Hardy Etc Tip

Getting Your Horse Fit

So the season is underway and you I know what you are all thinking….Is my horse fit? This is always one of my first questions I ask myself at the beginning of the season.

Organising a fitness programme must be tailored to your horse – its breed, its age, and how long it has been off work.

Weeks one to three

Walking your horse in week one is very important and this is critical to the long-term health and soundness of the horse. Starting with half an hour the first day, to up to one hour by the end of the week, up to two hours the following week.

Weeks four and five

As the horse gets fitter, its time to start to build up the periods of trot and introduce canter and school work.

Weeks six and seven

Now time to build on canter work and start more intensive flatwork schooling and some jumping. Start with some cross poles built into the flatwork.

Introduce shoulder-in and counter-canter to build the different muscles and get the horses aerobically fit, bounces help to build and maintain the jumping muscles, along with regular hill work.

Depending on how the horse is progressing, you may also start to introduce galloping, whatever the discipline, taking them up the gallops is good for conditioning.

Week eight and beyond

Start going to small local shows to build competition fitness and to make sure your horse is mentally prepared. Depending on the horse, this may be possible from week six, particularly if he has not had a long time off work.

We hope you and your horse are ready to get out there

Good Luck