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  1. #21
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    Jimmy Wofford (via online PH article http://www.equisearch.com/horses_rid...of-the-matter/)

    T
    o describe the amount of work I want the horse to undergo, I use “interval notation.” If I want my horses to trot for a total of 15 minutes (say at 220 meters per minute, the required speed for Phases A and C at Classic events), and then slow canter a total of 12 minutes (at the required *Training level cross-country speed of 400 m/m), with two-minute intervals of walk between each set of exercise, it looks like this (using " for “minutes”):

    5" @ 220 m/m w/ 2"i +
    4" @ 400 m/m w/2"i

    (My students’ slang for this workout is “3-4s,” referring to three four-minute sets of canter exercise. I usually maintain the same amount of trot work, regardless of the amount of canter exercise I am going to require.)

    This is not the first work you should do, however, as you begin conditioning for another season. Your canter works should be progressive, beginning with very slow and short periods of exercise. I want you to gradually build your horse up to what I call “maintenance works.” Once you build him up to a certain level of exercise, I want you to maintain him only at this level of fitness. Getting your horse overfit will cause almost as many problems as having him not fit enough.

    For Novice and Training levels, I want my horses to be maintained at 3-4s, Preliminary horses at 3-6s (three six-minute canter sets), and Intermediate and Advanced horses at 3-8s (three eight-minute canter sets). Remember, cross-country is an anaerobic exercise even at lower levels of competition. Cross-country competition will make your horse fitter as you go along. Be aware of this; later on in your season, look for an opportunity to occasionally skip a canter day so that you can do a little more work on your weakest technical skill (dressage or stadium jumping).
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  2. #22
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    Aug. 11, 2009
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    England
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    I don't see it as too much to ask and an accident waiting to happen- the XC courses are shorter and less jumping efforts than a 3 day... plus plenty of riders don't go for the time at a one day event, using it more as a prep.



  3. #23
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    Feb. 1, 2008
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    Nowhere, Maryland
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    What DW is describing is about comparable to a hunter pace or hunting first flight. It's not something you would do every day, but it is pretty essential to a conditioning program as you move up through the levels. It is actually pretty much what I did with my Training/ Prelim guy the last few years, on his gallop days, and what my trainer does with her UL level horses.



  4. #24
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    Jun. 5, 2012
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    I can do the "flippin" math, so to prepare your horse you for 1* which is where in Europe Eventing kids start... you galloped your horse 3 times 3500 meters at "near your CCI* competion speed - 3 times ...
    I wish I had the track you have
    Seriously DW;_)


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  5. #25
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Every 5 or 6 days, of course, starting 4 months before the target event. And it was around and around and around the hay fields and up and down the side of the driveway mostly, so hardly an enviable track.

    Either we're not communicating effectively, you're missing something, I'm missing whatever it is you find so unusual and/or shocking and/or amusing, or you're trolling. Sorry, I can't really be any more clear.
    Click here before you buy.


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  6. #26
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    Jun. 5, 2012
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    I am not trolling, just tired of BS regarding young horses being pushed too far too soon.
    Came of race track background so I know the conditioning stuff and I know what a horse can do in a set distance...
    Horses need time!!!
    to learn their stuff and no amount of money will change that.
    Like you say many "old" 18 year" old do very well in Europe events...



  7. #27
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    Apr. 1, 2006
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    Canada
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    I've competed up to int. The most tired creature after a one day was usually me!

    All HTs except for championships here (Ontario) are run over one day up to int.

    I've never had a horse struggle, they were doing trot sets and gallops comparable to what deltawave put up, and were very happy to ship in, compete, ship home and get turned back out.

    One of my horses struggled more at 3 day horse trials were we had to stable, or if there were other horses competing he had to stand on the trailer all day. He was an avid stall walker, who lived outside most of the time, so being stuck in a stall for days no matter how much we walked was torture, and he would get a bit stiff standing in the trailer all day for 3 days.



  8. #28
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    Nov. 19, 2005
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    Lost in the Sandhills of NC
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    I use a similar type of fitness training for CDEs. I start about two months out and add two specific fitness days per week. The routine is is 10 minutes (gradually increasing to 20 minutes) of trotting at the speed for our level (13 kph), followed by a brief walk break. Then we do 3 x 4s cantering and work up to 3 X 8s completing the last 3 x 8 workout ten days out from the event.

    That is one canter set at a specific speed for the planned time ( four minutes, five minutes etc), followed by a break, then a second timed canter set, then a break and then a third canter set. I am doing my final 3 X 8 work out this Thursday, and our first CDE is the following weekend.

    No reason to get rude - it's quite apparent by your comments that you can't do the flippin' math, and don't understand what Deltawave is explaining. The distance is immaterial - it's the length and speed.


