I've been doing a lot of research on equine fitness and it's amazing how varied the information is... or missing completely lol. So I was wondering if you guys want to share your equine fitness programs when coming back from a lay off, injury or a winter without riding. Also for getting a young horse in shape for the first time.
My plan for now is to ride Chrome every other day (four days a week) for about twenty minutes. My plan was to ride twenty minutes the first week, twenty five the next, then thirty, etc. increasing by five minutes each week. However I've read that it should be more like adding five minutes every month because bones and tendons take longer to strengthen than muscles and the respiratory system.... if I add five minutes a month it will be nine months before I'm riding an hour!! That seems like a loooong time, even for an injured (that has recovered) horse or a young horse with no fitness base. So what do you guys think? Or do you have resources I could read that actually give time frames for how long it takes to gain fitness?
I know I'm probably over thinking this. A lot of people grab a horse out of the field that has never been worked at all and within a month are walking, trotting and cantering an hour a day five days a week! So how much is too much and how much is too little exercise? How long to you walk a horse before you add in trotting and cantering? Do you walk for a week, a month, trot for a month, two months?
Anyway thanks for listening to my rambling. I'd love to hear what you guys do and why it works. Thanks!