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Floridians - how do you substitute for hillwork?

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  • Floridians - how do you substitute for hillwork?

    Was just reading the other thread about doing hillwork, someone mentioned they had moved north from FL and now had hills...so eventers in Florida or other FLAT areas - what do you do to prepare your horses for XC with hills or to fit them up?

    My little place is sans hills unless I haul out...and can you believe this, I work full time so hauling out during the work week most of the year is, well, um, nonexistent. Thought the FL/flatlander folks might lend some help here...with details, PLEASE!!!!!

    here's some help for adding details: how often should a novice to training level horse do hillwork during the year?
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

  • #2
    I live in Charleston and when I was doing training/prelim stuff we did long slow distance days and then also gallop days. Long slow distance days was 15 minutes walk... trotting 1 hour straight (although obviously did not start with 1 hour the first time.. I think 30 mins and then later upped to 45 minutes) in a good frame.. then 15 minutes walk. Then gallop days included galloping sets and speed work.
    Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com
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    • #3
      RFI, I have ridden a bunch of TBs and the muttly pony through training level or above without ever doing any "fitness" work. Gizmo did endless dressage (literally would improve for about an hour and 45 minutes, so he had rides that long doing flat work with as much throughness as I could produce approx every 5 days and did 2 long format one stars with no particular gallops). For a TB at the novice training level, I would be surprised if riding 5-6 days a week did not get them plenty fit enough. Long trots and long walks are good too (an hour or more). Also hacking very "on the aids" will help build the right muscles. even having a little hill and doing a big circle that incorporates the hill on each lap is helpful (you could actually build a mound to serve this purpose if you have sufficient land and someone who knows how to put it together so the footing stays good).
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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      • #4
        I live in coastal NC (flat as anything).

        (BTW, carolinagirl, I used to live in Charleston! For like 5 years! I miss it sooooo much)

        Beach work is fabulous and can't be beat, if you can find a community that allows it. Also, many coastal communities have things called bluffs along maritime rivers. Perhaps there are some trails nearby that have this for you?

        Cavelletis/trot poles/canter are wonderful if you can't trailer out somewhere. They do the same thing a hill provides: asking the horse to rock back and balance himself.

        Also, in many parts of the south, you'll find someone either amassing dirt or digging a pit. You can always ask permission to ride on those. They aren't usually big, but if you hit them on a circle, they are fabulous. Same for large ditched on ag property (ag owners in the south are always great ... although florida isn't really the south *poke* )

        Can't answer the other questions because I'm still in the dressage phase of working my way up to eventing lol Good luck!

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        • #5
          I live in west Texas...where the towns have names like "Levelland" and "Plainview" and "Shallowater". It's FLAT.

          When I asked the same question, I got this advice:

          lots of transitions
          lots of lateral work
          lots of walking (esp. on hard road)
          trot sets
          canter sets

          Sigh. That's what we're doing, anyway. And my hat's off to ANYONE who can trot for an hour. I tried the other day. I weenied out a lot quicker than I thought I would.
          --Becky in TX
          Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
          She who throws dirt is losing ground.

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