5 year old horse in training for Eventing
My horse is 5 years old, and in a 6 day a week training schedule. 2 days dressage, 2 days 3'-3'3" jumping, one day of endurance 8 min gallop, and 1 day hill climb. The horse is a Welsh Sec D x TB, and will be competing at Pre-Training level. Does anyone feel this is too much, or right on the money?
Ehhhhhhhhhhh...at 5, I might only do one jump school per week, and spend more time on exercises at lower heights. I might do a day of long trot sets, or a day of flat work incorporating poles or cavaletti instead of the second jump school. When you say Pre-Training, do you mean Novice? (Novice is heights up to 2'11" in the US, Training is 3'3")
I guess my question back to you is why are you questioning this? Do YOU feel it is too much? Do you trust the trainer? What are your competition goals for the horse? When is his next competition? Has he competed at all yet? At lower heights, dressage shows, combined tests, and the like?
Just FYI, I agree with the rest of the regimen - 6 days a week, yes, 2 dressage schools, yes, two endurance days, yes. I just question the value of an eight minute gallop and 2 jump schools per week to debut at Novice. JMO.
We did a few 2'6" events last fall and then did 5 months of Dressage. We are going to start with one 2'9", and then move to Pre-training for the summer, which is a few inches taller than the US novice.
I feel good about the schedule myself, but a woman i hardly know contacted me on Facebook to scold me on riding my horse 6 days a week. I was just wondering what other people thought, as I'm not proud.
Too much jumping IMO. Hills are great, flat work is good but that much high impact is too much.
Too much jumping for a 5 year old. I can't say on the height without knowing this horse's ability. If this an upper level prospect, 3'3" might be a stop over a twig, at which case it's not as big of a deal than if it is struggling at that height. You've got plenty of time to get there, so just take it back a bit. You don't see any 7 year olds at Rolex.
He doesn't train at 3'3" every time, and he is 17hh. Horses from his line have been short listed for the Canadian team at 7 years old. Apparently they mature quite rapidly.
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Well, I think your Facebook critic is a whackadoo. 6 days a week is ideal, and much better for the horse than inconsistent work. And I'm a great believer in more horses rust out than wear out!
I don't know your horse, your trainer or the details of your training regimen, just the broad overview you've given here, but my first reaction was "That's a lot of jumping for a 5 year old." Now, if I did know the details, and one of the jump schools was low gymnastics and the jumping schools were not long and intense, I'd probably be okay with it. My school horses jumped low grids 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day and stayed sound into their 20s.
If you're happy with the trainer and the horse's progress, I would learn to ignore Facebook critics.
I think its a bit hard to tell. Probably more than I would do, but 5 is when people bring them into heavy work. Each horse is different, some mature (physically and mentally) sooner than others.
I was originally taught basically 5 sessions of flatwork to 1 session of jumping. Which I followed for a long while (and I kind of always fall back on). Then I met a new instructor who was big into show jumping, had and trained successful jumpers and when I spoke to him his idea was if you don't jump often you're not going to get better at it. When I was jumping more I was getting better at it, and the horse as improving quicker. So I guess a balance is important, but two days a week doesn't sound too over the top to me.
I think it's a bit much for a 5 year old. With 2 jumping days AND a conditioning day, and then I'm not sure if the hill climb is just a hack day or another conditioning day. It's a lot of pounding on a young horse. Ideally I'd only do one jump school a week, one conditioning day, have one day where we'd just do long walk hack, and of course a day or two off. Keeping in mind that I would be incorporating poles and cavalettis into my flat work as well.
Honestly, I don't even work my prelim mare that hard. And I usually only jump once a week, unless I'm doing something special like trailering out for a jump or xc school, then I'll do twice. I'm more a fan of working 3 or 4 days on, 1 day off, instead of 5 or 6 days, as it breaks everything up and the horse gets more recovery time, which I feel is extremely important, especially with a young horse.
Pre-training is not really all that strenuous, I don't think an 8 minute gallop is necessary for pre-training, where you're only going 400 mpm for 4 or 5 minutes. I personally would replace the gallop with some interval training, trot/canter sets are better for conditioning than just galloping around, and lower impact to save the horse's legs. Trotting and cantering up hills is excellent for conditioning as well, you get more cardio workout bang for your buck, without all the pounding of galloping. 1 day of conditioning a week will be more than enough for a horse that is getting worked regularly 4 or 5 times a week imo.
Thanks for your input everyone :)
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