It’s always a fantastic opportunity to learn about how to improve your horse's health and well-being. You may have just finished your season's final competition and are already thinking about the next. Perhaps you're beginning a new relationship with a new horse you've recently acquired. There is no better way to build your relationship with your horse than to learn about his physical strength and fitness via hands-on practice.
Industry-wide, the statement "The Horse Comes First" promotes and increases awareness of the racing industry's dedication to the well-being of the horses.
Industry-wide, the statement "The Horse Comes First" promotes and increases awareness of the racing industry's dedication to the well-being of the horses. Hence, it is essential to know your horse well.
The sport and level of competition you intend to participate in, your fitness and time commitment, and the age and breed of your horse are all factors to consider when planning a conditioning program. You can begin by envisioning the upcoming season and your objectives through this knowledge.
Train Your Horse Like a Professional
Conditioning aims to improve a horse's capacity to execute a specific task. The risk of injury and other health problems is lowered due to the enhanced ability to exercise. Moreover, horse conditioning is most successful when the horse is tailored to its performance objective.
The methods used are determined by the horse's intended use, capabilities and response to training, management plans and routines, the trainer's ability, and the environment.
While there isn't a single recipe that works for all equestrian sports, training fundamentals are universal. This might sound overwhelming but do not fret. You can learn how to train your horses so that they can one day become known in the horse industry, be it for show running or becoming one of the kentucky derby picks.
Consider the following principles listed below.
Aerobic training aims to improve oxygen delivery by increasing cardiac size, strength, and blood flow to the heart and muscles. Oxygenated blood must be delivered to the muscles for long periods during this type of exercise.
Aerobic conditioning for endurance horses begins with three weekly low- to moderate-intensity work sessions. The frequency lowers to twice weekly as the number of mileage increases. Fit endurance horses should have one long ride at a low speed per week and two to five brief conditioning rides each week to maintain their fitness and stamina.
Horses competing in the disciplines of dressage, jumping, and eventing must at least have one easy ride each week, ideally on a variety of surfaces. Only two to five rides should be sport-specific, such as hill work, pole practice, and other aspects of gymnastics. A modest lateral work is highly recommended to increase muscular flexibility and strength.
Anaerobic exercise, in which no oxygen is used, but lactate is created, is essential for horses that require explosive speed and power. Adaptability and quickness are vital components of horse racing. Hence, the horses must be closely observed throughout rigorous training to avoid exhaustion and overload.
There is a need for barrel and roping horses for a 20-second burst of speed to perform. This is predominantly anaerobic and cannot be enhanced through exercise. As a result, horses must be well-prepared for all weekend competitions, which necessitates an emphasis on building a robust aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility base.
On the other hand, showjumping, eventing, and western performance horses need bursts of more than 60 seconds. Training aerobic ability to decrease lactic acid accumulation and exhaustion is essential in these racing sports. As the horse's aerobic capacity increases, so do the horse's endurance level during competition.
In every sport, strength training plays a critical part. To limit the risk of injury, it is essential to build muscle mass and strengthen the horse’s ligaments. Strength training has already been proven to reduce injury rates by 50% by stabilizing joints and decreasing excessive strain on ligaments and tendons.
Dressage and endurance horses benefit most from strength training emphasizing long-term endurance and low effort. Consequently, jumping and western horses are better served by limited repetitions of high-intensity activity.
For the most part, horses need a two- to three-day active recuperation period after an intense strength conditioning session. When a horse's muscles begin to fatigue, it will use muscles that aren't meant for the task at hand. Hence, strength training after tiredness increases the risk of injury because the wrong muscles are overworked and used.
Remember to Establish a Routine
Bringing a promising horse to its full potential takes time and patience. Your horse's starting point must be considered while setting goals and devising a training plan. Become familiar with the responses of various organ systems to training and the needs of your chosen discipline. Remember that a horse's future performance will benefit from the time spent laying a solid foundation.
It is critical to consult with a veterinarian who has experience in your sport to ensure that your horse is healthy, sound, and in peak physical condition. Preventive medicine, diet, and basic husbandry techniques all play a role in the performance of these horses.