Training schedule - am I going to be able to keep my mare fit-ish?

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Training schedule - am I going to be able to keep my mare fit-ish?

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    02-22-2012, 09:27 PM
Training schedule - am I going to be able to keep my mare fit-ish?

Sorry for the long header, and I hope this is the correct section to post this in, if not I apologise and will move it to the right area.

My NZ Standardbred mare is on the porky side. I've been addressing this for over a year and this spring/summer we really got a lot of weight off despite the influx of grass and I'm thrilled with the visible results. However, I don't want that effort to go down the drain either.

I'm now back at university and studying part time - which gives me more time to continue with my work with Honey, however here's the tricky part. I have two forms of transportation - my Mum/best friend takes me to my horse (I so far have never gotten my licence), and I bus everywhere else. Because my best friend has just gotten a job, her availability to take me has lessened a great deal. My Mum can only take me twice a week at present and that leaves me busing for the rest. I don't mind, except the reason this is an issue is because I keep my saddle at home. It's an expensive saddle to leave down at the paddock on unsupervised land and even if I have all my stuff padlocked - well I just don't want to lose it (not to mention I live in quake stricken Christchurch and the house has contents insurance, paddock does not)!

I have made the plan to ride twice a week and exercise my mare in other forms on the other days. The rides will be one day in the weekend and the other on a Thursday. She will have two days off a week still due to other commitments cutting time short at the paddock to simply daily chores. I will be using lunging, long reining and in hand walking as the other forms of exercise.

My main question is, will this be enough to maintain anything? Our rides range from 30-40mins at present, and surmise of mainly walking and trotting as she's still getting balanced in the canter/re-learning the canter under saddle. We do a few bit of transitions and I also add in basic gymnastics of large serpentines, figure 8s, starting to teach leg yielding and I also have been paying attention to asking her to work in active gaits recently now that she's fit enough to do so. On the lunge we only spend fifteen minutes (she has weak shoulders so I opt out of doing a lot of small circle work) and focus mainly on the walk and trot. Long reining is new to her, so we're only walking at present. And whenever I take her out in hand, the place I board at has undulating land with lots of opportunity to ask her to work on toning correct muscles and balance. To me it sounds like a good routine, even if I'm missing out on riding time.

I'm not competing, or expecting to, just simply wanting to keep the weight falling off and maintaining the effort we have both put in. With this plan above, will it be achievable?

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