Training programme to build a strong horse

Tailoring your horse's work will help him to build muscle safely, avoid repetitive strain and help to ensure that he has the right level of fitness for his work load.

To create a training programme for a strong horse you'll need to combine schooling and jumping with hacking. Plus, you'll need to allow time for him to recover between sessions.

Different types of training can be categorised like this:

Jumping can be considered to be strength training

Jumping can be considered to be strength training

  • Cardiovascular training: Using trot, canter or gallop for periods of at least twenty minutes, depending on your horse’s fitness
  • Skills training: Riding lateral work or pole work for example
  • Strength training: Jumping, hill work and exercises which require your horse to work in collection, such as piaffe

Your horse’s muscles are most at risk during strength training (this may include hill work or jumping). So, to help prevent injury, you need to gradually increase the intensity of this type of work. Use the plan, below, as a rough guide as to what to do with your horse, when.

As a rule, allow at least two days between strength training sessions to give your horse’s muscles time to repair.

An example training plan