I have a tb/dw horse. Has jumped up to 3’6 about a year ago. Then he was only ridden on the flat once a week for a year. Want to get him back into jumping but how?
Why do you have to get him back into shape FAST? Why not just take your time, gradually increase his flat work and then after 4-6 weeks start with some smaller fences once a week.
Rushing getting any animal fit is a great way to cause injuries.
Take your time, gradually increase flatwork, and add in small jumps after 6 weeks or so.
You don’t need fences to get him fit. You need a flatwork time schedule, preferably with some out on the hills hacking.
Rushing it will only get you, and him in trouble. Blow a tendon and your goose is cooked. I would think 6 weeks minimum. Eight weeks better.Keep a daily log.
You need to build his stamina at the same pace as the muscles!
You can’t expect a horse to go from 15mins afternoon strolls to a 5km marathon “fast”…it takes proper training and regimented workouts.
I agree flat work can be useful in this regard with hill work. don’t introduce the big jumps until his stamina is back up to par with his muscles.
contact a good trainer and work out a schedule that works for the horse and you
fast = possible injuries to the horse. Just like with a person, you have to slowly get yourself into shape. Start with flat work more than 1x per week (4x?) and definitely try to incorporate hill work if you can. It’s much better to take it slow and easy than to rehab if he hurts himself!
Getting a horse fit FAST is the WRONG WAY TO DO IT. Like most things - good horsemanship is not about shortcuts!
Horse’s need to be “legged up” gradually, otherwise you are just ASKING for soft tissue injuries.
So, how do you get a horse fit? Start by WALKING. Lots of walking. Walk hills, walk over poles, walk walk walk.
Here is some good info on conditioning:
"Long, Slow, Distance:
It can take 4-6 months to strengthen the density of the bone
Usually shorter work outs to strengthen the tendons and ligaments
Start with a one to three months of LSD
You should work up to 45-60 minutes of easy exercise. This work includes walk, trot, and canter.
Work up to, for example, 2 twenty minute trot sets. Then begin 2-3 minutes of cantering at 350 mpm followed by the same amount of rest time.
Be mindful not to over load the horse, it takes time to build muscle. Overloading will only delay the process because they don’t have enough time to recover.
The progression of work and rest, speed and duration
Several short periods of work are alternated with brief recovery periods
You will add to the workload and then give time for the body to repair and adapt to that specific workload before adding more
You will add Strength Training"
No body, neither horse nor human, can get in shape FAST. That’s not how it works.
What does happen is they get HURT. FAST.
Seriously, you have not choice. Bodies only can change as quickly as they can change, and that is NOT. FAST.
Refer to above timetables if you like your horse. Otherwise do what you’d like and be prepared for vet bills.
Riding an obviously physically or mentally over faced horse is not a good feeling. Getting this horse back to the 3’6" FAST isn’t nearly as much fun as you picture it.
Leave arena, go out and hack for 2 to 3 weeks over every terrain you can find. You’ll come back with a muscled monster who is also fresh in the mind to resume training.
Do maybe ten minutes of arena work and then go out on the trails at a brisk walk. Over the course of a month bring up the trail portion from 20 minutes to an hour. Introduce canter bits into the arena portion after two weeks.
If you are not already a runner, consider getting on a treadmill, setting the speed to 7mph, and seeing how long you last before needing a walk break. Interchange running and walk breaks for 20 minutes.
Apply this experience to what you expect of your horse.
The quickest way to getting a horse fit for showing is to sell your current horse and buy one ready to go.