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View Full Version : Back from an injury - how long to get fit for Training level



Ritazza
Dec. 13, 2009, 08:17 PM
My mare has just been given the green light to start trotting again after the tendon injury she had at the AECs this year. IF she stays sound and everything goes according to plan, she should be cantering in the beginning of February. I expect we will get to start jumping again in March, again IF she stays good and sound and Pluto aligns with Mars. She was running Novice this year and was just about Training fit when she injured herself in September. She has maintained a remarkable level of muscletone given her time on stall rest. The injuries were actually not too bad in the end and she is up to 25 minutes of treadmilling a day and 30 minutes of walking under saddle.

My question if, if we are jumping again in the beginning of March, is it unreasonable to think she'd be fit enough at the end of May to run an easy Novice, and maybe mid-June for a Training? Soundness pending, of course. She's about average when it comes to ease of fitness - it comes to her pretty easily if you work at it fairly diligently.

deltawave
Dec. 13, 2009, 08:36 PM
No reason not to plan that way, see how it goes. It's not like you have to go full speed the first few times out at a new level, anyway, and the courses are not that much longer.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 13, 2009, 10:30 PM
most of my horses got training fit just doing the rehab work. I mean we were trotting 30 minutes and cantering 3 five minute sets before jumping.....that's usually far more than I ever do with a horse getting ready for training!


Good luck! Just take your time with her rehab....it will pay off in the long run.

yellowbritches
Dec. 14, 2009, 11:25 AM
My old horse went from sitting in the field for 9 months to pulling my arms out at training level in 6 weeks. He did not have a serious injury (just needed some chill time), was a tiny, full TB who got one star fit if you looked at him cross eyed, and HAD been prelim fit before he got kicked out. I would plan more time for a horse who was not as fit, and I believe the OP's horse is a WB, so that will probably take a little more fitness as well.

Your plan is good, but generous. You should be fine.

retreadeventer
Dec. 14, 2009, 08:43 PM
Hey Bornfree and Amanda, while we're on the subject of getting fit -- how much MORE work did both of you do from training to prelim? How did you increase it and over what time frame? And for how many events?
I have sort of an idea but it's been GULP 27 years since I last rode prelim...no lie...and my last intermediate was a three day event! That ought to date me. So....I need a refresher.

RunForIt
Dec. 14, 2009, 09:21 PM
Hey Bornfree and Amanda, while we're on the subject of getting fit -- how much MORE work did both of you do from training to prelim? How did you increase it and over what time frame? And for how many events?
I have sort of an idea but it's been GULP 27 years since I last rode prelim...no lie...and my last intermediate was a three day event! That ought to date me. So....I need a refresher.

PLEASE come "sorta" south this Winter, Holly! I do sooooo want to get to really KNOW YOU!!!! PTF Advanced in late February is a VERY good time to do this!!!! :D :lol: :cool:

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 14, 2009, 09:29 PM
Hey Bornfree and Amanda, while we're on the subject of getting fit -- how much MORE work did both of you do from training to prelim? How did you increase it and over what time frame? And for how many events?
I have sort of an idea but it's been GULP 27 years since I last rode prelim...no lie...and my last intermediate was a three day event! That ought to date me. So....I need a refresher.

I think it depends on when you are thinking of moving up....if it is early in the spring, I would do more conditioning work. (i.e. trot sets and canter sets....how much depends on when you were planning to move up) But if you are going to move up at the end of your spring season...I wouldn't do too much more just for running a Prelim HT. He should already be pretty fit for training level...and would have done some "gallops" during your competitions.

It hasn't changed much from when I first moved up...you will be fine. You know how to get a horse fit:)

Ritazza
Dec. 14, 2009, 09:36 PM
So I have one more question for those in Area I: What's a good Training move-up course around here? We'd like something simple start the season off!

Blugal
Dec. 14, 2009, 09:40 PM
I don't think your back-to-work schedule is generous. It is probably just right. Don't forget that there is often a couple days here and there when you have to postpone your schedule (an owie here, bad weather there, late day at work etc.). Just keep a really careful eye on her legs and back off if you think there is anything going on.

yellowbritches
Dec. 15, 2009, 06:30 PM
I don't think your back-to-work schedule is generous. It is probably just right. Don't forget that there is often a couple days here and there when you have to postpone your schedule (an owie here, bad weather there, late day at work etc.). Just keep a really careful eye on her legs and back off if you think there is anything going on.
I think it is pretty generous (which isn't a BAD thing). The OP is talking about starting jumping in early March...not starting back to work or starting back to real flatwork. So, that's almost 16 weeks of JUMPING before the first event. Most horses are fit enough for novice if they are logically brought back to work in 6 to 8 weeks. And, from my understanding (from reading the OP's blog), the horse in question has been walking under tack and I believe on a treadmill. So, while not real intense work, it is hardly the fat, shaggy slob that I started with in my first post! :yes:

retread, I agree with BFNE, it DOES depend on when you plan to move up and, of course, the horse you are sitting on. For Ralph (the fat, shaggy slob), I didn't do any special. We moved up in April, but had spent some time in Aiken, and had done a few training HTs down there. He was REALLY easy to get fit...I wouldn't have been able to keep a lid on him if I'd down anything more than his hacking and occasional low key canter. As that particular season went on, he got stronger and more unruly on the flat...I think that was both due to his fitness level and due to whatever it was that was his ultimate undoing (but that's another story).

