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Give It Go

To excel in competitions keeping your horse’s fitness level up is vital. Workouts like this can help. All of these should be done in canter with trot periods in between to keep his heart rate up. Don’t forget to warm the horse up before you begin.

We hope you enjoy it and find the advice useful.

The Workout

If you want to excel in competitions, keeping your horse’s fitness levels up is vital. Workouts like this one can help – all of the exercises should be done in canter, with trot periods in-between, rather than walk, to keep his heart rate up.

If possible, you should try to do this workout once a week.

Don’t forget to spend time warming your horse up before you begin.

Exercise one: Work on his responsiveness

  • Go large in canter around the outside of your school on a left rein.
  • Turn down the 3/4 line, furthest away from you.
  • Canter down the 3/4 line, but before you get to the track, turn right onto a 10 m circle.
  • As you reach the 3/4 line on your circle, canter straight to the other 3/4 line.
  • Turn right again onto another 10m circle.
  • As you turn round on your circle and come back to the 3/4 line, canter straight up the 3/4 line again, back to the opposite end of the school.
  • Repeat three times on each rein.

Exercise two: Boost his forwardness

  • In canter, ride a 20m circle at the end of your arena or schooling area.
  • Apply pressure with your outside leg and inside rein and spiral you circle down to 10m.
  • Spiral the circle back out to a 20m circle.
  • Repeat three times.
  • Give your horse a couple of minutes to relax in trot before changing the rein and repeating the exercise.

Exercise three: Up his heart rate

This exercise involves a bounce. To set it up, position four jumps 12ft apart in the centre of your school or schooling arena. Ride around the arena, cantering on both reins.

Make sure that your horse is listening and that you have an even contact on the reins, then:

  • Approach the centre of the first jump in canter, keeping your weight in your heels and your back straight.
  • Squeeze with your legs to ensure that you come out of the bounce in canter. The aim is to land from one jump and, as your horse touches down, he should take off again over the next one.

Finally, trot and then walk your horse to make sure you give him enough time to stretch and cool down