Tuesday 26th March, 2019
The saying summer bodies are made in the winter applies to horses and humans. But if you didn’t kickstart your training schedule yet, don’t panic. We can help get you and your horse in peak fitness for the show season with these simple four steps to success.
Feeling the pressure to lose some pounds? It can be all too tempting to blitz your fitness with a bootcamp fix, but this is not advisable nor safe if you are starting from zero. To build your horses’ topline, you first need to build your training from gentle sessions into more intense schooling over a period of weeks and months. A good place to start is with two half hour sessions a week and gradually increase the length and/or frequency.
What we put into our body has a huge bearing on how our body performs, and the same is true of our horses. If we are expecting them to work hard, build muscle and develop strength in preparation for the show season, then we need to fuel their bodies to do so. Your horse will need a diet incorporating high quality protein to promote muscle development and carbohydrate to provide energy. As the training intensity increases, add more concentrates to maintain energy levels and condition, and glucosamine supplements to support joints and ligaments.
When training, it is vital that you and your horse get adequate rest while training for the show season. Not only does this allow the body to physically repair and strengthen, but it also provides the opportunity to rest mentally too. All work and no play is no fun for anyone, so make sure that your horse gets plenty of down time with long grooming sessions, a warm cosy stable to sleep in and turn out time with field mates.
Training is all well and good, but you need to see results you need to stick to the schedule. Of course, there will be times when life happens and our plans go out of the window, but try and keep your exercise regime as much as possible to retain condition and muscle memory, not to mention keeping those all-important dressage routines in your head.