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how many times a week to ride a pony to her fit ??

(17 Posts)
booksinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 21:56:15

My cob sweats up after a mile or so of mostly walk and some trot.She is quite wooly .She has poor looking muscle tone to me - wobbly neck for eg but what do i know im new to this but it just looks like it to me..

I think that she was prev ridden in a school and on a ten min circlar hack on grass before in got her a few weeks ago.What type of riding would be recommended to get her fit so that she can join in with beagle rambles- these are training/social sessions for local hunt which is ten to 12 miles x 2 a week on farm land and roads to train horses up for hunt- i only want to do the training sessions they are fun and socilable and you get to see brilliant off track views as farmenrs open land which is not normally accessible- went on half of one but decided to get a lift back half way as pony was too sweaty.She was game - head up ,looking alert and happy, but dripping .

I presume it wd mean lots of walking up hills and hacking down to build strength ,muscle and stamina..i think she is unbalalanced and struggles to go down hill slolwy and i have been practicing this.

So 1.what type of riding is required and 2. how often a week . thankyou !!!

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 08:22:05

I don't know what the experts think but when I embark on this sort of thing I pick a few hacking routes (sort of 2-6 miles) and start walking them, then trotting as much as possible, then trot all the way, then canter as much as possible until they are comfortable cantering the whole way. I think you should aim for most days if possible?

10 miles is about one of my Long Rides, takes me about three hours depending how much cantering obviously.

ledlights Mon 01-Oct-12 09:10:39

You need to get her clipped. It's not fair upping her workload if she is having to exercise in a big woolly coat. You could start off with a small bib or trace clip and go from there.

Fitness wise lots of walking up (and down) hills will get her fit in no time once she's clipped and more comfortable. I would say minimum 3 times a week, more if you can/have time. You could also lunge her if short of time. When walking make sure she really strides out.

Treblesallround Mon 01-Oct-12 09:14:36

You will also need to clip if you're going to do this, no matter how fit she is she'll sweat up if she's worked hard. If you're going for it then you need to work your horse 6 days a week, as Alameda says, building it up over the weeks (around 6 weeks to get a horse fit for what you want to do). Ideally you need to incorporate hills as well.

booksinbed Mon 01-Oct-12 09:22:44

forgot to say having clipped this week...

NellyJob Mon 01-Oct-12 09:33:54

I wouldn't lunge an unfit horse, definitely not.
Choosing a good route and walking it 4 times a week for a couple of weeks before doing anything faster would be a good start.

maturenanny Mon 01-Oct-12 09:36:00

My advice would be pick a good route that you can add to easily as pony gets fitter. Trotting or cantering a whole ride doesn't mean you have a fit pony. The best way to in my opinion is lots of hills, walking and trotting where suitable build up stamina. Also make sure you do some of the paces in an outline to help build top line.
It's like us going to the gym, you have to provide a good all body work out to build up muscle and stamina..I am believer that slow and steady for you both.
Also use lungeing, schooling and also rest days, they may be an animal but still need a day off a week, some need more.
Trotting poles, cones, lots of shapes, bending etc in the school will also help to keep the horse supple.

Good luck, sure it will all come together soon! And yes, clipped if they are a wooly beast and an exercise sheet on chillier days.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 09:38:14

personally dreading clip here (£sedation) but wondered if you had access to a horse walker for when you can't or before you ride? Wish my pony could use it but he really really can't, horse is fine in there but he doesn't need it. Typical.

mine only have one day off a week and they are not exactly super fit, but to have no difficulty with the long rides you describe someone will have to put the time in - would you consider a sharer?

Mirage Mon 01-Oct-12 13:27:45

Dpony has 1 day off a week and is very fit,she is 23 and can hunt a whole day,even through second horses.She is hacked out 4 x a week[about 3 miles+ each hack] and schooled 2 x a week.I need to get her clipped as DD1 will be hunting her more often this year-I bet she won't take kindly to clipping though.

It sounds like her coat is the problem if she is still keen to go,but just sweaty.

Floralnomad Mon 01-Oct-12 15:06:57

Definitely get a good clip and also if you are using hacking as away of getting fit ensure that you and your horse are working . You see loads of people simply slopping along the road - they may be out for hours but it's not meaningful in a fitness sense.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 15:17:47

<shifts under flora's critical gaze>

Floralnomad Mon 01-Oct-12 15:20:36

Not at all, people can do as they please but no one gets fit without putting in a bit of effort and the OP wanted advice on getting fit.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 15:24:03

I know, was just sort of making fun of my own laziness really.

Floralnomad Mon 01-Oct-12 15:26:16

That's fine , I'm fairly new here and dont want to get myself a reputation!

booksinbed Mon 01-Oct-12 16:33:36

Thanks all- i had planned similar to lots walk and some trot - remeinder its got to be active was v useful as we tend to dwadle.!!!wasnt planning on cantering anyway due to most hack son roads or verges.when we go further a feild she wont canter anyway unless another pony does - shes not too well schooled and was cheap to buy - so long as she canters when out that f ine to me - well acceptable as i have no skill to teach her and am just tring to get by and enjoy and cannot aford for her to be sent off for schooling.Ive advertised for loan too to help me put the work in - but only if right person not really sure how to get in outline - sorry its just new stuff to me but you lot a re a fab help so THANKYOU X

KTK9 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:57:32

Once she gets a bit fitter, you may find she starts to perk up a bit, especially after the clip - loads of horses get quite 'cheerful' after a good clip!

I would just pick a route with a few hills/long stretches you can trot up and build it up gradually, making sure she is walking out on the flat bits and you are not just poddling along, it sounds like it may be hard work on you too though! I used to pick a lampost/road sign/house to trot to and do that for a few rides out, then the next onto the next one etc. I have just started riding again after several years and am doing something similar again, but this time for me - not the horse!!!

I would think you need to be at it at least 3 x a week and maybe one session in the field/school doing some schooling with circles/figure of 8's. I wouldn't worry about cantering at all, unless there is a lovely long inviting bit of track!!!

If you aren't sure, why don't you get someone to give you the occassional lesson on her, not only will they help you, at the same time they will show you how you can work on her outline, so you can practice on your own.

It sounds like you have exciting times ahead.

horseylady Tue 02-Oct-12 16:20:25

My horse does 32km endurance rides, dressage etc. She will hunt hopefully post baby!!

I ride 5-6 days a week and combine hacking, schooling and lunging. Never ever under estimate the power of a 20 minute trotting lunge session with side reins/bungee/Pessoa!! The best thing you can do to get them fit!!

It's not really about them sweating that determines fitness, heart rate and muscle tone are far more important. My mare sweats for England, my pony can do a days hunting and not be damp!! Yet the mare is the fitter of the two (plus the pony doesn't really work herself up lol).

Def clip though!! ESP if Woolley shell be far more comfortable!

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