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conditioning your jumper

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  • conditioning your jumper

    I'm curious to hear some other people's fitness routines for their jumpers when they aren't showing. My horse needs very little tuning up to the fences, so I try to keep excess jumping to a minimum, but I want him (and me!) to be comfortable and not overly winded after a round. How often do you jump them? And on days you don't jump, do you work on specific conditioning/endurance or just general exercise? Just hoping to get some fresh ideas.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    45 mins of flatwork 6 days a week, cut back to 35 mins on the days you jump (usually twice a week). upward and downward transition work, bending, counter bending, shoulder ins/out, haunches in/out, lengthening, collecting, counter canter, leg yields, etc. flatwork should never be boring for the horse or rider. lots of changes of direction, small circles, large circles, throw in trot poles, canter poles, serpentines.

    one of my favorites is hand galloping and then collecting as slow as we can go with the hind really engaged in a tight circle and then working canter away. when a horse has this down, carries themselves, needs very little hand contact and does it entirely off a couple soft half halts, leg support and seat...it's awesome. when you canter tight circles, only unless necessary circle more than once. tight circles at the canter is hard on their body.

    i also like the start my flat with 5 mins of work at the walk, stretching, bending, get them listening to my aids, gets them warmed up before you really put them to work.

    you should be able to work the entire 45 mins straight, only "breaks" being when you allow them to stretch down with their neck at a working trot.

    your jumping and fitness (both horse and rider) is only as good as your flatwork.

    Comment


    • #3
      dressage & hills

      I only jumped twice a week; fitness came from a good daily flat/ dressage session most at trot and canter, with horse pushing from behind each stride I tried to use a field, grass, with a hill and included trots and canters uphill; She was always "very fit"
      breeder of Mercury!

      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

      Comment


      • #4
        My mare basically doesn't jump at home. Occasionally I'll school her over a grid or a line, but never bigger than 1.40m and very, very rarely. She'll do some raised cavalettis and such during the week because she doesn't care much for flatwork and that's the only way to keep her happy.

        I do 2 days a week of walking/trotting up a very steep hill in the woods, 2 days a week of serious flatwork in the ring, 1 or 2 days galloping out in a hilly field, and sometimes she gets a day to just walk around the property for an hour or more. She's in great shape.
        http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

        Comment


        • #5
          Monday: Day off
          Tuesday: Field. 10 minutes working walk up. 15 minute working trot. 10 minute canter.
          Wednesday: Flat work in Ring (no stirrups for me!). Walk 5 minutes, warm up loose rein trot. Serpentines, lateral work, circles at walk, trot, and canter. About 20-30 minutes
          Thursday: Field. 10 minutes working walk. 10 min working trot. 10 minute alternating canter and galloping (canter 2 minutes, gallop thirty seconds-1 minute).
          Friday: Flat work in ring or field (no stirrups). Walk 5 minutes, warm up loose rein trot. Lengthening/shortening, upward/downward transitions, 10-20m circles. ~20-30 minutes.
          Saturday: 1 hr lesson. First 15-30 min is usually flat work with no stirrups. Rest of lesson starts with gymnastics or some other jumping "excercise". Usually end the lesson with 1 or 2 full courses (~6-8 jumps).
          Sunday: Hack in field ~15 minutes. Shorter gallop (~10 seconds up a hill or something in each direction)

          This is my general work out schedule. I like including gallop sets weekly for my horse. I don't completely let him go, but rather gallop on contact like you would cross country. It helps his endurance and I think he is a lot looser and forward in his flat work and throughout a course. It also is good practice to gallop on contact so when you have a "long" jump off where there is a lot of gallop in between jumps you will be able to open up your stride and save time without your horse getting unbalanced or heavy (and most likely having a rail at the next fence!).

          The days in the field I take little breaks in between different gaits or when changing directions. Those days are targeting my horses endurance so he doesn't get tired and heavy when we have to do a 13+ jumper course in the grass at certain shows. I've really noticed a difference. Not that he was huffing and puffing, but he would get heavy or not jumping as well with his hind end by the time we got to the end of the course or jump off.

          The days do move around a bit depending on my school schedule, whether we have a show, or my trainers schedule that week. We also don't have an indoor, so weather can be an issue. Also, about once or twice a month he will get a training ride or I may lesson twice in one week. I usually just cut out the second flat day since flat work is incorporated in the first half of every lesson/training. He usually gets 2 days off after a show, no jumping that week, and mostly field work with one flat day.

          Hope this helps!
          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
          inside of a man.

          -Sir Winston Churchill

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by marginall View Post
            45 mins of flatwork 6 days a week, cut back to 35 mins on the days you jump (usually twice a week). upward and downward transition work, bending, counter bending, shoulder ins/out, haunches in/out, lengthening, collecting, counter canter, leg yields, etc. flatwork should never be boring for the horse or rider. lots of changes of direction, small circles, large circles, throw in trot poles, canter poles, serpentines.

            one of my favorites is hand galloping and then collecting as slow as we can go with the hind really engaged in a tight circle and then working canter away. when a horse has this down, carries themselves, needs very little hand contact and does it entirely off a couple soft half halts, leg support and seat...it's awesome. when you canter tight circles, only unless necessary circle more than once. tight circles at the canter is hard on their body.

            i also like the start my flat with 5 mins of work at the walk, stretching, bending, get them listening to my aids, gets them warmed up before you really put them to work.

            you should be able to work the entire 45 mins straight, only "breaks" being when you allow them to stretch down with their neck at a working trot.

            your jumping and fitness (both horse and rider) is only as good as your flatwork.
            Exactly what we do too!
            Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

            Comment

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