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  9. #29
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Kinscem, maybe you are missing the who.e schedule. Staring with a working walk, building up to one hour a day. Then the trot sets are added, followed by canter sets to finally the gallops. This all starts 4-6 months before the destination event. 4-6 months depending on you horses's age, breeding and level of experience. As in an older, experience horse has the base level of fitness and often doesn't require as much work to stay fit as a first time horse.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  10. #30
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    Apr. 13, 2008
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    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverTime View Post
    The implication being that people who compete at UL one-days are not "really careful" with their horses?
    Competing in a one-day horse trials doesn't require any additional fitness than competing in a two- or three-day HORSE TRIALS. A horse who is properly prepared and fit to run a horse trials XC course at its given level is also perfectly fit to do a dressage test and one round of show jumping on the same day.
    Often, at one-days, horses warm up once for dressage, then come back again in their jump tack after a short break, jump a few fences to tune up, then do their show jump round and proceed directly to the XC start box, maybe doing a quick pipe-opening gallop or a few fly fences or angled approaches to get the horse going more forward and prepared for XC. The dressage serves as a warm-up for show jumping and the show jumping serves as a warm-up for XC. Horses aren't coming out and warming up for an hour before each phase.
    Perhaps the misconception you and your friend have about the endurance involved relates to the warm-up required for each phase? IME, less experienced riders tend to spend much more time in warm-up than more seasoned riders, who come to warm-up with a plan and are efficient and effective in executing that plan and preparing their horse to go into the ring.
    I spend a lot of time in the warm-up areas for an eventing series that runs elementary through CIC***/advanced. Even more so than when I was actually competing, spending this time on the ground I have been struck by the observation that many riders, particularly the less experienced ones, spend GOBS of time in warm-up -- often too much time, IMHO. They are in dressage warm-up for up to an hour before their test, then jump so many fences in show-jumping and XC warm-up that one loses count. I suspect this has more do to with the rider's own nerves, or just lack of experience/knowledge, than what the horse actually needs.
    In contrast, most of the professionals and more experienced riders come out, have a plan for their warm up in each phase, execute that plan and may be on and off their horse in a half-hour or less. If you want to slam them, it's easy to say "oh, that's because they have eight other horses to ride!" but even the experienced riders who are on just one or two horses in a weekend are effective and efficient in their warm up, saving their horses for the competition, rather than "leaving it in the warm-up."
    I don't think it's an exaggeration to say some BN riders, by virtue of overly long warm-ups, turn a one-day event into a far greater test of their horses' respective endurance than intermediate or advanced riders at a one-day show.
    NeverTime, I don't think the OP meant any harm by what she said - she wasn't saying other people weren't careful with their horses....

    It is interesting to see everyone's responses too - for a long time I wasn't a fan of UL 1 days until I got to a fitness level with my horse that I was comfortable with: DW, don't worry, I've done that before too.. Props on your mare - my gelding and I would do 3 gallop sets at 6 minutes each - but we never went more than Training due to his early demise (which was, by the way, entirely unrelated to his fitness and was quite a spectacular way for a horse to go). Guess all that hard work was for nothing (':

    I would agree too, that I see a lot more warm up time at the LL than the UL; perhaps this also has to do with the fact that the UL horses are fitter than holy hell (most of the time) and the pros don't leave their training for the warm-up ring!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


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  11. #31
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    Forgot to add... I lost all respect for JW when he said you weren't a true horseman until you jumped 4".. He still defends that statement.

    Not to detract from the fact he is a very good resource for fitness.. just.. maybe not for horsemanship!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



  12. #32
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    JW is a crusty dude and a treasure. I respect him enormously. But I think the whole "you're not a real horseman until you _____________" is basically a way for other people to set a measuring stick, with themselves ALWAYS on the "higher than" side.
    Click here before you buy.


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  13. #33
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    And while I hold immense and considerable respect for JW and his experience, knowledge, and theory of the sport, I also feel strongly that his fitness program is a nice place to start, but not, at all, appropriate for every horse. I can think of a couple of small TB types that would KILL me with 3 x 8s for one star! Especially since we have HILLS.



