rebuilding riding muscles
as im sure some of you know...i just recently got my first horse. I have pretty much spent all my time trying to build a bond with him...ive only rode him once. Anyway, he's a gelding walking horse named Major and I really dont know how old he is..somewhere between 8 and 12. My kids will be starting school next week and im gonna have plenty of time to do some riding. What I need to know is how much riding should I start out with? Hes been standing around in the pasture gettin fat n sassy :D What im trying to say is he hasnt been getting a lot of exercise. I dont want to over do it at first...but my goal is to get to ride 4 or 5 days a week. Any suggestions on how to build him up for that?
Sandy, first horses are great! I hope you have a wonderful time with him.
How long has he been relaxing in the pasture and how much work has he been doing before you got him? Before suggesting a regiment for you and your horse it's important to know what kind of condition your horse is in.
I would have to say he has been relaxing in the pasture with no riding for about 4 mos. Before that...light riding every now and then...like about 30 minutes to an hour. Im not sure exactly how often. If I had to guess, id say hes pretty out of shape.
I'm going to assume that he is in at least decent weight and has had his teeth checked so that any bitting problem due to teeth can be ruled out.
I would spend a week lunging him for about an hour every other day increasing it to every 3rd day by the end of week 2.
Halfway through the second week I would lunge him under saddle and start riding a little after the lunging.
By the time you are at week 3 he should be ready for regular rides increasing the length of the rides so that at the end of the first month, you should be able to take him out for some nice long rides.
Remember that if you only have a few days to work your horse it is better to do them consecutively. Whenever you are with your horse, even if it's just grooming, you are training.
That is how I condition a new horse that is out of shape. I try never to ride a new horse the very first week even if he is in condition. I spend that time hand walking and ground training.
sounds good, thanks! i thought itd take longer than that to get him in shape. just one question...does working in the roundpen count as lunging or do I need to do it on a lunge line?
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