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Re: Fw: Conditioning Tips/Schedules for The Full Time Worker

> > At 07:49 PM 1/27/01, Irene M Burnett wrote:
> > >40 minutes of arena work can easily equal 2 hrs. on the trail!
> I can't agree with this.  Unless, like Lif said, the 2 hours on the trail
> walking.  But at best you could only hope for cardiovascular equality.
> can't get the same benefit for tendon/ligament/bone development without

I think my experience has been somewhere in between.  One year I had some
Control Issues <g> to work out with Cato and we did dressage training in a
big arena five days a week, and fairly short (5-7 mile) hard-pack road trips
twice a week.  The dressage part did involve alot of circles (hard on
tendons, ligaments and joints), alot of bending, haunches-in, cantering
figure eights, etc that builds alot of specific muscle groups; and short
trot-outs on hard ground was all that's needed to electrically stimulate
bone remodeling.  We did that routine for 7 months with no "real" trail
riding, and then went out the back gate and did the LD at Sunland in good
shape and back into 50's again two weeks later.  I don't feel that he lost
much, if any, of his 50-mile condition while in dressage training, and in
some ways was much fitter and more balanced.  However, we were spending as
much time in the arena working as we would have during a normal 2 hour trail

So do I think you can use strictly arena work to condition an endurance
horse, no---if nothing else, you can't get the experience of watching where
your feet are going or how to avoid gopher holes anywhere but on a real
trail.  But if you really push the horse into keeping himself balanced and
engaged properly during dressage work, it's not a half-bad way to replace
trail work when the conditions are bad or whatever.


Susan G

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