  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    JW is a crusty dude and a treasure. I respect him enormously. But I think the whole "you're not a real horseman until you _____________" is basically a way for other people to set a measuring stick, with themselves ALWAYS on the "higher than" side.
    Hah! Well said!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



  15. #35
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    Oct. 30, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinscem View Post
    I am not trolling, just tired of BS regarding young horses being pushed too far too soon.
    Came of race track background so I know the conditioning stuff and I know what a horse can do in a set distance...
    Horses need time!!!
    to learn their stuff and no amount of money will change that.
    Like you say many "old" 18 year" old do very well in Europe events...
    I don't usually see this much antagonism outside of the H/J threads. Seriously, kinscem, dial it down. There are a host of very experienced upper level riders patiently chiming in here offering their supporting two cents. If you don't have similar personal experience fitting up horses and competing them at the upper levels, it's time to be a bit less hostile and a bit more respectful of those who actually do just that.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


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  16. #36
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    Being the nerd that I am, I toddled over to my bookshelf and am looking at Wofford's training schedule for a *** and **** horse. On week 19 you do the following:

    6 minutes at 400-600mpm with 2 minute breathers followed by 4 600-1000mpm sets.

    So if a horse can do that, then a one-day horse trials at Intermediate is entirely possible. IF you get it fit enough, it will find it easy because you are nowhere near the top fitness possiblities.

    Think about the Grand National - 4 miles at racing speed with a lot of giant jumps. Again, Intermediate starts to look easy.

    Horses are one of the ultimate distance machines, and the gallop is very efficient for them. But you have to do the long slow distance work and build up the speed carefully.

    Also, no one said you should do this with a 5 year old. Not sure where the 'too young' aspect came in.
    Last edited by Hilary; Feb. 11, 2013 at 09:18 PM. Reason: breathers not beaters...



  17. #37
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    Jul. 1, 1999
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    Really? One-day Intermediate horse trial is too much work for a horse? Um, that's not much compared to 5 hours of hunting. My Intermediate horse did both....which is one of the reasons hunting is so valuable to the preparation of a cross country horse. Not just because they learn to pay attention to their feet, but because the hours of hunting can build an excellent level of fitness in a sport horse.
    One thing you can give and still keep is your word.



  18. #38
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    And while I hold immense and considerable respect for JW and his experience, knowledge, and theory of the sport, I also feel strongly that his fitness program is a nice place to start, but not, at all, appropriate for every horse. I can think of a couple of small TB types that would KILL me with 3 x 8s for one star! Especially since we have HILLS.
    If you take the time to read his book you will find he states exactly this. He does not expect anyone to follow his program step-by-step but to modify it for your horse and conditions. He told me once that someone sent him a letter, this was years ago, stating they followed his program EXACTLY and finished their first LF 1*. He was amazed that anyone would be able to do so - especially since there is almost always delays due to bad weather/footing, pulled shoes, minor injuries (horse and rider).

    Anyhow he earned the right to make those requirements. After all those old officers who taught him probably made him do more than he requires of students today. And he has the medals and long, list of students to back it up. Down here we say - ain't no brag if it is fact.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  19. #39
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    Feb. 23, 2009
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    I like to think that we are "really careful" (I probably lean more towards the "bubble-wrapping neurotic" type, actually...) with our guy and he has held up well to 6 years of eventing with DH, the last 3.5 at prelim or above (and hopefully will go at least 6 more!).

    He's currently coming back from the winter off and DH asked me to do a gallop day for him last week when I was down in FL visiting... let's just say I was definitely the weakest link! He's been back in work for about 8 weeks and just started actually "galloping" the past 3-4 weeks. I did 60 minutes of walk, about 20 of trot and 3 x 5 min @ 400-600 mpm. You don't push full out for the full set, you vary the speed within the set, and you don't give them enough time to fully recover their heart rate between sets (2 minute walk breaks between sets). Loki felt so good he bolted with me midway through the last set, and his resp rate was down to normal within 6 minutes of his last sprint. It was nothing for him (he's full TB, raced, and his baseline fitness is pretty darn good already). He'll work slowly back up to Advanced fitness, but no, a one day at Intermediate is not too much for him. He actually usually does better because for SJ (his weakest phase) he's got more "spunk" and tends to be more careful when it comes before xc at a one day. He always gets the day after a one-day off, and the day after that is long-slow (1.5-2 hrs of walking with some trotting, ideally on mixed terrain). Obviously fitness programs vary by horse, and we tweak ours as needed depending on how the season's going.

    kinscem, deltawave gave you rational answers from start to finish, I'm not sure where your issue is coming from. And no one said anything about young horses- our guy is 13 this year and going strong.
    If it were easy, everybody would do it.

    Equi-Sport Services



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    And while I hold immense and considerable respect for JW and his experience, knowledge, and theory of the sport, I also feel strongly that his fitness program is a nice place to start, but not, at all, appropriate for every horse. I can think of a couple of small TB types that would KILL me with 3 x 8s for one star! Especially since we have HILLS.

    And he would adjust it for the horse. With more speed work for some and less for others. His basic core was the same though...putting on a good base with a lot of slow work (walking) and building up progressively. What was in his book were some sample conditioning work outs for specific horses and a generic plan.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



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