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What is your riding routine the week of an event?

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  • What is your riding routine the week of an event?

    I'm guessing it may vary depending on what level one is running, but I'm curious to know what people do the week of a show.

    Do you give your horse an extra day off, lighter rides, or simply stick to your regular flat work and jumping routines?
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!

  • #2
    Jenm I would be very interested to see others routines, especially those at like preliminary level.

    Myself, my routine sort of comes from my roots, and knowledge gained, from running a large racing stable. And I do not at present event a cold blooded horse, he's a TB.

    I want to first of all make sure I ride every day, I want the horse absolutely sound and going forward, responding normally to the aids -- because any abberation from that I would need to investigate as it would affect the entry. (To scratch or not scratch).

    I would want to do the last "hard" work no sooner than three days out -- for instance, the gallop day if one is scheduled, or a ship-out jumping school. If the event is Sunday I'd want those to be Weds. Then Thurs. would be a light day which would be dressage and test practice, a long relaxing hack with dressage on Friday, and a short relaxing hack and dressage "parts" school -- I would just pick a part or several parts and school them out of order or backwards of the way the test is written because I have a horse who quickly picks up patterns and anticipates. I would include a lot of lateral work on those two days before competition with this particular horse, because it helps me to know how relaxed he is and how much I need to do to get his back relaxed the next day for dressage.
    On the day before, I want him to be ridden enough to get hot and sweaty but not blowing hot, because I will want to give him a good bath and have him dry fast. Don't want them chilled the day before or the night before I have to compete, as that can make muscles stiff. So I want to monitor that ride carefully and take into account the temperature and weather, as well as barn drafts.

    Earlier in the week, for instance seven days out, would be the "hardest" work day of all seven days. The Weds. jump school would be slightly less difficult. I want it that way because if any problems arise after that I have six days to work on them and still make the event. It also allows for a second jumping day just in case the previous jump school was a disaster or something.

    I have recently been using my heart rate monitor to check the horses right after work (before walking cool) and I am getting a good set of numbers to check what I am doing; I am beginning to be able to "match" how hard I'm riding to the numbers. I am doing this on every horse I ride and finding a wide variation in fitness even though some are ridden every day. So don't think that a heart rate monitor can't help, I have learned a lot from mine -- it was $48 on eBay.
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


    • #3
      Not to hi-jack, but what type of heart monitor? Would you pm me the make?

      I'm really interested in the topic as well since I am new to the sport. I like the idea of riding every day to keep an eye on things, keeping the horse in front of the leg and tuned up.
      All that is gold does not glitter;
      Not all those who wander are lost.
      ~J.R.R. Tolkien


      • #4
        If I have a one-day event on a Sunday, which is what I usually do my schedule goes like this:

        Sunday before: Day Off

        Monday: 1st Jump School. Usually full height, jump a course or two. Thats it.

        Tuesday: Light flat

        Wednesday: 2nd Jump School. If anything went terribly wrong on Monday, we work on that, otherwise, its just some low gridwork. If I'm going to school xc, its no later than this day.

        Thursday: Dressage school and ride test

        Friday: Conditioning. Once he's fit for the season this is really only 25 minutes of trot/gallop intervals and is really not all that hard on him. Otherwise, I would not do it this close to the event.

        Saturday:Light dressage school, lots of stretching, long and low, lateral work, transitions. If I'm stabling I ride him there and spend a lot of time getting him used to the grounds.

        Sunday: Event

        Monday: Day Off

        This is a great thread and I'd love to hear what others do. I only compete at Novice right now and, according to my trainer, this schedule would keep him perfectly fit enough for Training too. My horse is very up and kind of loses his head at shows so I make the event his seventh day working. On a normal basis, he works 6 days a week and gets the seventh off, but he's better at shows if he's a little tired.


        • #5
          Usually same as my normal routine: Monday off (longest work day), Tuesday a lesson, Wednesday a ride doing whatever we didn't do in our lesson, Thursday off (on call), Friday travel to the show and usually hack/dressage, then compete Saturday and Sunday.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            Novice Rider

            I keep to the same schedule the week before but modify it based on my concerns...

            So, if we're in the middle or end of the season and I have no plans on moving up, I don't XC school for the show.

            My horse is a spooky girl so I do try to get in a gallop somewhere the weekend before... It helps us both to think forward... go, go, go!

            Monday is her day off (I have work obligations), Tuesday is a lesson - dressage or IF I am feeling weak with jumping, then I make it a jumping lesson. Then Wednesday is a hacking day, Thurs is flat, Friday is flat... If the show is Sunday, then I do my dressage test in the ring and then head out for a hack.

            Basically, my goal is to be keen myself while keeping my horse loosey goosey. Better translated - supple and relaxed for dressage.
            Live, Laugh, Love


            • #7
              My horse is older and doesn't eat well at shows so I gave the day before and after an event/show off.

              Aside from that I carry on as usual!
              PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum


              • #8
                My guys are both mellow, at home and at shows. They will be as fit as they are going to be a week out (when I did the T3d we had a week or two "taper" before the event and that worked brilliantly), so there is never any conditioning the last week.

                I will try and get in a good dressage school and a good jump school by midweek -- this week I'm running on Sunday, am jumping Wed and dressage on Th.

                If I have to do either the jump or the dressage school later than Th, it's a light one.

                Last two days are maybe a modest dressage school, like a warmup and run through the test a time or two, and a hack.

                This weekend the event is at home and I'm volunteering all day Sat, so he'll actually get the day off before the event. It's not ideal, but...

                I am mainly working on MY skills the week before -- the horse is ready, or not -- and then looking to keep him mentally and physically fresh the last day or two.

                They live out and trailer in to shows (never sleepovers unless it's AECs), so their routine isn't different except the day of...
                The big man -- my lost prince

                The little brother, now my main man


                • #9
                  We're supposed to have a routine??

                  Really, it is like most weeks- a jump school, a good dressage school or two, a couple of hacks. At prelim, I like to do my gallops 5 to 7 days apart (5 the last couple of weeks before a three day, 7 for most of the year), so if there is any conditioning done, and since I count competitions as gallops, a gallop day will be a week to 5 days before cross country day/the event (depending on whether it is a one day, etc). Then it is usually a hack and/or some easy stretchy, limbering type flat work, then possibly a jump school, then maybe another hack or a real dressage school, and the day before will either be a hack or a light dressage school. Every now and then I will jump twice (if I've been riding like a bozo), but the early one will be a big one/intense and the second one will be a few fences to make sure I still remember what I'm supposed to be doing. I PREFER to do a hack the day before and I hate giving them the day off, though stuff does happen occasionally.

                  PS- Difference for something less than training would be no gallop day, so another hack or dressage or a day off somewhere along the line.