Training an elderly horse. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Training an elderly horse.

Hello,

I own a 26 year old mare. I haven't been able to go ride my horse that much due to transportation issues. Now I'm able to get up there more. My question is, what different exercises could I do to get her back into shape?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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I also forgot to add that I ride western.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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How out of shape is she? When was the last time she was rode for a decent amount of time?
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
How out of shape is she? When was the last time she was rode for a decent amount of time?
I ride her at least twice a week. We usually go out on a trail for 30 minutes. But I wanna learn some ring exercises so she can be back in shape again.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 02:08 PM
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How fast are the trail rides? Are there particular areas that need muscle? What about her makes you think she is out of shape? Hard breathing? Looking physically exhausted after 30 minutes? Trotting is best for building muscle. Depending on what you want to do, an arena may not be as good as trails.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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We usually just walk and then canter up the hills. She normally looks exhausted afterwards. But not that much of hard breathing. As for the muscles, I just want to build her legs up again. I'll try trotting around the trails. She doesn't trot for too long which I also want to work on.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 03:32 PM
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Just keep in mind that, like older people, she will never again have the body of a 15 year old. At her age, along with good exercise, you may want to consider getting her some supplement to help her process and compensate for increased activity. Keep her teeth in good order too, so that she can better break her food down.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 03:35 PM
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It's kind of like getting your 80 year old grandma in shape. I've seen horses happily work until thier 30s, but they were kept in good shape their whole lives. You really need to slowly build her up. If your going to ride for 30 minutes do short trots. Trot for 2 minutes, walk for 5. When she can handle it trot for 3. Also, don't under estimate the power of long walks, especially up hills! Just because they are walking doesn't mean they aren't working. Especially for an out of shape AND old horse.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yep! I understand what you both mean. I don't push her ever to do anything since she is older. I never trotted her on trails because of her age as well. I just want her to feel better instead of just standing around. I know I won't ever get her back to how she used to be which is understandable. She just gets stiff a lot and I thought that maybe if I did some easy exercises for her, she would feel good. I have her on join supplement as well as hoof supplement.

Thank you all for helping me by the way. :)
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-25-2012, 07:54 PM
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Lots of backing up helps build hind end muscles. Even when not under saddle.
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