Help - workout plans for building horse (and rider) fitness and muscle
Sorry this is a bit long, but you can skip the background and just get down to the general question below which I've underlined for convenience and readability.
I've been riding my horse about 3 times a week and doing quite light exercise to get him back into shape after having a LONG time off (long as in ridden lightly on a weekend or two a month for the past 4 years while I was away at university). He has been turned out 24/7 in a large field where he was able to run around and be a horse in his little pack of three horses so he isn't terribly out of shape--but we need some help. He is a "vintage" horse, but he is perfectly sound, has a great joint supplement that works well for him, good weight etc.
I am also out of shape and really need to get my legs strengthened up so I can communicate with him better (I have a weak ankle that rolls in very badly) and well not be tired after 15 minutes and need a break, haha!
He's great at the walk and still needs some help at the trot and can do a bit of canter work, which isn't the best as I'm having a hard time bending him correctly and making him propel himself from his hind end rather than loping around and not pushing from the hind. It's coming a long, but we need to get working on better muscle conditioning.
We've done a lot of lateral work before when we were fit competitors, so it's not new and yes I'll be working with a trainer soon, once I get a job in Sept. I don't use and type of artificial aids such as martingales or draw reins (but I do have a set) and I ride in a regular jointed port dee-ring snaffle (he tends to like not having pressure on his tongue). We don't really have any goals other than to build up fitness and get back in shape for doing a little bit of jumping in the future and maybe some hack classes at schooling shows and just generally to have fun and keep him and myself healthy.
That said, I need some ideas for what to work on 3-4 rides a week. I think we should be working on lateral work, bending exercises and engaging and strengthening the hind end stuff, but I'm terrible at planning workouts and need some tips since I've always just done what my old trainer assigned me.
Does anyone have a workout plan with some walk and trot (even some canter) exercises to help? I'm open to pole work as well. Or just some general tips and advice? I don't want to overload with too many exercises in a day so I need some help to focus! thanks everyone.
Hunters should be galloping - George Morris