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Fitness programme

(5 Posts)
olderyetwider Mon 04-Jul-11 10:21:46

Yesterday evening GD and I went for a nice quiet ride out with her new pony, who was beautifully behaved and took everything in her stride. The pony's not in bad shape, but not really fit, and a bit lacking in muscle tone, especially around her bum. She's 8 years old and been in work for the last two months, at the dealer's yard, but lacks a bit of condition. (Bought her soon after she came over from Ireland so a bit of an unknown quantity, but reputable dealer)

We've started her gradually on a 'build up' feed of balancer, speedi-beet and oil based supplement.

We're started a regime of daily hill work, mainly at walk, as she needs to build muscle, with some trot work for general fitness, building to canter as she gets fitter, and twice weekly schooling sessions/lessons with instructor as she needs to improve the quality of her walk. We're planning to give her one day off a week, and not ask her to jump for the moment. Do you think this seems the right approach?

GD is really enthusiastic about her project pony, her instructor is really enthusiastic about the pony's potential, and GD will learn so much from the work she needs to do with her. Her aim is to have her fit enough for Senior Camp at the beginning of August. Do you think that's just about doable if GD is really dillligent? (she's also got to keep her 13.3 fit, but we hope the lovely girl who also rides him will help with that)

People on the yard assume that I'm going to ride the new pony. I hadn't thought about it, but I am wondering if I might once she's fit. She's 14.2, Connemara/TB type, slightly finer built than the average Connie. I'm 5'10 and about 10 stone (but long legs). What do you think? Would she buckle and fall to her knees the minute I got on? Or would I look ridiculous? (although my mare is a 14.2 Fell Pony so I'm used to being an adult on a pony)

Any advice about feed or fitness programme gratefully received

frostyfingers Mon 04-Jul-11 11:03:41

I should think she'll be plenty fit enough, especially since she's already done a bit at the dealers. Mind you don't get her too fit though! I think you could ride her easily enough yourself if GD can't, another possibility is riding one and leading the new one (or vice versa) if you're pushed for time, although you'd have to try quietly some where to make sure they're both happy with it. You have probably already done or thought about it, but has she been wormed recently?

olderyetwider Mon 04-Jul-11 11:33:18

Thanks Frosty, I gave her Panacur Guard 5 day treatment on arrival, despite dealer's assurance she's up to date (I just do when a new horse arrives, better safe than sorry) and she'll have a faecal egg count in the next couple of weeks just to check.

Know what you mean about too fit! Her first pony was a 'slow steady confience giver' till we got him really nice and fit. He's still safe, sane and sensible, but really forward going and up for anything! I do think though that fit horses are best to ride as they feel well and enjoy their work (as long as they're not too naturally fizzy!)

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Mon 04-Jul-11 13:54:03

We feed falcon biocare, and codlivine. Biocare has one of the highest oil contents of any of the foods about, is full of vitamins and stuff, and doesnt heat them up or make them fizzy. It is fed to all our ponies from a mini to a warmblood with great effects all round. Codlivine is great for joints and condition. Some molassed chaff bulks it out a bit.
DDs traditional shetland looks a million dollars. (see my profile) The exercise bit seems quite well planned, and Id definitely ride the pony yourself. At 10 stone there is no reason why not.

horseymum Mon 04-Jul-11 14:35:24

loads of walk work is good, in an active walk with a bit of a shape if possible - not just yanking it in though! i am same weight as you (but shorter!) and would definitely ride a pony of that size and type. Have you tried lunging for any days where you are pushed for time? Will also help build up relationship using voice commands. She really will probably not need much more feed as most of us totaly overestimate how much work our horses do and most are really only doing 'light' work even if ridden most days. Sounds like you will both have a fun summer.

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