Friday, April 13, 2012

The Basics: Horsie Conditioning Part 2

This is the second part of the original Horsie Conditioning that I had made for a friend. 

Once she is toned up from the Winter softies, you can begin this regiment of Cardio & Muscle Development.  

Begin on Trails, (hopefully ones that have hills and flat)!   
  • Walk 10 minutes, 
  • Trot 10 minutes, 
  • Walk 10 minutes, 
  • Canter 10 minutes, 
  • Walk 10 minutes, 
  • Trot 10 minutes, 
  • Walk 10 minutes, 
  • Canter 10 minutes, 
  • Walk 10 minutes.  
By alternating the three gaits, you are alternating muscle groups, as well as bringing them up, then down, then alternating up, then down. This is what is happening to the Cardio system as well.....trot and canter both work the cardio system completely differently. To improve the longitudinal balance of a horse, the rider (or can be done on a lunge line) repeatedly asks the horse for up and down transitions, frequently (or within a five stride time frame). Such as Walk-Trot-Walk-Trot-Walk-Trot. This teaches the horse to keep a majority of her weight in her hind quarters. Helping to assist her in keeping weight off of the front end, and/or the bridle.

Strength Training or Long Slow DistanceThis training initiates development of your horse’s muscular endurance (the ability to sustain work for prolonged periods), but to improve muscular strength you need to increase the intensity of the workouts or the number of repetitions of a particular drill.

Incorporate steeper hill climbs or accelerate your horse’s speed up a moderate ascent; gymnastic grids, cavelletti grids, or more advanced dressage or equitation exercises are also reliable methods to increase the exercise intensity while improving muscular strength. Include strength-training exercises two to three times a week, or every other day. Remember that as your horse develops muscle strength, her cardiovascular condition continues to improve.

If she has a sore back: canter at first in a half seat position until she’s a bit more muscled, stretched out and used to cantering again before you plop your butt down on her back.

No comments:

Post a Comment