I was reviewing my folders of "endurance stuff" this morning, and reading the various formulas for conditioning a horse. Thought I'd post up this one, which is pretty easy to follow (do not know the original author and has been slightly modified). This training program assumes that you have a moderatly fit horse that is up to a five mile trail ride three times a week, and moves forward from there.
WEEK 1: (3-4 times per week) Warm up for 20 minutes at the walk, then add trotting until the horse is slightly winded, back to the walk to recovery, back up to the trot. Repeat for 30 minutes, cool down. (Purpose is to gradually build up the horse's ability to maintain a sustained trot). This portion of the training could easily be performed in a large arena if necessary and could be used as schooling excercise for one hour on days that you could not hit the trails throughout the training program.
WEEK 2: (3-4 times per week) Warm up, then walk & jog 5 miles in one hour. Each day increasing the speed, but not the distance. Use arena on days you can't hit the trail.
WEEK 3: (3-4 times per week) Warm up, then ride 6 miles in one hour. You should by this point be able to maintain sustained trotting. Do one session of long slow hill climbing.
WEEK 4: (3-4 times per week) Warm up, then ride 7 miles in one hour. One day each week do some slow hill climbing (find a really long grade to climb or repeat shorter ones).
WEEK 5: Ride 8-10 miles once (previously said in one hour, consensus is that is too fast too soon) this week. Ride 2 times this week on just extending the trot on the flats, work at getting it fast, smooth, and sustainable over 5 miles.
WEEK 6: Ride 15 miles one time this week. Rest day. Interval Training with 1/2 mile gallops vs. walking cool down for 2 repetitions, then a Rest day. Ten miles fast.
WEEK 7: Ride 20-25 miles one day in about 4-5 hours. Interval training with 1 mile gallops, cool down, one mile gallop, cool down twice this week. Arena work to supple one day per week.
WEEK 8: Arena work, brief interval training every other day, one day per week trot 5 miles.
COMPETITION WEEK: Easy jog for five miles Days 1, 2, 3, rest day 4, travel day 5, compete on the weekend.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association