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Re: [RC] building a base - Truman Prevatt

It all depends.  If the horse has been living in a large pasture from the time it was born then you will do something different than if has lived in a stall most of its life. If the horse is 8 yo when you start you will do something different than if you are talking about a 4 yo. If the horse has been an active trail horse for several years you will do something different than you would with a couch potato.

It also depends on your goals. If your goal is to win then you will train differently ( and accept a higher inherent risk of injury to both yourself and your horse ) than you would if your goal is miles.

You have several "systems" to get into shape. There are the muscles - building speed, strength and endurance. The heart and lungs - building the ability to support both speed and endurance. Then there are the connective tissues - tendons and ligaments. Then there is the bone. Finally there is - what a lot of people I think overlook - the back. They all take different amounts of time based on what the horse has done, how it has been managed and conformation. The temperament of the animal  (and rider ) have to also come into play. Some horses have no problem going out and trotting at the same speed down the same trail ride after ride. Some will turn sour doing this.

There is not one answer. You need to listen to your horse and adjust the program according to how he is progressing and how he is handling the stress. I personally train a new horse by starting with lots of trail rides - some slow some fast. I also like to get a new horse dressage training.  We ride in sand - have no choice - so we get the sand training for free. After some time I start adding spurts of speed to the rides. I also use a HRM during training to maintain the heart rate in a range and to see how he is responding to the exercise.

I am sure this did not help, but there is no fixed formula.


Debra Ager wrote:
From: "A. Perez"
"OK, for all those who don't like the way Howard
is going about things, instead of disparaging him and those who
congratulate him, how about desribing, in detail, what YOU
think is a safe, sound training progam?" 
I'd like to second that, without any sarcasm whatsoever.  I would really like to hear what others are doing to prepare a horse to be competetive in 50's or 100's.  And by this I mean what people are *really* doing, not just what they would do if they had enough time. 

[RC] building a base, Debra Ager