Long break...

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  • Condition horse after layoff
  • How long should a trainer take to saddle break a yearling

 
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    12-23-2012, 09:08 AM
  #1
Started
Long break...

My horse is coming off a break from riding (about 6 weeks) because he had pigeon fever. I want to start riding him again tomorrow. Before he was ridden usually 3 times per week, moderate intensity work. Any idea how long it will take to get him back in shape? What about mentally-will he accept working again well? He was doing so well before and I don't want to lose that.
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    12-23-2012, 04:20 PM
  #2
Weanling
That all depends on a lot of things. How old is the horse? How sick was he? What kind of riding was he used to? What kind of riding do you intend to do (moderate intensity means different things to different people)? What is this horse's natural disposition?

I got back on my 7 year-old mare after a layoff of about 6 weeks and she acted like she had forgotten everything I have taught her over the past 6 months. It took about an hour for her to get back to normal and realize that she still has to mind me, even after a vacation. Of course, she is pretty green to begin with.

As for conditioning, as long as you are not doing something like Steeple Chase, he should be getting back up to speed within two or three days. Start a little slow, just to allow him to get focused again and allow him to get back into the swing of things, but I'd be working full-speed by the third day (if your "moderate intensity work" is similar to mine).
     
    12-23-2012, 04:26 PM
  #3
Green Broke
How your horse will act depends on their personality. I could give one of mine a couple years off and I guarantee he would act like there was no break at all. I've also had some that try their ****dest to forget after only a couple days.

Physically your horse should snap back if 100% again. Horses are some of the worlds greatest athletes and shape up fast. Go easy the first couple rides then go to increasing your work outs. Shouldn't take more the a couple weeks.
     
    12-23-2012, 04:38 PM
  #4
Started
He's 8, had pigeon fever, I was doing hunter under saddle and jumping with him. The most I've not ridden him before was a week and a half and he was fine when I rode him again, but I just wasn't sure about this extended layoff.
I had planned on making the first ride mainly walking and trotting.
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    12-23-2012, 04:46 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Walking & trotting should be OK. Monitor his rate of breathing & if he gets sweaty,cool him down slowly & make note of how long it took to get that reaction. Just build back slowly and go easy on the speed work at first.
     
    12-23-2012, 04:58 PM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenrie    
As for conditioning, as long as you are not doing something like Steeple Chase, he should be getting back up to speed within two or three days. Start a little slow, just to allow him to get focused again and allow him to get back into the swing of things, but I'd be working full-speed by the third day (if your "moderate intensity work" is similar to mine).
I have to disagree with this. It takes much more than a few days to get a horse in shape after a layoff. Think about it this way--If you're used to running a moderate amount daily, let's say 8 miles, you can't take off for a month and expect to be running eight miles again within 2-3 days. You have to condition not only your muscles, but your joints and cardio health.

To bring a horse back to "moderate work", I would expect several weeks of gradual work to bring him back up to speed.
     
    12-23-2012, 08:13 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
I have to disagree with this. It takes much more than a few days to get a horse in shape after a layoff. Think about it this way--If you're used to running a moderate amount daily, let's say 8 miles, you can't take off for a month and expect to be running eight miles again within 2-3 days. You have to condition not only your muscles, but your joints and cardio health.

To bring a horse back to "moderate work", I would expect several weeks of gradual work to bring him back up to speed.
Like I said, "moderate work" is different to different folks. Running 8 miles is a lot more than a moderate workout for my horse. So, in that case, I don't disagree with you at all. The OP didn't indicate what kind of work she does on the animal, but if she is asking this question, I have to assume she's not training a race horse.
     

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