Workout plans to get my horse in shape for the 2012 show season? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-08-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Workout plans to get my horse in shape for the 2012 show season?

Ok. So I am trying to devise a workout plan to get my horse in really good shape for the 2012 show season. We do jumpers, so balance techniques and training are very helpful. I ride 6 days a week, usually giving my horse, Gracie, Monday or Tuesday off. She is in ok shape, able to do 30-45 minutes of trot/canter (mostly trot, as this builds more muscle) with minimal walk breaks.

I would like to be able to do gallop training too, but due to our location (Colorado) and the weather (snow stays on the ground for 1-2 weeks after it falls, and then everything is mud for another week, and then it turns very solid and hard), training outside is not really an option until around the end of May. We have a large indoor arena (a little smaller than a football field) with good footing, so that is where we ride in the winter.

I am trying to get her into shape for a 3'6" show season, which will be our first season jumping over 3'3". She needs to be in excellent shape. I'm looking for some ideas where to start and how to progress.

We have some rear-end balance issues that we need to work on, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We have jumping lessons once a week, and I do not want to jump her any more than that.

About the horse: Gracie is a 10 year old Thoroughbred mare. She has good legs and I'd like to keep them that way. She can be headstrong sometimes, and is bored easily. Variety is a must.

Anything will help :) Thanks bunches!
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-20-2012, 02:30 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Just keep on doing what you're doing. Flatwork with lots of transitions, figures, trotting poles will help too, changing direction, changing the pace/rhythm of the gait (for example there is a working trot, and then there is a slower trot and then there is the extended trot.) Rhythm will help the horse achieve balance easier. Have some days where you strictly work flat, and others where you incorporate your jumps. Lunging will help too, especially in side reins. Just make sure you either wrap or boot the horse's legs, even on the flat, as an unbalanced horse is still working out where their feet go!

If you can find some hills that will help. Just make sure your horse is using its hind end and not just digging in on the front end.

Good luck!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-20-2012, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Gymnastics, grids, bounces. Start with only a few obstacles, then add more as she gets more confident.

Set up a dressage arena (use cones) and do some dressage tests. Those 20m circles and transitions will help her loosen up and become more balanced on the flat, which will improve her balance over fences.

For more actual jumping exercises, I highly recommend the book 101 Jumping Exercises. I have a lot of fun with that one- I'll usually close my eyes and flip the page and whatever I land on is what we work on until it's mastered.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-20-2012, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Used lots of trot and canter poles on the days you are not jumping. They are an excellent way to practice balance in the horse and its also great to help you train your eye to distances (yours is probably much better than mine which I find constantly needs retraining). Set the poles in different patterns and areas of the arena and switch up the distances in between so you can work on controlling your stride between jumps with weird/awkward distances. I also have 101 Jumping Exercises and it has great flat exercises as well, I would recommend it for sure.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-20-2012, 01:19 PM
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Location: Georgia
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Trotting, trotting, and maybe some more trotting..
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-22-2012, 07:30 AM
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your arena is a little smaller than a football field ?! Im jealous !

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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