Training Plans For The Broken Poney

It is astonishing that Hafl did not lose as many muscles during his month in a stall as I had thought. Sure, you can see that he has been off duty but thanks to his good overall condition and training status he still looks pretty decent.

Also, when I started riding him, he pretty much felt the same as before. But of course, he is out of breath much faster than before. And he is lacking some strength – which is no surprise. When he came back, I started with some days of hand walking. It is important though that you walk a little faster than the horse offers. It is not walking to enjoy the scenery but serious walking. As soon as I had the feeling that he can handle a little more, I started to lunge him, mainly to get rid of the excess energy before putting him out in the fields again.

I allowed him some pasture time alone in the evenings with no other furiously galloping horses around, always having an eye on him that he won’t start rocketing off. After a few lunging sessions where he could choose whether to trot or not, I started with interval training. A technique I used some years ago that follows a strict training plan. In order to do so automatically, I downloaded the app Interval Trainer and programmed it according to this plan. It is a plan for 12 weeks and normally includes poles (even those specific blue and yellow plastic ones) but I am brave enough to skip that. After another few sessions, I started to ride him again. We also included the same interval training method in our riding ensuring that we did not work for more than 14-18 minutes (plus walk in the beginning and the end).

Last week, we started with riding test elements again. Certain movements do not feel right yet but I need to get him back to the suppleness he had before. So, one to two days will be interval training, ridden or on the lunge line, one day riding movements, one day goes to straightness, one day of cardio and a day for trail rides or in hand work. As I still have to care for his wounds, I am there for six instead of five days a week meaning I am taking this opportunity to have a little extra training day.

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