Getting Fit for the next event season is very important. I start my fitness training around 5 weeks before the event, I start increasing the fast work to ensure he is at best health, not dehydrated and well balanced. My main fitness training I do is alternating short and long, fast and slow, this is a very effective way of fattening for short format, although it will vary on each individual horse.

This is an example of the last couple of fitness sessions before the event;

1* gallop session ….. 3 gallops for 2min with a 1 min trot in-between

2* slow session….3 steady canters at 2min with a 1 min trot in-between

3* Gallop session….. 4 gallops for 2 min with a 1 min trot in-between

4* Slow session…..3 steady canters at 3min with a 1 min trot in between (with a Hill)

Don’t forget some golden fittening rules:

1- Always do your fast work on the best ground available but try to vary the surfaces. (we all know what it’s like with typical British weather, you may turn up to an event and the ground be completely rock solid, or the opposite and wet and soft- so its always best your horse is trained and ready for all ground conditions)

2 - Hill work will be more effective at improving stamina and aerobic fitness

3- Canter work every 4th day if possible

4 - Try to go with someone experienced at a higher level to get a feel for the speed (This will help you judge the feel of the speed you need for going round the XC course when it comes to open runs, it is always helpful to have the feel of this, instead of relying on a watch if you use one)

5 - Build up with feel and try to recognise a pattern of recovery 6/ - Always try to work in a good balance

Of course this is just for the fitness and not the training in itself for each discipline.

Horse fittening