Out of shape horse?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    Recently I began working my moms co-workers horse. He is a 10 year old QH gelding (english flatwork is his main thing). The horse hasn’t been rode consistently in several months. He trot is very choppy, he wont collect or engage his hind end. He is also stronger on the right side than the left. Does anyone know of any exercises I can do with him to help? (there is no jumps/caviletti [sp?] in the arena, I might be able to come up with some ground poles) Thanks

    ottbrider ottbrider
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 33

    Ah, the out-of-shape horse. My TB is coming back from an injury and is out of shape, funny thing is she just injured herself again! Anyway- my best advice is to start on the ground. Work the horse on a lunge line or in a round pen, trot/canter until he has a nice amount of sweat on him- BOTH directions. It’s important to make sure what you do on one side, you do on the other equally. Do this as long as he needs to prepare for a rider. Play some ground games with him like pushing him along the fence line in both directions in a side pass motion, when you want to switch direction make him move off the fence and turn to another direction, then you’re making him work both sides. When you’re ready for saddle work, just work on trotting until he has some sweat and try to stay at the same pace. Start at a low amount of time and work your way up as slow as he needs you to. Do this until you can trot him for at least 45 minutes without exhausting him or him sweating, then move on to adding the canter. It’s important to remember warming up and cooling down for TWICE as long as you plan to work him so you don’t stress any muscles as he hasn’t been ridden regular. As for the collection and engaging, that’s going to take a lot longer as he’s not in shape to hold that position. And it depends on what you mean by “collection” do you mean true collection or the position of his head? For the stronger on the right side thing, horses are much like in people in the way that they’re one side dominant too! You must have a right side dominant horse so it’s important too that whatever you do the right side, you double it on the left side to help him loosen up and build muscles on the weaker side, when he’s in better shape. Hope this helped! Remember to be safe have fun and always make sure there’s an experienced horse person there with you if you’re ever unsure of what you’re doing to ensure the safety of you and your equine friend!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by ottbrider ottbrider.

    No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Ottrider is absolutely on the mark. I would also add working in long reins at times, to help him be flexible before he is ready to be ridden.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    When you do deem him ride worthy, walk. A lot. Work up to a 5 mph walk, then work up to sustaining it for 15 minutes a day. Not as easy as it sounds. At all. Walking is under-rated, too much so. The Walk uses every inch of range of motion, every muscle to its fullest or close to, is deliberate and slower which requires discipline and control, carries more weight per stride( this will aid in conditioning, which is not the same as fitness), is impact free and there IS no BETTER fitting-up/conditioner for the ENTIRE body. Add hills and sustained time and your horse will be FIT with little to no down time.


    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Before starting Pheets’ regimen, you might want to walk yourself fit first. I will never forget discovering that I no longer had legs – just long spaghetti things on which I could hang shoes.

    It is never the horse's fault

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