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Hi, I posted about my new mare in the introduction thread but I will give a little background on her and myself.

I have not owned a horse since I was 18 years old. I am now 41. When I was younger, I didn't do anything special with my horse other than saddle him and ride. I truly have NO experience with horses other than that. So I guess I am truly a NEWBIE. In fact, my riding lessons consisted of getting on...falling off and getting back on.

My new mare is approx. 10 years old and has not been ridden very much in the last 3-4 years. She also has the onset of the heaves. So here is my conundrum. How do I recondition her?

People tell me that I should lunge her to help with this but neither one of us knows how! I know I can pay a trainer to help us, but I want to do most of it myself.

Since she doesn't lunge and I have NO idea how to do it, can't I just saddle her and ride her or take her for walks? I know this may sound really stupid, but any help I can get would be a blessing.
 

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When reconditioning a horse, especially one with respiratory issues, it is important to take things slow. I would NOT suggest lunging as about the worst thing you can do to an unfit horse is chase it around in circles.
If the mare is able to be saddled and ridden (ie she's still broke - some of them forget!) then saddling her and taking her for walks is about the best thing you can do. Make sure you aren't pushing too hard (if she is out of breath with a very high respiration/pulse you are pushing too hard) but she should come in from your rides with a bit of sweat and she should be breathing a bit hard. As she gets fitter (and you will too!) you'll find you have to keep doing more and more to get her to breath hard.
Generally for the first few weeks of reconditing I like to stay in just the walk and slowly add in trot and canter a few minutes per ride at a time.

Taking the occasional lesson as you can afford them is always good too. Good luck!
 
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