View Full Version : Staying fit in nasty footing

Dec. 29, 2009, 08:33 PM
As I'm watching the rain fall, I'm wondering about keeping my pony fit during the winter. I'll have only a bit of firm footing soon, about 400' worth of road, with the rest only suitable for walking. The road will be fine for a little trotting and cantering as long as I use it very sparingly, and don't chew it up. (Fortunately, she's barefoot.)

I recall someone saying they were keeping a horse prelim-fit with only walk work, and I was wondering how much walking and if there were specific exercises that would be helpful.

My goal is to get/keep her fit enough so that I can feel comfortable hauling out for a dressage lesson or jumping school to an indoor maybe once a month when the stars align, without feeling like I'm risking her soundness or that I'd need to limit it to just a few minutes of real work.

Dec. 30, 2009, 09:28 AM
I think you can keep a horse prelim fit with only arena work, but I'm really not sure you can do it by only walking. Even with hills.

However, if you get on the horse every day for half an hour even if all you can do is walk up and down your 400 feet of road it shouldn't be a problem to go for a lesson once in a while. You'll both be tired at the end, but you'll recover and just remember not to push it.

You may die of boredom on your stretch of road but at times I'm limited to circling my driveway - truely boring - but you can do a million walk/trot/walk transitions.

Dec. 30, 2009, 03:18 PM
Lots of leg yielding from one side of the road to the other along with some shoulder in and travers :)


Dec. 30, 2009, 04:12 PM
i'm limited to the road at certain times of the year, and it does get boring in terms of scenery. serpentines from side to side gives you about the equivalent of 10m curve, so you can really work on your precision and bending. In general just do all the exercises you'd do in your field/ring. If you think about it, a 400' long side of the arena would be a hell of a nice arena to ride in. So pretend the first 100' is your long side, then the next 50' is the short side, and then so on.

Dec. 31, 2009, 01:06 PM
I scored an oilskin ankle-length riding coat at the farm supply on sale for $40, so I'm ready to go out in whatever weather comes! :D Just have to find the time during daylight...