5 golden rules of training your horse

It's important to train your horse carefully to avoid injury. Follow these five golden rules and you won't go wrong.

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1. Warm up and cool down for at least 10 minutes

Start with low-intensity work and build up to high strength exercises.

2. Know when to stop 

Leave a minimum of two days between strength training. This allows your horse's muscles to recover and should prevent him from becoming tense and sore.

3. Build muscle safely 

A great way to build muscle gradually is to do lots of steep hill work at collected walk.

Introduce this gradually over a couple of weeks, building up to walking up a steep hill seven times in one training session, with a rest in between and no jogging!

Asking your horse to collect just before the hill will help prevent him dragging himself up it with his shoulders.

Build a strong horse

with our training programme

4. Remember to stretch 

Encouraging your horse to stretch should be part of your daily warm up and warm down. 

Speak to a registered veterinary physiotherapist for exercises to help improve your horse's core muscle strength and protect any muscle strains.

5. Avoid days off

Even if your horse is turned out, a day without any exercise can allow his muscles to stiffen up.

A day of very light exercise, such as a 20-minute walk in-hand or hack is recommended. 

This allows his muscles to be gently stretched, warmed and loosened without asking too much.