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[RC] A Suggested Conditioning Program - Roger Rittenhouse

 Get the book by Dr Nancy Loving GO THE DISTANCE.

 My 'planned' program for KAT
 - 6 yr old part arab 15-2 about 950 pnds with a body score of 6?
He has a 'wasp' waist. - and looks like he will be difficult to hold
weight. He is GREEN a newbie knows nothing about what is coming.

After all my problems with him I think he may be ready to start.
Wont go into all the stuff 'we' did, but Sue Turner came over last
Sunday a week and let him learn a few things.
He lunges very well now does not cut me off anymore.
He LOADS and stands in the trailer. Is  is being fed in the trailer.
Ties with only a few attempts of pull back and rear
Eats on the 'skyhook'. Stood there eating hay water feed for about 2
He loads almost every day.
I only feed him at the trailer or in it.

He is under saddle, was ridden before I got him.

I am using a Kimberwick  with a running martingale - it is what Sue T
wants to use - IF she has to take him for 30 days.
He does better with this setup. Has walked about 5 miles in hand with
this. Will give to the bit and drop his head and give laterally.

I actually rode him for about 2 miles. He acted up a few times, but rather then
fight and get him rearing, I got off and walked him though and
around the problem. Then we mounted and rode on.

So I guess he is ready to try for real.

I do NOT intend to do ring work at this time. IF he is to be a trail
horse he needs to learn how to ride trails. That includes giving
-stopping bending, backing leg yielding etc, We can learn this while
on trail doing trail ride things.

Weather permitting he will be on trail at a walk 2 days per week maybe
3. Target expectations is to walk about 5 miles in one session.
I hope to start at 2 miles and add a mile or 15min per session each time
we go out. Est a 15 minute mile in my terrain at an easy walk.

I will do this for a month. Walk up-down hills, what ever we have here
at the farm.
He is going barefoot - with great hard black hoofs. I will shoe in the
front when he needs it, else I will build a strong un-shod foot

Month 2. Show him the trot on trail and target short trots where the
trail permits. Increase to 3 days per week. Mix up trot and walk.
Target 1 to 2 hr per session. With a longer session on alternate weeks.

Month 3 Shoe- since I will take him out on the hardtop and rock
trails. Add   different trails  and more issues. Cars, cows houses, all the
spooking stuff. Try to ride but hand walk as needed.

My object it to press the stress points to where he bulks but try my
best to keep him from bolting off or rearing. THAT will be a major
problem with him. By this time I hope he working well off my hands and
If we need flat work we will go to the 'ring'. Susan T will come over
and work him on the flat and on trail as needed, If by  the end of
March he is not going well, I will consider placing him with Sue.
My cutoff is April where I have to decide to keep him or send him back.
(6 month lease)

If he stays, the program will get serious in April.
3 days a week minimum. 2 to 3 hours per session. Strong walk and lots
of LSD trot where suitable.
At least one ride per week of 4 hrs.
Try some easy canter (up hill) hope the stop works..

Trips to camp.

I only ride a max of 4 days per week.
Plan is to get him ready by Sept or Oct for his first LD at 5 to 6 hrs.

If all goes well he will be ready for a slow 50 by late this year.

Since he is 6 - I am not concerned with the young horse growth issues.

There is an easy program for this horse. I think he can do it. Of
course this all may change If I get Omni going again. Not sure I
will be able to ride 2 horses to get them ready. Much of this depends on
my improvement.
Omni will only need a few rides per week and many longer weekend
rides. Plan is to get Omni ready for LD in a month or so and go to
rides with him.

...and the bottom line is what Bob M said -- it all depends.

Roger                          mailto:roger@xxxxxxxxxxx

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