Conditioning Approaches

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piedmontfields
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Conditioning Approaches

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:19 am

Let's share conditioning strategies. Now that I'm at an eventing barn, I see a variety of approaches, depending on the level and horse type (TB vs WB).

I'm at a point with Emi that I can really see how working 2 x daily would be very helpful. But that is not going to happen due to my day job! I'll share my strategies in a separate post.

What are your strategies for getting your horse in shape to do the work you expect/they are now developing?

khall
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby khall » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:16 am

I evented for several years so I have used trot/canter sets for fitting a horse up. Have not done that much in a long time until this spring with Rip. I REALLY liked what the trot sets did for Rip. It got him through his back better than anything I have done ever. I did the trot sets (adding in some forward seat canter too) in a 5 acre rolling field. I used a neck rope for safety (Rip can be a spook) and I would vary the rein length depending on how he was feeling. That feeling was transferred when I went to forward/light seat canter.

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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby mari » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:38 am

Odie is on the walker 6 days a week, regardless of whether he get ridden or not.
I ride 5-6 days a week, ideally one day being a walk out for about 1.5 hours.

Arena work is half dressage, and half jumping. For jumping, there is lots and lots of canter, often 15 minutes of solid canter work as warm-up, and then of course the actual jumping exercises involve more canter. I find the jumping lessons really help with both my and Odin's fitness.
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby exvet » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:15 pm

Working/riding 4-5 days a week. Some days are 6-8 miles of trail riding with differences in terrain, usually includes hill work. I've included riding or working twice a day depending on the horse and the need. Sometimes I work in hand/long line once a day and ride the second time if I'm working a horse twice a day. I too will use roads and track work, sometimes on an actual track. My horses/riding have been rather light the last 18 months but with the colt coming along I will be hitting the trails and legging him up pretty soon. I'm a huge believer in conditioning work being the best prevention for injuries.

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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby Sue B » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:21 pm

My horses are out on a hilly pasture 24/7 so they maintain a certain level of conditioning just in their daily lives, but I do spend a fair amount riding out and about. In the winter, i try to take advantage of the snow and do trot sets through it. This helps Rudy reach more with his shoulder and helps develop a stronger back and loin so long as he is ridden in the correct frame. Out in pasture he bombs around with his head straight up and back dropped so that is NOT helpful. Except for last winter when conditions were horrid, I will do trot/canters for several miles down the road going up and down hills and splashing through puddles. It's good conditioning for me too!

piedmontfields
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:38 pm

I appreciate the responses and descriptions.

Something I want to learn more about is "how hard is my horse really working"? I have been noticing that most of our rides this summer have covered 4-6 miles (whether in the arena, outside, or some combo of both). I have been trying to have at least one ride (of 5 per week) include what I think of as long canter and trot laps in a 10 acre field, where we do 5 minutes of work at a time, take a short walk or trot break and then do another set. However, I am definitely riding on the bit, in connection and striving for good balance when we do this---which is not always the approach I have seen from others doing sets for conditioning.

I live in such a hilly area that leaving the arena = doing hills! But I do some more deliberate work up and down hills, too, and also school on slopes. Exvet, my interest in conditioning is exactly that---to keep my horse sound and strong.

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Chisamba
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:47 pm

If i am trying to condition a horse i will do walk trot canter sets. So i start with a minute of walk, three minutes of trot one minute canter, twice, ( so that is ten minutes) I do that twice a week for three weeks after this ten minutes of conditioning i will do dressage, trail riding or whatever is on my schedule for the week

then i will do one minute walk, three and a half minutes trot one and a half minutes canter, twice, ( so that is again ten minutes) once again I will then do whatever is on my schedule for the day this too twice a week for three weeks

then i will increase the set to one walk, two and half trot, two and a half canter, twice ( so twelve minutes) three times a week, with the remainder of my fourty five minute ride being whatever was on my usual schedule.

Since i am not really legging horses up for eventing or for endurance riding any more, i do not generally need more fitness than this .

However when i did eventing and endurance riding, i would then bump the conditioning up to three cycles, and then eventually four cycles of six minutes

piedmontfields
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Re: Conditioning Approaches--and a F/U question

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:45 am

piedmontfields wrote:Let's share conditioning strategies. Now that I'm at an eventing barn, I see a variety of approaches, depending on the level and horse type (TB vs WB).

I'm at a point with Emi that I can really see how working 2 x daily would be very helpful. But that is not going to happen due to my day job! I'll share my strategies in a separate post.

What are your strategies for getting your horse in shape to do the work you expect/they are now developing?


How would you describe effective conditioning approaches for a horse working training, 2nd, 4th, PSG, etc?

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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:00 am

My previous appy mare, Maya, was rather cold-blooded and needed lots of conditioning just to get the motivation to do TL/1st type work. Jumping was really helpful for her. She came to me with NO canter. I mean, none. Jumping grids was really great for her. We'd also go out in the foothills 1x a week whenever possible and do what she thought was a gallop wherever it was safe. Going back on the sand track to the trailer was the only place I ever got W/C transitions out of that horse. :lol:

Annabelle is an Appendix and more of a wispy type. I haven't settled on a conditioning program for her yet, but I think it will be somewhat different. She came to me uneven in her hind end muscling, so in hand work and slower under saddle work to keep the hind legs working evenly is more important. I try to back her in hand most days that I work her. She is kind of the polar opposite of Maya in terms of having plenty of stamina and ability to canter, so I don't think we'll be out galloping around in the hills on a regular basis, though I think walking/trotting hills will be great for her once I'm able to get her out on the trail.
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exvet
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby exvet » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:34 pm

How would you describe effective conditioning approaches for a horse working training, 2nd, 4th, PSG, etc?

My conditioning program doesn't really change with the level. As the horse goes up the levels I do tend to have an idea of the stamina they must be able to sustain at the canter and make sure I work towards that end; but, with respect to conditioning in and of itself, my training level and PSG critters would do much of the same exercises/road & track type work/work on inclines/trot - canter sets because the trot - canter transition is like pilates for many horses in terms of working the core. I would say the only difference with my horses as they go up the levels is when on the trail as they are capable I will do shoulder in, travers, and half-pass work. The trail is where I will often focus on the horse's straightness and work on my ability to know where each foot is, where each foot fall lands and how I can use my seat to affect that, etc. If I focus too much on that while in the arena, I get bored and/or I get tense and thus does the horse.

piedmontfields
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:55 pm

Again, thanks for comments. Exvet, your experience is helpful--thank you. I also have been adding lateral work out "on the hack" for the last year or two (it is a chill pill for my mare, who can get a bit wound up from cattle encounters). I also agree that straightness work is so good out and about--it is somehow so much more vivid for me out of the arena and my horse finds it fair and relaxing work.

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Chisamba
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Re: Conditioning Approaches

Postby Chisamba » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:00 pm

In my experience a fourth level, PSG horse requires as much conditioning as a fifty mile endurance ride, but more strength


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