Training for Endurance – January

Looking ahead to endurance riding competitions this year…and hoping that Covid will be under control at least to the point where there are competitions, my mind wondered to our little Penny.  She is the only Arabian left on the farm with absolutely no endurance training.  She is 12 years old and was “lightly” rode by the kids in riding lessons this summer but certainly nothing strenuous.    It’s time to train her up!   I thought since we are starting from “scratch” that perhaps you may want to join along in the journey.  It will take months, years actually so there’s lots to learn…if you are interested.  Get yourself strapped in and here we go.

Now, a warning about training in the winter months – especially a horse at Penny’s level.  It’s boring.  The first two months have been nothing more than lunging.  Lunging sometimes with all the gear on, sometimes free lunging, sometimes in the snow.  Just lots of basic exercise.  My goal at this point is  to teach her to move at different gaits in a RELAXED manner.  I don’t want her running to beat hell all over the place.   Arabians have to learn to relax and it’s work.  And I want her to be in some sort of “shape” before the season even begins.  However, it is important to note that Penny has only been lightly ridden, usually by children and has had very little other conditioning over her riding history so the last thing we want to do is got over zealous and work her too much.  That will come in good time.  

We averaged 3 sessions some weeks, 2 sessions others, and there was a week in there with absolutely nothing!  We are usually going for between 30 and 45 minutes a session.  That’s it and it will continue to be very light work probably until April so if you are tuning in later in the year to see what you might be able to do to train your own horse up for endurance….you can see you haven’t missed much so come along on join on in on the fun as months progress!   See you in February.  

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