getting in shape (horse)
was wondering what would be the best way to get an 18 yr old that pretty much hasn't been ridden in years other than 10 mins in round pen by child once in a purple moon.... tips on knowing how much is enough, don't want to over do it, love this horse, he'll live longer the better shape he is in and I want to have him for a long time... I have no round pen, I would guess just ride at wtc and increse riding time little at a time?
For a horse that has been out of work for awhile, I start with all straight lines or huge circles. We take ours down the road (packed dirt) to build up their legs. This lasts for about 2 weeks depending on the horse. I then start to add trot sets to road.
Eventually I will begin to ask for circles, lateral movements and more trotting/cantering/galloping but I like to give them a nice solid foundation to strengthen their legs, heart, and lungs after a long time off.
I like Dove' s answer. I would have just said walking, but her point of avoiding small circles is very apropo . Can you pony him on some long walks?
thanks for the replys, sounds like good advice to me. I probably could pony him, but he is such a good ride,, there is a short ( 15 min walk ) little ride to a pond that has slight hill to it, I think that would be a good place to start, we'll walk it for a couple of weeks then add short trots, well, you know, like you said. did I mention he has a lope to die for?? !!! how about turned loose in the pasture, I let him and Goose say hey, with close supervision yesterday and Goose (paint ) trotted him around a bit. I split em up after a few minutes, watching Dakota's (appaloosa ) breathing. he was breathing a little hard, but recovered pretty quickly... so slow it is and thanks agian for the advise....
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