• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Conditioning Help

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Conditioning Help

    I would love to complete a few limited distance rides this summer, and maybe even a full-fledged endurance ride. The horse I ride is an 11 year old, 14.1 hh Arabian gelding of mostly polish breeding. I have had him for four years.

    However, I am getting a bit confused over the conditioning aspect. All the information I have found seems to be geared towards legging up a completely unfit horse, beginning with riding at the walk and slow trot. I am unsure whether I should consider my horse completely unfit or not. I am also unsure of how he would behave with such a low-demand routine at first, because if we aren’t riding with enough variety (some long trots and a few canters instead of walking only) he gets silly and spooky, which is not fun at all.

    My question is: how "unfit" is my horse, and what would be a good point to start from? Are there any tips for conditioning?


    Here is a description of his environment, and basic workout and training routine:
    My horse is kept in a hilly pasture that has no flat spots. Some of it is too steep for anything other than an ATV (or a two- or four-legged critter). He is ridden five times a week for an hour. This consists of trotting, circling, cantering, bending, and overall suppling exercises to keep him from getting bored. We also trail ride about once a month on trails with a group of friends anywhere from 12 to 15+ miles long, usually out for about 3-4 hours twice daily (if camping) or 6 hours if it’s a day trip. These rides range from walking only (boring for the horse) to walking, trotting, and cantering in equal measure (much more fun!).

    We also have a little "trail" that is a half mile loop behind our pasture. I ride on this infrequently for a change of routine. Most articles I have seen cautions against riding hills at any speed for the first month of conditioning, but I really don't have a choice: There are no flat spots! If I want to work at any speed, it has to be on a hill or not at all. most of our trail rides are also in hilly areas. The flattest has to be in the southern Kettle Moraine trails (by Palmyra).

    In order to maintain his sanity, and mine, we almost immediately resume a full workload fairly quickly after a layoff because he does get spooky and silly if the workout is not demanding enough for him.

    Thank you, and sorry for the wordy post. I am just unsure of where to start.

  • #2
    Your horse sounds like he could probably do a slow LD fine now. If he can easily do 15 miles at various paces, W/T/C, in an average pace of at least 5 mph, he can probably do a 25 at the same speed.

    Comment


    • #3
      If it were me, I'd start with something ... or things... that could tell me statistically how fit my horse was...and how I should progress to build on that fitness.

      I'd start with a heart monitor, and start keeping a log of what his heart was telling me during the times I was riding. If you just piddle around with slow trail rides, maybe a few trot sets and a touch of cantering, doing 12 miles in two sets of 4 hours each isn't much to write home about unless your HM is telling you his heart is more ramped up than normal for this type of outting.

      In other words, if his resting pulse is...say...35, and it averages about 70-90 for all your riding, you aren't doing enough to get his body in shape. If he's clocking 130-140 the whole time, either he's in too soft a condition, or he's just letting his emotions rule his brain.

      Speed on hills shouldn't be thought as "canter" or "gallop", but as a steady, working trot attacking that hill to get the hr up above 160. You want to build the heart, build the wind, and build the slow-twitch muscles without breaking down the legs. I might attack a hill every now and then with a gallop, but by and large almost 99% of my conditioning hill work is a trot. During the actual competition I don't trot the hills - I tend to walk them to conserve, but my guy's body has prepared for them, so it tends to be easy for him both physically and mentally.

      I would also throw a GPS into the mix. You want to build on a consistent pace and match that with watching the heart monitor to see what pace=the best hr. You want to know the miles you've traveled, how much time it took, the elevation changes, and your average pace. Each time you should slightly better the prior result, either by lengthening the miles within a reduced time (ramping up the mph) or adding more difficult terrain without falling back too far on the time it took to do a similar mileage on a less taxing route.

      Get your baselines on your horse, go back and reread those articles, get your trailer hooked up to travel to a place where you can do some long, flat trotting stretches (which are every bit as important as hillwork) and move forward with the tools that can help you bring him to a good, verifiable, level of condition. It sure beats just guessing.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you all for replying. I have been browsing through the different heart monitors and GPS units. The more I investigate, the more I realize that I just can't know how hard he is working unless I see his heart rate, because he will never refuse to move out. A GPS would also help with pace out on the trail. Any recommendations?

        Thanks also for mentioning the long, flat trots. There are certain sections of some trails I've been on that I think would work, especially if I doubled back.

        Comment


        • #5
          Check out the Garmin Forerunner 305. A lot of people, including myself, use that one as it has everything you could ask for. After each ride I plug it in to the computer to upload all data and can keep a great training log that way.

          It is a human HR monitor and comes with a chest belt so you have to adjust it for use on a horse (take belt part off and add a couple of electrodes to the transmitter) and there are a variety of ways to do that. The Distance Depot sells the "conversion kit."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            That looks very cool. Thanks for the tip!

            Comment

            Working...
            X