Weekly Exercise Plan

Shoei

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24 February 2011
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Hi Guys,

So we have been drifting with our schooling recently and our fitness has dropped.

We are out competing Novice and want to be out elementary by the summer.

How much do you ride, what do you do in an average week to ensure enough fitness at this level?

He's an 11 year old gelderlander.

Thanks
 

be positive

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9 July 2011
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It depends so much on the individual and their circumstances, in an ideal world they would be ridden 6 days a week, 7 would do no harm, with a mixture of hacking over varied terrain, schooling and some polework or jumping, to get a horse fitter it needs an increase in work some that is longer and slower and some more active but as no 2 situations or horses are the same we need to be flexible with what we do, the key is to increase gradually until they are as fit as you need.

Lack of motivation is usually why they drop off at this time of year so having an aim and a few lessons often helps.
 

Wheels

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23 September 2009
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As be positive says, it is an individual thing.

My own circumstances dictate what I can and can't do as work full time with a long commute, my hacking isn't great (all roads unless I box somewhere) and traffic is too busy during the week to ride out.

During the summer I school 3 times during the week and then lunge and in-hand one day, if I can get out to a cross country hire, SJ training show or jumping lesson I do that in place of one of the flatwork days. weekends are for hacking, shows or lessons

Over winter then I ride before work, usually only manage to get half an hour ridden work in, same goes really that I try for 3 x a week and might include a pole session plus then a lunge / in-hand. weekends for hacking / shows but I might get out the odd week for an arena hire or lesson during the week if my work schedule allows.

M maintains a certain level of fitness doing this, if I am planning to do a particular activity (hunter trials or similar) then I will increase fitness for that.

In terms of my own strength and fitness - I am in the gym 3 times a week working with a PT who understands horses and riding who writes me 6 weekly programmes and we re-evaluate if I feel I need to change something then we work on that
 

blood_magik

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26 January 2011
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My dressage horse is worked 6 days a week - currently competing medium and schooling AM. A typical week for him is:

Monday - off
Tuesday - stretchy session.
Wednesday - lesson.
Thursday - schooling session.
Friday - pole work or low level jumping.
Saturday - lunge AM. Show PM.
Sunday - schooling session AM. Show PM.

We rarely hack because he’s a spooky sod and I ride alone most of the time. In the summer we add in the odd hillwork session.

He’s on the walker every day for approx 40 mins as well just now as my fields are currently shut.
 

Follysmum

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15 February 2013
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This is my usual routine for long distance riding horse distances approx 50/60km

2 short hacks of between 8-10 miles
1 longer hack of 10-20 miles
1 session in school either long line, lunge or ridden
I tend to do a lot of walking on the shorter hacks with lots of hills

After a competition I will give 1 day off for every 10 miles ridden as a rule
 

Shoei

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24 February 2011
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Thanks guys, that's really helpful.

I'm lucky enough to have him at home and whilst we haven't lights, for a spooky sod he is quite good with a head torch.

Like blood_magik my horse is pretty spooky to hack and I too ride mainly alone so we only do a couple of short hacks a week to warm up/cool down. I'll try and put my brave pants on and hack more.

I also have a lesson once a week to try and keep the motivation going and he has good turnout, on hilly fields for at least 6 hours a day.

I don't jump but do occasionally jump him on the lunge... I could do this more. Can't loose school after he jumped out 😂
 

scats

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11 September 2007
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I have a rough plan, but it does vary depending on weather and how well/unwell I am. As a rule, in a working week during winter I aim for one day off, one day lunging, one-two in the school, one-two out hacking and one-two in our big field for fitness work. Obviously those last 3 are a bit interchangeable.
I try to have a polework session in there once a week, I have poles in the school and the field.
 

rara007

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2 April 2007
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Essex
I'm massively dictated by work. Driving is our main discipline but I compete dads cob at Elem a few times a year, the retired driving pony at novice a few times a year and my current driving horse just starting from the bottom up at BD. With the older 'schooled' boys (the cob and the pony) their normal work (hacking a few times a week with a lot of walk work) is enough to have them fit enough for the test but I'm mindful to warmup pretty to the point. They find the work easy enough. My horse is a bit 'hotter' and although actually more schooled needs a good 45min warmup before a test, but this translates at home as our schooling sessions tend to be longer. At the mo we have a lesson approx fortnightly, drive approx 2 times a week, lunge once and ride approx 2 times a week, pretty much all in a 40x30 under lights, he's still out 8am-3pm. He's more than fit enough for the level it's me that needs to up my fitness to having a horse that doesn't just get off the box ready to go down the centre line!
 

oldie48

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15 April 2013
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I've found my own horses which had a high % of TB in them were pretty easy to keep fit for that sort of level. I usually school 3 x per week and hack for an hour mainly in a brisk walk 2/3 times weekly, schooling will include lessons which tend to be a lot of trot and canter work. We don't have many hills on our hacks. Once they are fit enough even if we miss a couple of sessions per week, they were still more than capable of doing their job but they do need the right muscles developed so it's as much about how you school etc as for how long. However I think it is very breed dependant, our eventer was a bit short on the tb side and he needed a lot of consistent work including the gallops to get him fit to make the time but that's a lot more of an ask than elem dressage. I feel it was important they kept the weight off by not over feeding, I think they are a bit like us, put on the extra pounds and we are less inclined to want to do much.
 
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