Riding after some time off... - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Riding after some time off...

Yeah, I know it may be a stupid question. :) If you can't ride for a week for some reason (too hot/humid or out of town), does the horse lose any "shape"? I mean when you can ride again can you just hop on and ride an hour WTC you usually do or you need to do it gradually?
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 11:35 AM
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No, not any appreciable amount. Horses are significantly more physically fit than humans are (even the pasture puffs) and it takes them significantly longer to lose the fitness they've gained.

If someone else doesn't post the actual numbers I'll pull out my notes when I get home and put them up.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
Horses are significantly more physically fit than humans are (even the pasture puffs) and it takes them significantly longer to lose the fitness they've gained.
Correct.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 12:06 PM
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I think it depends on the time they had off. A week is one thing, a month is another. I proceed gradually, because my mare will conveniently forget how to trot, or canter, or stop. So the first ride will be mostly walking and yielding with a little trot. Depending on how that goes, we may do more trotting the next day, maybe even canter. It's not a "she's not fit enough" thing, it's a "she needs to remember" thing, and I don't see the point in asking her to canter that first day when I know it'll be under par. I have not ridden for a week, and then saddled up and went for a two hour trail ride. As long as I don't try to canter/gallop her when she's "cold," it doesn't cause any problems, and she can certainly handle it. =]

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post #5 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 12:11 PM
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I think a week is fine, its the months and years that have impact.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 12:25 PM
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I agree that a week off should not make a big difference.

But even with my very fit dressage horse, if he has a week off for reasons other than injury, I still only walk him the first day, add a little trot the second day, more trot and a little canter the third day, and see how that goes. This is to avoid over-stressing his joints, tendons and ligaments, not just his respiratory system. I feel it's better to be safe than sorry.

You don't say how old your horse is, or whether he's a bit arthritic, etc. A week off can make a bigger difference to a horse like that, and he'll benefit from the gradual working-in above to get his joints moving again without undue strain.

If your horse has been off because of injury, you'll need to bring him back into work more slowly, which your vet will explain, depending on the nature of the injury.

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, All!

Jim, to answer your question my horses are 6 and ridden every day or every other day depending on weather and my schedule (I ride English). I'll be out of town for about a week this and next month, so was just wondering if I have to take it slow again (like in spring after the winter off) or not.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 12:59 PM
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Hi
Isn't it hard to ride horses (plural) every day? goodness i am aiming for 5 out of 7 days pretty hard trot on one horse. I am trying to tone me up as much as i am him. but weather kids crap always comes up, I shouldn't complain, but I would like a genie/
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-14-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springinmeadow View Post
Hi
Isn't it hard to ride horses (plural) every day? goodness i am aiming for 5 out of 7 days pretty hard trot on one horse. I am trying to tone me up as much as i am him. but weather kids crap always comes up, I shouldn't complain, but I would like a genie/
Well, for my horses it's usually up to 5 days max/week for each of them (I have 2 horses, so I alternate, most often it's about 4 days/week for each).
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