Post-Winter Conditioning Tips For Your Horse

February 01, 2019
 horse walking with trainer

Has your horse had the winter off, or part of the winter off because of bad weather, injury or just lack of time? Then now is the time to start working on conditioning in preparation for the upcoming competition and racing season. Whether you’re a barrel racer or are training up a young racehorse, there are some essentials in your conditioning program that can help to get your horse fit safely.

Develop Your Conditioning Program Around Walking

When you’re working with a horse that’s had little exercise for months, your initial conditioning program needs to be gradual, yet effective. If you develop a program around walking, you’re giving your horse a low-impact and relatively safe introduction back to workouts. Because your horse’s cardiovascular system will become well-conditioned before his tendons and ligaments do, starting with walking can only help to prevent injuries while also getting your horse fit.

Ride Frequently

Your ride or workout frequency also matters. Ride or exercise your horse at least four times per week in order to help him get back in shape — but also remember to take things slow when you initially start up. As your horse gets fitter, you can introduce workouts five or six times a week.

Focus on Concentrated Fitness Work

As you develop your horse’s condition, use two weekly sessions to focus on concentrated fitness work. This is when you do your long gallops, your intense schooling, and start to ask your horse for a little more. Interspersing these fitness workdays with regular conditioning can help to develop your horse’s muscles, strength and cardiovascular system.

Incorporate Hill Work

Hill work is a powerful conditioning tool that can help to get your horse fit – but it’s also often overlooked. If you have access to hills, use them. Simply walking your horse up and down hills can help to develop his muscle strength through a low-impact activity. As your horse builds strength, you can progress to trotting and even cantering hills.

Be Flexible With Deadlines

Injuries and soreness result when we approach conditioning a horse with hard deadlines. That first race of the year? Design your conditioning program so that your horse will be ready, but don’t make it a hard deadline. Monitor your horse and let his progress tell you when he’ll be ready to compete. If you try to push things and make a deadline that you’re set on, you could end up with an injured horse that will miss out on even more of the competition season.

Feed EQ-Royal

You can support your horse’s conditioning program and boost his performance by feeding him EQ-Royal. With natural blood building properties, EQ-Royal’s ingredients have been shown to significantly increase red blood cell and hemoglobin levels in horses. After using EQ-Royal for just three to four weeks, significant increases in equine endurance were also observed. Completely free of banned substances, EQ-Royal will not test, making it the ideal way to support your barrel racer, racehorse, or show horse’s athletic performance.

You’ve put in the hard work of conditioning, training and legging up you horse before competition season. Learn how EQ-Royal can complement your horse’s fitness and conditioning.

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