Anyway, the heavier the horse the more you have to do. I think asterix practically does what we did for our TB-type one star horses to get her two big guys fit enough for training. But a horse with a lot of "blood" (my new favorite term) really just needs good consistent work, and some trots and canters.

yellowbritches
Dec. 15, 2009, 06:33 PM
PS- my fat, shaggy slob only did one jump school and one dressage school in the ring before his first training level (this had more to do with his brain than anything...he hated the ring). Really, if you do the proper leg work and they had a base to begin with, it doesn't take long.

Blugal
Dec. 15, 2009, 08:14 PM
As this thread shows, it's all a matter of opinion.

I take "beginning of March to end of May" to mean more like 10-12 weeks, not 16. 2 weeks between her first Novice and her first Training isn't going to be used to get fit, it will be schooling for the actual event. So the horse should basically be fit enough to safely do a Training HT (not necessarily at speed) by the end of May.

10-12 weeks of jumping a horse that has been on a long recovery is not huge. If it were me, the first couple weeks I'd be taking it very easy. Just a couple jumps to start, then building up, and monitoring very carefully. I wouldn't just launch into doing grids and courses - which is what a person wanting to move up to Training should be practicing. Therefore a base level of fitness with the weakest link being the injured limb(s) will be required PRIOR to actually practicing and honing the skills needed for moving up.

Again, I don't think your program is unreasonable, but I also don't think it's generous.

yellowbritches, I mostly agreed with your first post - but as you said, your horse had much different parameters - full TB, previously prelim fit, and uninjured. I personally wouldn't go to a Training HT on a horse that had only jumped once in 10+ months, as I'd be worried about him being unfit for jumping, regardless of fitness on the flat, as they use different muscle groups and there are different forces on their tendons and ligaments.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 15, 2009, 09:04 PM
having rehabbed more than one horse from a tendon injury....let me clarify my earlier post.

I personally don't think you need to do ANY additional fitness work to go training. An average horse (not a full draft)...can go trainning easily on just regular work. They do not need to be "fit" to go to a HT. And the amount of work you are doing legging up from an injury is usually more than enough "fitness" for training level.

But complete the rehab first.

That said...more than fit...you need to be prepared....there is a difference.

I personally would make NO PLANS. Focus on your rehab. Competing or moving up to training isn't out of the question for this coming year...but take your time on your rehab. WHEN you start jumping consistently, horse is back on full turn out and been in a consistent riding program for more than a couple of weeks with no set backs....THEN I might start thinking about preparing for a competition and look at the schedule and see what might work.

But don't make a plan or schedule before then...otherwise you will be too tempted to "push" things along to be ready....instead of just focusing on how she feels each day.

good luck!

retreadeventer
Dec. 16, 2009, 10:09 AM
I think it depends on when you are thinking of moving up....if it is early in the spring, I would do more conditioning work. (i.e. trot sets and canter sets....how much depends on when you were planning to move up) But if you are going to move up at the end of your spring season...I wouldn't do too much more just for running a Prelim HT. He should already be pretty fit for training level...and would have done some "gallops" during your competitions.

It hasn't changed much from when I first moved up...you will be fine. You know how to get a horse fit:)


Well, yes and no....he is SLOW. I don't know what I need to do to get another nickel out of the withers to ge that 520 I need. Should I do some faster gallops later in the spring or now? Closer to the event? He is not a fast worker on his own, folks, TB aside...think warmblood slow....
The footing is pretty bad right now to gallop. I'm letting those 2-3 hour foxhunts do most of the conditioning at the moment.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 16, 2009, 11:26 AM
Well, yes and no....he is SLOW. I don't know what I need to do to get another nickel out of the withers to ge that 520 I need. Should I do some faster gallops later in the spring or now? Closer to the event? He is not a fast worker on his own, folks, TB aside...think warmblood slow....
The footing is pretty bad right now to gallop. I'm letting those 2-3 hour foxhunts do most of the conditioning at the moment.


He's a TB...he is fast enough. You don't make time by being on a FAST horse...you make time by reducing your set up to the fences and taking the direct lines (don't swing wide and meander). You also make time be really leaving the fence at speed...not waiting three stides after the fence thinking about the last fence and THEN kicking them back up;) You land kicking. I've seen your boy....he is more than fast enough for Prelim and I wouldn't be worrying about doing speed work.

If he is fox hunting this winter....you don't need to be doing anything more...just keep him in regular work.