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Tobysthebesthorseever 07-05-2013 11:02 PM

Getting into better condition?
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I will soon be bringing my horse Toby home. I think that he is rather *ahem* chubby. I know that you can't know FOR SURE what would be good for getting him in shape, but I was wondering if there's a guideline to get him back into shape? I want teach him to jump not very high, but to jump. I want him to just get into better shape for his health, and for my riding purposes. He is currently ridden once a week, as that's all I can get to the barn, but once he comes home he will be ridden 5-7 times a week.

Any scheduling ideas maybe? Like one week light walk/trot work...?

I don't know if this is a good picture to help but.....

amberly 07-07-2013 01:11 PM

One thing that might help, is to jsut want his feed intake and stuff - if that is what it is.

I would do just some trotting and maybe loping maybe two times a week. That is just what I would do.

Tobysthebesthorseever 07-07-2013 01:30 PM

Ok, thanks!

GamingGrrl 07-07-2013 01:45 PM

With my barrel horses I do lots of long trotting to get them in shape. Really focus on extending that trot, and then set out and put some miles on them. I do long trotting maybe 2-3 times a week.

If you have access to any hills, those are also great for building muscle. Slow walking and trotting up them, followed by a slow walk back down works really well.

Cavaletti and trot poles are another thing I use to build up topline as well as condition.
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Boo Walker 07-07-2013 03:01 PM

I think initially, just getting ridden more than once a week should yield some really good results!

Tobysthebesthorseever 07-07-2013 03:58 PM

Thanks guys! There's not really any hills (I live in Minnesota. It's pretty much flat.) but I plan on getting/making some ground poles. I think that that would help a lot with his precision too, because I don't want to teach him to jump until he stops tripping and knocking stuff over. He's a 1200 lb klutz.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Ride at w/t for about 30 minutes every day for the first week home.
2 week: w/t/ground poles 45 minutes every day
3 week: w/t/c/ground poles 45 minutes every day
4 week: lunge over small x rails, ride w/t/c/ground poles 1 hour
5 week: w/t/c/ground poles/6 " cavaletti/x rails

Is this a pretty good general idea? I know it depends on how well Toby takes it and if he does okay with the extra exercise. Oh, by the way, I think Sundays will be a trail ride day (if I don't do it on other days too) and He'll have Wednesdays off completely.

Does this sound okay?

GamingGrrl 07-07-2013 05:42 PM

Your plan sounds good! Just remember to always pay attention to how your horse is handling the work and adjust accordingly. You also might not want to do ground pole work so often, in case your horse gets sour and bored.
Mental health is just as important as their physical health! :-)
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Tobysthebesthorseever 07-07-2013 06:29 PM


No, I won't bore him to death with ground poles, just enough to get him to PICK HIS FEET UP! My goodness, he's tripped like 3 times in the past 2 months! that may not sound bad, but he just won't put one foot in front of the other!

Right now, the ground poles/jump poles are super light PVC. I think that this may have trained him that it's okay not to pick up his feet, because it just falls down and doesn't hurt. Do you guys think that using heavier poles (like wood) will help? I don't want them so heavy that he falls, but heavy enough that he's like, "hm, that didn't feel too good. Maybe i'll actually pick up my hooves!" Would that work, or would it sour him on it? Right now, we have a few 20ish lb 8 foot long circular poles. I think that they would work, as they roll when I push them with my feet, but they're heavy enough that it might hurt a bit. I just would hate for him to fall and then sour him on it...What should I do?

GamingGrrl 07-08-2013 01:28 AM

I use wooden poles, and haven't had any adverse reactions to them knocking poles. PVC can shatter though, so I think wooden poles would be a safer route to take.
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Tobysthebesthorseever 07-08-2013 12:28 PM

Ok, thank you. Will do!

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