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Tell me about your conditioning/training regimen

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  • Tell me about your conditioning/training regimen

    I'd love to hear from some of you on the conditioning/training schedule you have in place for your Novice/Training level horse. Days/week gallop/trot sets? Days jumping? Dressage? What does your typical week look like?


  • #2
    I find with most lighter horses (TBs, crosses that are heavy on the TB, etc) they do quite well at novice/training with 5 days (give or take) of energetic (meaning get them to break a sweat, both horse and rider should have to catch their breath a bit at the end) but not very structured work (meaning no specific trot and canter sets, etc). Heavier breeds (heavy WBs, draft crosses, etc) need more. Some may even seem to need to be galloped like they are going to an UL three day.

    My current training level horse (7 year old, 15.3h TB gelding) is extremely easy to keep fit to the point where he's unruly if not being asked to work (thankfully, he's good when it matters). His basic week is 5 or 6 days with usually 2 days of dressage, 1 or 2 days of jumping (he did 2 this week so will probably only do 1 next), and the rest filled up with hacking. I may also do short hacks before or after any real schools, and, unless he's seriously thinking of unloading me on the way home (he's a beast), we almost always walk up our big hill. I typically do more walking hacks with him because he gets insanely fit, but I do throw in the once a week or every 10 days kind of hack where we trot and canter, and add in a good trot up some of our hills. I do NOT gallop him (he'd be unrideable). If one or both of us needed galloping education, then we'd probably do more easy canters/gallops, but I've been around the block a time or two at this point and he is a well schooled OTTB...we both are pretty good gallopers.

    (For the record: that typical week is very similar to what his "brother"- 16h TB, was doing for prelim last year. I really aimed for 6 days for prelim, and did a lot more trotting and cantering on hacks, tended to go a lot longer- prelim horse is a lot less of jerk hacking, which helps- and did a lot more hacks before or after schools in the ring. I did trot sets on him plus canter work about every 10 days, then went to 7 days, then 5 the last couple of weeks before our three day...He was WAY fit enough).

    Each horse is different and sometimes they can surprise you. Horses that seem like they should get fit easily, don't, while heavier types seem to be energizer bunnies.


    • #3
      Keeping my Perch-TB cross fit is a challenge. I share him with my mom, who likes to do the 2'6 hunters, but we manage to structure the week so we split the riding time and he still gets his workouts. We aim for 2 days of interval training (5 min x 3 trot sets, 3-4 min x 3 canter sets), 2 days of small jumps, 2 days of flat, and a day off.

      It's pretty flexible though...gotta leave room for competitions, clinics, and trail rides to the river
      The big guy: Lincoln

      Southern Maryland Equestrian


      • #4
        For my Training TB I do the following - he's already quite fit.

        Mon: off
        Tues: Dressage
        Weds: 4 mile (50 min) trail, the first 2 mi quite steeply uphill in trot (barely breaks a sweat), the next 1 mi at walk (flatter, but rocky) and the last 1 mi downhill on asphalt (I get off and walk)
        Thurs: off
        Fri: 3 mile trail ride with steep hills in walk and trot, and a canter, or 20 min lunge in chambon.
        Sat: competition or lesson.
        Sun: off (if comp day before) beach sets, or dressage.

        If we had better footing I'd do more canter/gallop work.

        If he was younger and/or needed it, I'd jump him once a week.

        Right now he's more than capable of running three cross country courses in a day (at a hunter pace for example) so his time and legs are better spent working on dressage IMO.
        PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum


        • #5
          I've got big boys, unlike yellowbritches.

          A standard Training week would look like this:

          *Dressage (30-45 minutes) plus 20 mins walk hack on hills
          * Sets: 3x5 trots with 2 min breaks, 3x4 canters (brisk but not gallops), 2 min breaks. On terrain
          *Hack 1-1.5 hours, mostly walk, some t and c, terrain
          * Jump school, 40+ minutes, plus 20 mins walk hack on hills
          *Dressage, as above
          * Hack -- if possible, 15-20 minutes of trotting, then walk hack for 45-hour on terrain.
          * Off

          This gets altered due to weather and footing -- the above is optimal but most weeks there is some compromise somewhere -- I skip a post workout hack because it's pouring, or I don't end up jumping, or ..... but over the season it works out.
          The big man -- my lost prince

          The little brother, now my main man


          • #6
            I have two OTTBs and a routine that involves no formal conditioning.

            Footing permitting I try to ride 5-6 days/week, 1 jumping, 2 hacks (~1 hr, w-t-c), 2-3 dressage (~30 min?). But these days when it's hard, long walks seem to be taking over the whole routine as I don't have a ring.

            When I am out in the open I focus more on control than conditioning, bc that is our weaker point. Mine both like to run, so I try to focus on lengthening/shortening, transitions, adjustability, so I have some tools on xc. I often do all the trot work in 2-point to improve my balance.

            Anyway, that is just what I do, not necessarily a recommendation to others. At low levels OTTBs are pretty easy, so it's interesting to me to read what those with bigger horses do, too.


            • #7
              i have an 8 y/o Dutch/TB that i just started T. Heres a 2 week schedule, week 1 with a competition, week 2 without

              week 1:
              Mon: gallop set
              Tues: off
              Wed: dressage
              Thurs: jump
              Fri: dressage and hack
              Sat: Competition
              Sun: off

              week 2:
              Mon: long hack
              Tues: off
              Wed: dressage
              Thurs: gallop set
              Fri: dressage and hack
              Sat: jump
              Sun: dressage and hack

              this i suppose is ideal - if there is a clinic im interested in, or a trainer is available a certain day i shift things around. I just try and do my gallop sets every 5 days (counting a competition day as a gallop day), jump only once a week and whenever i have the time i take my pony on a hack after every ride - anywhere from 20 - 60 min (usually walking only on varied terrain). i generally take anywhere from 1 - 2 lessons a week depending on where i feel i need the help.

              my gallop sets are 20 min trot, followed by 3 sets of 5 min gallop, 2 min walk. my horse tends to be a little backed off - especially coming out of the start box, and i have found that the gallop sets have made a huge difference in his attitude XC.

              my jump schools are always max 3 inches higher than competition - so when i was competing N, i jumped 3' - 3'3. with the T move up, were schooling 3'3 - 3'6. if its not a lesson, i just jump once around with the fences smaller (2'6 - 3'), then put them up to the heights i want to finish on and do a little course. if we dont have any problems - were done and head out on a hack.

              my dressage schools are usually 45 - 60 min of hard work followed by a 20 - 40 min hack if i have the time.

              i am really happy with my training schedule and my horse is responding to it. hes super fit and confident, and i dont find him getting sour or resenting work.