I have a 26yr old mare that I would like to condition this year to maybe be able to go for some decent trail rides this year. Nothing over 15miles though. She hasn't really been ridden too much in the last year, but she does still kick up her heels in the pasture. Haha.
Anyways, what are your ways to get a horse fit?
Walk and walk and more walk. Only once she is comfortable with 60 minutes of straight walking under saddle would I add any trot.
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She is good for quite a while walking.. I guess that's part of her Arabian side. lol. I just don't want to push her too hard too fast.
I wish I could find the schedule again, but I had a great conditioning schedule for one of my horses 5 years ago.
The jist of it is -
Basically once you can walk for an hour, do that for a week.
The next week add in trot intervals - so warm up in walk for 10-15 minutes and then do a minute of trot followed by 3-5 minutes of walk, then a trot minute, etc.. until you have done 30 minutes and then cool down in walk.
The next week bump up your trot intervals to 2 minutes and decrease your walk.
Etc.. Until you are doing 30 minutes of trotting with only 3-5 1 minute breaks and your 15 minute walk warm ups and cool downs.
Then add in minute canter intervals in the same fashion until you are doing 20 mins trot and 15/20 mins canter with 3-5 1 minute walk breaks and your warm up cool down in walk.
At that point start jumping, lateral work, etc..
It worked really well and fitted up my mare quickly and safely. The key is the walk warm up and cool down and progressively adding length to the intervals of not walking.
Thanks, this gives me something to work on a little bit. She is out on a pasture 24/7 and has hills that she will run around with my 6yr old. We'll just have to take it one day at a time and go from there.
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