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BeachinIt 04-17-2013 10:19 PM

Hunter pace...Do I have enough time to get her in shape?
Hey all! So I had been riding my mare to start getting her back in shape, but she has been out of commission for about a month now due to lameness. She is now sound and ready to start work again, but I think she's still basically starting from scratch as far as fitness goes.

I would like to enter a hunter pace Memorial Day weekend to begin to expose her to off-the farm shows. I've never done one, but was told they can be as long as 7 miles long. My mare is out 24/7 in a field with gentle hills. Would it be possible to get her in shape to complete this safely by then? I won't be jumping any obstacles, just along for the ride :) I know the basics of bringing a horse back into work, but I'm not great with the timing of it. Thanks!
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boots 04-17-2013 10:54 PM

Can you commit to working with her 5 to 6 days a week? If so, and you can spend one to two hours a day doing it? Then, yes.

If you only have 5 days, don't give two off in a row.

I leg horses up by starting with walking 30 minutes, trotting 10, walking 20. After a week of this, I may go to 25 walking, 15 trotting, 20 walking. After two weeks of that, I go to 15 to 20 walking, 20 trotting, and 20 walking. I monitor the horse for respiration and heart rate with every ride.

The last two weeks, I give them an hour or two off, saddle up again, walk 10 minutes, do some loping/cantering with some trotting for 10, and walk for 10.

The trot is a working trot. No padding around the lot for us. We're also doing circles in and out, serpentines, stops, just basic horse moves.

If your grass is growing just wonderfully this time of year, you may consider putting your horse in a dry lot or stall for a few hours during the day.

BeachinIt 04-18-2013 03:32 PM

Thanks, boots! I won't have enough time to do that, so instead I'm considering a schooling dressage show as our first show. I appreciate the input!
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