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Ok, so I've just started leasing a 20 year old TB. He used to jump 6ft, but hasn't been ridden in over a year. I was wondering how you would go about conditioning him. I'm hoping to have him jump again (not nearly as high of course) if he passes his vet check. Thanks!!
 

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I was given a horse that hadn't been riden for years. He was/is fat and outta shape. So I looked into it a little bit and basically it's just exercise. Start out slow and every day add 10 minutes or so. Also if you have hills to walk him up and down that is good conditioning for building strength. I also recall reading that if you trot uphill it's good. And it you trot downhill and then have him slow to a walk is also good. Just don't overpush him and let him catch his breath when he needs it. This is basically what I've been doing. Up and down hills. Also flats, but hills are good.

As far as conditioning for jumping I don't know for sure. So I'm sure someone else will have better ideas than I.
 

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as to the jumping, as/when he has become fitter at the flatwork, i would start again right at the beginning ie poles on ground, raise 1 end then cross poles, etc. just as you would do for any horse that was just starting to jump after a big gap, until you find a level you are both comfortable with.
 

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Just make sure you take it very slow. If he used to be in some pretty intensive training, then he may have old strains, scar tissue, etc. that you don't know about. Also, an older horse's joints, ligaments, muscles, and other structures won't heal as fast after exercise as his younger counterparts. Try some long walks at first, then progress to trotting, hillwork, cantering, and then jumping. Always evaluate your progress during the process. If he feels stiff or lethargic on any day, then give him the day off, never push him too hard.

Good luck with the lease :)
 
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