Conditioning Program for CTR

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Conditioning Program for CTR

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  • Horse training programme for CTR

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    02-17-2011, 08:50 PM
Green Broke
Conditioning Program for CTR

My first CTR is in April. I'll probably be going around 15-20 miles a day for two days, for a total of roughly 40 miles over a weekend. Last year was my learning year, and this year I'm in it to win it. Baby Girl's probably last year was simply a lack of fitness.

We already have a foundation for getting in better shape. Baby Girl and I ride a few miles at mostly a walk/flat walk five days a week, with a little cantering and run walk thrown in for seasoning.

So... Any one have a sample program that we can work with to modify? I'm a list marker and a goal follower; I like it when my programs are in "Monday, do this" format.

This is what I was thinking for the first month or so...

Monday: Four miles: 20% walk, 60% flat/run walk, 20% canter.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Flat walk/run walk tree line (which is around two miles in length) at 6-8 mph.

Thursday: Off

Friday: Run walk/canter tree line (two miles)

Saturday: See Monday

Sunday: Walk trails for three hours.

As you can see, my horse is gaited. When I say run walk, think trot. When I say flat walk, think really fast walk.
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    02-17-2011, 10:44 PM
Your program is not bad...definitely a good start. When I helped condition horses last year we tried to do something like medium distance Mon, Wed, Fri...speed work Tues& Thurs, Saturday off. Longer distances Sundays. MWF was usually 5-10 miles. Tues/Thurs was trotting/cantering back and forth in the fields, and Sunday was a longer ride...10-15 miles, varying difficulty.

Keep in mind, it's a lot like training a human athlete. Speed days and distance days mixed together is good, and it's also good to have a day or two off every week. Hill work is also important(harder to walk uphill than to go fast--builds more muscle)...and learning to pace is key! A CTR will go about 5/6 mph average...learning to get that as your average over a span of many miles is tricky...GPS watches and such are helpful in that aspect.

Check out too if you haven't already. I know it's endurance based, not CTR...but a lot of the same things apply! :)
    02-18-2011, 01:10 AM
Green Broke

I run track, so running workouts is something I do as well. Generally, we do our workouts in a day-in day-out format; hard day, easy day, hard day, easy day... The horses seem to like their workouts a lot more than I do!

Speaking of speed work, that seems a little neglected on my little program. Maybe I could have a sprinter's day Friday, galloping bursts? That's Baby Girl's favorite thing to do anyone. Like stress relief for the both of us. Fridays are great days to have some fun.

I've actually been doing a lot of hills to improve her running walk. She does it soo much better up hill. The only problem is that central Georgia is very much lacking in hills; we only have one rideable one.

Hopefully we'll be conditioned pretty well by April. Baby Girl has a lot of natural endurance and a ton of go. Once in reasonable shape, she could and would run for hours. She was a great little CTR horse even when she was pulled off the pasture and thrust suddenly into competition. I can't imagine the success actual preparation will bring!
    02-18-2011, 02:39 PM



Long, slow miles build the legs from the inside out. Also works the cardio/vascular system evenly!
    02-19-2011, 04:18 PM
^^I second the trotting! We trot a LOT on our rides...some walking, some cantering, but mostly trotting!!

BTW, the Garmin Forerunner watches are really neat! They track the overall average pace of your ride, your current speed, the time of course, how many miles you've traveled, and when you plug them into the computer they transfer the data....super helpful! They even can map out the trails for you :)
    02-21-2011, 12:48 PM
I also use the garmin forerunner. They track everything you stated, but I like that they also track elevation so you can see what kind of hill work you are doing. Now if they would just make the heart rate monitor to fit the horse..........
    02-21-2011, 01:58 PM
Green Broke
Translated as, "Gait gait gait gait". I suppose the principal is the same.

My BO has one of those watches that tracks speed and distance. I looked them up a minute ago... Lord have mercy! Expensive things. I should put them on my birthday request list.

In the mean time, is there something like a cell phone application I can use to measure my speed? I downloaded Google Earth and have mapped out paths and their mileages.
    02-21-2011, 02:23 PM
Nokota! They DO have heart rate monitors for horses that you can buy as an attachment. I can't remember where I saw them, but I think maybe? Look into it...I know they have them because the woman I ride with uses a garmin forerunner 305 and bought an "adaptation package" or something so that she has the heartrate monitor for the horse instead of her :)
    02-21-2011, 02:31 PM
OP: what did you see for prices? I bought one on Ebay for $100. Still expensive but not as bad as it could be! They do make MUCH cheaper models that can be used for just the speed and distance, some pedometers for example will tell you your speed/how far you went. I looked up the forerunner 305 again and it's fairly cheap new at sears or walmart ($120) versus $298 on other sites. The forerunner 50 is more basic, therefore cheaper as well. Good luck on your search!
    02-21-2011, 08:20 PM
Originally Posted by Nokota    
I also use the garmin forerunner. They track everything you stated, but I like that they also track elevation so you can see what kind of hill work you are doing. Now if they would just make the heart rate monitor to fit the horse..........

You can get a conversion. If you have any questions about doing so, you can contact Roger Rittenhouse (website), who is a vmax rep who does huge amounts to support distance riding (i won an entire heartrate monitor setup he was kind enough to donate to a ride a couple years ago). He won't lead you wrong!

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