The Pony Bloggers (Gucci, Sweetsie and Leggs) are here again “Of Horse” audience to discuss Equine Fitness. Fitness is good health and good physical condition. All horses benefit from a good fitness program.
Fitness is not just for the fierce competitor but also for all equines. Fitness enables horses to produce top performance and greatly reduces the risk of injuries. A fitness program must be introduced slowly over time to give the horse’s body a chance to adjust to the changes in exercise level. Remember not to begin such a program unless the horse is healthy enough to participate.
Remember horses returning to work following time off with an injury will need time and slow work at the start of their fitness program. Take into account the horses’ age, current fitness level, past fitness level, and injuries. Most fitness programs should begin with slow work, then strength and stamina exercises followed by increased speeds to prepare for particular speed events, cross country and endurance.
The Pony Bloggers compete in three very different venues (Barrel Racing, Eventing, Hunters), but we all follow the same fitness program. We are going to share our program with our “Of Horse,” fans.
Week 1: 6 days of flat work for 20 minutes (walk & trot)
Week 2: 6 days of flat work for 30 minutes (walk & trot)
Week 3: 6 days of flat work for 60 minutes with hill work (walk& trot)
Week 4: 6 days of flat work for 60 minutes (mostly trot work)
Week 5: 6 days of flat work for 60 minutes with hill work (trot work)
Week 6: 6 days of flat work for 60 minutes with added cantering intervals between trot sets (example: Trot 10 minutes, canter 2 minutes, etc.)
Week 7: 6 days of flat work for 60 minutes with build up of canter sets and hill work at the canter also.
Week 8: 6 days of combined flat work for 60 minutes. (Add jumping exercises, speed exercises, and controlled gallop to sets). 60 minutes each day. Do not forget to add a controlled gallop to the sets to help with endurance and speed!
This program keeps us Pony Bloggers healthy and strong and our riders too! Remember to include 1 day off each week and monthly massages for us. Give it a try everyone and Happy Fitness Riding!