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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

February 18, 2009


I found a training book written by John Thomas, DVM this morning while trying to de-junk the spare bedroom It has two fairly fast track training programs that are eight weeks long. This program is for Competitive Trail Riding, but would be fine for conditioning for endurance.

WK#1 Ride one hour X 6 days, 3-6 miles per day, half walk, half trot.

WK#2 Ride one hour X 6 days, walk and slow trot with more trotting as week progresses.

WK #3 Ride and hour and a half X 2 days, and one hour X 3 days, trot slow for at least 5-6 miles in ten minute intervals, you start cantering short intervals. Ride 10 miles on the weekend.

WK #4 Ride 5 days for an hour each session, extend the trot, at some point canter until the horse is blowing. You should be able to complete a 5 mile loop in less than an hour. One day on the weekend ride 10 miles.

Wk#5 You will up the conditioning this week riding 8-10 miles each training day, with a 15 mile ride on the weekend. Gallop at least 1 mile per day.

Wk# 6 Ride 10 miles each day, with a 20 mile ride on the weekend. Gallop a mile every day.

Wk# 7 Work 7-8 miles daily at a fast trot, and on the weekend cover 20 miles in 3 hours . Gallop a mile minimum each day.

Wk#8 Work 5 miles a day for 2 days, give your horse turnout for a few days (2-3 prior to ride day), give him his normal working feed ration to store glycogen for energy in the liver, muscle, and fat.

A rule of thumb: Your total weekly conditioning mileage should not exceed your competition goal. An example would be if you have set a goal of doing a 25 mile ride, your conditioning program should not exceed 25 miles in a given week. The training schedule above does exceed that some weeks, so I would tweak it, and give rest days in between heavy work days so the horse isn't burned out from over use. There is an alternate 12 week program I will post up next time. ~E.G.

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