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arena conditioning

>>>An hour of trotting in the arena every day was more valuable >>than
three hours once every three or five days.

I disagree. If you get a horse in shape to go one hour, then do it over
and over, his body reacts by building up strong enough to go one hour
comfortably. If you ride 3 hours, and push a little, then take 2 days
off, the body rebuilds during the offdays and reinforces itself to handle
that amount of work.  If you ride hard every day, the body never gets a
chance to rebuild and it eventually breaks down. In the old Horseman
video Mathew Mackay Smith compared this to bending a coat hanger. The
first time doesn't hurt it much, but it damages it *some*. If you do it
over and over it will break though. A horse's system is like bending the
hanger with the exception that if you give it time it will mend, *and*
reinforce itself in that spot. So if you'll just give him the offday
he'll be getting stronger on those days. I guess the trick, if you can
only ride 2 days a week, is to do it Wed. & Sat...and do just enough
damage to take 2 days to fix. >g<

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