Lately my patience has been my best friend. I've been taking my time to watch our herd, and researching on horse physiology.
I have learned that Whether your horse is competing at high levels or just being used for the occasional trail ride, it must have a certain level of fitness to perform well and endure the activity without injury. Asking the horse to do too much, too soon, can spell trouble. This is especially true for those pasture potatoes that have had little in the way of regular exercise, and are then suddenly expected to carry their owner on a two-hour trail ride. Regardless of the discipline the horse is used for, they should be gradually adapted to greater workloads over time.
I guess in other words my horses are about to go though boot camp. Tho they get played with they are still not in shape, Blaze is in pretty good shape but the others not so much.
My training involves a combination of physical conditioning and task-specific schooling (i.e., schooling in the various tasks required of a specific event or competition).
Since I play on competing in the future I am starting them on a fitness program.
success of a conditioning program relies on the body's adaptive response to the stress of exercise. If the horse performs the same amount of exercise every day, a certain level of fitness is attained as the horse adapts to the workload. However, without a further increase in training load (an increase in training duration, intensity, or both), there will be no further increase in fitness. To achieve a conditioning or training effect, the horse must be subjected to gradual increases in workload. Each new level of training is maintained until the body has adapted to the added stress, after which a further increase in training load can be applied. Alternating periods of increasing workload with a period of adaptation is known as progressive loading.
one great exercise is working the horse over hilly terrain, it has the advantage of increasing the heart rate (workload) without increasing speed, thereby sparing the bones, tendons and ligaments from excessive stress. One of the most important principles of conditioning is that of individual differences. Horses vary in their individual response to conditioning. Therefor all of my horses will have a different fitness program.
An adequate level of fitness is necessary for horses to perform to their potential. Proper conditioning also helps prevent injuries that may arise when an unfit horse is pushed beyond its physical capacity.
Really interesting stuff I'm learning!
By the way
My conditioning program will have lots of playing and not dull boring drills.
I will keep everyone updated on their progress.
Hopefully our laptop will be fixed so that I can start uploading pictures.
Hannah & Blaze