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karen@kaequestrian.com

Fossoway Stables, Drum, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, KY13 0UP

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Bringing Horses Back Into Work

February 5, 2018

 

 

So it's that time of the year again, when I'm bringing my horses back into work after their winter holiday. This year, they've had a little longer than normal due to the kids having had a nasty virus which wiped us out for a few weeks and a rather large dumping of snow to add insult to injury.

 

Anyway, we're finally getting started and the weather is being kind enough to let us get a little consistency in our work and therefor make progress.

 

I know there are others who will do this slightly differently, but I always think it's better to take things slowly and build up the work progressively when the horses have been off for a month or so. Every horse is different too so it's essential to take into account their individual needs but here's my 'Bringing Horses Back Into Work Plan'..........

 

Week 1

 

Day 1 - Back on board - 20 min walk around the fields (arena for Ted - just incase!!)

Day 2 - 20 min walk around the fields

Day 3 - Day Off

Day 4 - 20 min walk around the fields

Day 5 - 30 min walk round the lanes

Day 6 - Day Off

Day 7 - 30 min walk round the lanes

 

Week 2

 

Day 1 - 30 min walk around the lanes

Day 2 - Day Off

Day 3 - 30 min walk around the fields with a little bit of trot

Day 4 - 30 min walk around the fields with a little bit of trot

Day 5 - Day Off

Day 6 - 45 min walk and trot around the lanes (up to 10 mins trot in short bursts throughout the 45 min session)

Day 7 - 45 min walk and trot around the lanes (up to 10 mins trot in short bursts throughout the 45 min session)

 

Week 3

 

Day 1 - Day Off

Day 2 - 30 min arena session - walk and trot - circles, transitions - cool off round fields

Day 3 - 30 min arena session - walk and trot - circles, transitions - cool off round fields

Day 4 - Day Off

Day 5 - 45 min walk and trot around the lanes

Day 6 - 30 min arena session  - walk trot and a little canter both ways! - cool off round fields

Day 7 - Day Off

 

Week 4

 

Day 1 - 30 min arena session, walk,trot and canter - cool off round fields

Day 2 - 30 min arena session, walk, trot and canter - cool off round fields

Day 3 - Day Off

Day 4 - 60 min walk and trot round lanes

Day 5 - 30 min arena session, walk, trot and canter - cool off round fields

Day 6 - Day Off

Day 7 - 60 min walk and trot round lanes

 

Obviously, you want to be assessing how your horses are coping with their work at all times and adjust the programme as necessary. It's always best to take longer to get to the next level rather than trying to rush through so if you're at all unsure or feel that your horse isn't coping with the workload, slow down - repeat a week. This way you avoid any physical injuries or risking your horse getting 'turned off' to work.

 

Let me know how you're getting on bringing your horses back into work!

 

Karen xx

 

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