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  1. #11
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Buckinghamshire
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    1,731

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    When I was getting advice on bringing my mare with a metabolic issue back into work Liverpool advised that it is trot work that really gets the blubber off them. I was instructed (in big writing across the diet plan!) to build up trot work so we would be doing 30 mins continuous every day after 6 weeks.

    Annoyingly the metabolic issues are constantly raising their ugly head, but I do notice the difference if we back off on the trot work. I'm constantly struggling for time, so find 2-3 good lunging sessions a week really helpful.

    ETA - its shifted the blubber off me as well. I use the whole school when lunging and think I probably walk a few miles each time doing it!

  2. #12
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    sheffield up t'road
    Posts
    6,606

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    I found my fatsos are much easier to manage on the track field so they are moving more generally. the grass is very short so I feed them a slice of hay twice a day.
    Plus 20-30min trotting daily. they should be out of breath and sweating.
    obviously build up to it over 4-6 weeks depending on the baseline fitness.
    I also do 4x 3 min canters up an incline 2-3x week with mine.
    if I don't have time to ride I lunge for 20min in trot on a huge circle.
    A singular specimen of the scientific class aves contained within the boundaries of the upper prehensile is equivalently valuable as a double inventory of that item located in a low spreading thicket

  3. #13
    Old nag
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    8,094

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    The ability of the average sports horse/Bog trotter to hoover up food is legendary.The problem is that even with limited grazing ,they can get a lot more energy than they need .Even for quite hard work. Limit forage consumption too much and you risk having digestive problems and a very unhappy horse. I approach the problem from a slightly different perspective. I feed ad lib hay but if Bob the notacob starts to get a bit too tubby ,he gets late cut ,woody hay .Still clean and dust free ,just cut too late .Another alternative would be threshed ryegrass hay. In at night he gets as much low energy fibre as he wants .When he does go out in the morning he does not binge on the grass as he is already full.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    I use the track system for weight it works wonders especially if it doesnt go all the way round. I have three ponies on 3/4 of an acre the center is used as strip grazing but the track goes all the way round and is stopped by the gate. The food ie grass strip is at one end, water and feed are at the other they have to go all the way round to get anywhere which the laminitic doea at a gallop he hasnt even had a raised pulse this year he is galloping everywhere chews the track up a bit in bad weather but it has kept him sound and very fit. He is a companion but I would guess he would be fit enough to go round a cross country at a low level. Ridden fittening is in my mind best done by building up the interval training until you are able to do several hours a week of canter and walk, with canter being greater time than walk by the end of about 5 weeks. Does this horse live out 24/7 as that makes a huge difference to both weight and fitness too. My pet hate is round bales of hay as the horses just stand and stuff their faces rarely moving at all.

  5. #15
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    1,291

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    Quote Originally Posted by windand rain View Post
    I use the track system for weight it works wonders especially if it doesnt go all the way round. I have three ponies on 3/4 of an acre the center is used as strip grazing but the track goes all the way round and is stopped by the gate. The food ie grass strip is at one end, water and feed are at the other they have to go all the way round to get anywhere which the laminitic doea at a gallop he hasnt even had a raised pulse this year he is galloping everywhere chews the track up a bit in bad weather but it has kept him sound and very fit. He is a companion but I would guess he would be fit enough to go round a cross country at a low level. Ridden fittening is in my mind best done by building up the interval training until you are able to do several hours a week of canter and walk, with canter being greater time than walk by the end of about 5 weeks. Does this horse live out 24/7 as that makes a huge difference to both weight and fitness too. My pet hate is round bales of hay as the horses just stand and stuff their faces rarely moving at all.
    Unfortunately where I am, I am unable to set up a track system. She is out 24/7 and does have a round bale in the field, however I have never seen her stand and gorge, she takes a mouthful then wonders off again so I'm not too worried about that. The complete change in her has just taken me by surprise. The winter before I took her on she was out in lots of grass, fed hay as well and having two feeds a day and looked so poor. Not just under muscled as expected being out of work. I thought she was just a bit of a poor doer but it seems that's not the case!

  6. #16
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    covered in mud in a cold wet English field somewhere, trying to catch my ponies.
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    Following!!
    Sorry to hijack thread but can someone give me the low down on track systems? How wide/ how to stop it getting muddy? currently strip grazing these 3 but there's still too much grass available; whenever it grows it's gone straightaway even with the roan being in overnight and then all of them muzzled during the day...


  7. #17
    Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    2,341

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    Introduce things like shoulder in and leg yield even when out hacking in walk. That helps with suppleness so when you come to do trot/canter, the horse will find it easier as well. I'm doing that with my horse that is in rehab from kissing spine. The other day I worked on a hill, trotting up it, turn on the forehand at the top, walk on the way down doing either shoulder in or leg yield on both sides, and then turn on the forehand the other way at the bottom to trot back up. Try that kind of thing, keeps it varied for them as well so its not just walking/trotting, they have to think as well.

  8. #18
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Scotland
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    16,374

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    Just needs more exercise I would say. I have one who is always fatter than the rest and she has to be in very hard work or she's podgy. Keep upping it gradually on hard surfaces but you could do a bit of faster stuff on grass I would think.

  9. #19
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    Apr 2012
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    1,291

    Default Re: Exercise plan for fat and unfit sports horse?

    Quote Originally Posted by FfionWinnie View Post
    Just needs more exercise I would say. I have one who is always fatter than the rest and she has to be in very hard work or she's podgy. Keep upping it gradually on hard surfaces but you could do a bit of faster stuff on grass I would think.
    She is already looking a bit better after a few weeks of harder work, so as you say I think she's going to be one of those that needs hard work to keep the weight off

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