Harvey shares his winter fittening tips and a few blasts from the past
January 22, 2018
My top tips for keeping horses fit in winter!
Use interval training - there are many many interval training programmes you can follow to maintain and improve your horses fitness. This can be done on the lunge, hacking or schooling.
Regular consistent work, rather than random or weekend sessions. Inconsistent exercise can lead to discomfort and injury. Older horses will take longer to return to full fitness from time off. Keep your horse as active as possible year-round. So don't stop training your horse for a month (or more unless necessary) -rebuilding the muscle, flexibility, and stamina takes more and more time to regain as the years go by.
A 20min lunging session will allow your horse to stretch his legs, maintain his or her fitness especially if you don't have time to school or hack him/her.We all hate the dark and cold nights!
Variety is important to keep your horses fit and entertained. Horses go sour quickly when their work load is repetitive! Harvey especially! I take every opportunity to hack, jump or long rein etc. to keep his brain active and occupied.
Clip appropriately for their workload. Harvey is fully clipped all year round for his own comfort as he has a very thick coat! This leads to rugging accordingly! Do not over rug just because YOU feel cold it does not mean your horse does!
Spend longer warming up and cooling down than in the summer months
Daily exercise, even if Harvey has to stay in because of the bad weather I make sure he is exercised so he has a good leg stretch and the extra time stabled does not cause any health or joint problems.