Rookie owner, veteran horse

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Rookie owner, veteran horse

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    03-15-2012, 08:27 AM
Rookie owner, veteran horse

Thought I'd try a shorter post:). I ramble....

Intermediate recreational rider looking for fun and interesting training ideas to get my veteran horse in better condition, continue our bonding and hopefully refresh and improve my riding.

We have access to a small arena for practice and a round pen. Also trails. He knows so much(I know so little), and I want to be able to encourage him. I don't want him to lose it.

Look forward to hearing ideas
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    03-15-2012, 08:56 AM
I love golden oldies!!

I brought an 18yo back in to work, and he was doing some very impressive dressage at the point I sold him ;)

Most important thing to think about is what takes 3 months to get a younger horse in to 'condition' will take 6 months or so for an older horse.

You need to be aware that he needs a good warm up and a very good cool down to prevent any muscle/tendon damage.

Taking it slow is your best option, maybe one day light lunging, or free lunging, and then one day working, then the next a hack would be a good mix/programme for him.

What sort of work is he doing now, and is there a possibility for you to get a trainer to help you?

I know a lot of golden oldies that know their stuff, but you have to know the precise buttons for it ;) I used to have two lessons a week, and it helped loads!
    03-15-2012, 09:06 AM
Google "horse agility". This has become the rage in England. Similar to dog agility but adapted to horses. The better the groundwork, the better the ride.
    03-15-2012, 09:10 AM
How old is your veteran?
    03-15-2012, 09:11 AM
He will be 11 in a couple of weeks so not too old, but he is very out of shape and his body condition wasn't the best when I bought him. His former owner had leased him out and I guess he may not have been in the best situation.

He currently is free lunging 3-4 days a week, with very light riding 1-2 times a week. I think I have found a good trainer and we will begin working together next week. Mainly on me though.....such a huge diffence between riding school horses or friends horses and owning your own. I don't want to screw something up or teach him any bad habits;)

How long do you consider a good training session for conditioning? His muscle tone is very lacking, ESP in the shoulder area.
    03-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Horse agility, now that sounds interesting!
    03-15-2012, 09:19 AM
LOL 11 is no where near veteran age ;)

Providing he isn't medically unfit, or has a reason he shouldn't be worked too hard, I would just say take it slow, and build him up.

Good luck ;)
    03-15-2012, 09:21 AM
Hills are great for building muscle...up hill for the hind, downhill for the fore. If really out of shape, I would start at 30 minutes at a walk, and go from there in length and moving to the trot.
    03-15-2012, 09:47 AM
Haha...I know on the age thing. I should have clarified, more like our skill level. We are both "middle age" let's just say if we were cops, he'd be the calm cool and collected, been there done that partner and I'd be the one still trying to figure out how to turn on my walkie

His past includes time spent as wp show horse, trails, dressage and English pleasure. My past includes, lots of lessons and many trail rides with friends.
    03-15-2012, 09:57 AM
With a good, seasoned horse, the main thing when riding is to 'listen' to your horse. If he fusses or doesn't respond as you expect, it's often because of something the rider is doing. 'Veterans' can be great teachers.
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