THE TRAILS ARE CALLING! Steep hills, stream crossings, and time to just enjoy the ride are in store. But before you mount up for an all-day ride, you need to be sure your horse is prepared for the demands ahead. Conditioning Whether the weather is hot or cold, conditioning is the best way to make sure your horse stays healthy during and after long trail rides.
Short walking rides of an hour or less, even in
hot weather, don’t require a well-conditioned
horse. But if you plan to go out for a few hours,
and possibly trot or canter, your horse needs
some conditioning first.
Conditioning your horse involves building up his
body to withstand the rigors of hours under saddle.
Give your horse exercise on a regular basis,
starting at least two months in advance of long
rides. Once you start a program, keep up with it.
After two weeks without exercise, your horse
will lose the conditioning you’ve given him up to
HorseIllustrated.com | AUGUST 2016 39
Get your horse
fit and healthy to
enjoy the trails.
PER IN To condition your horse for an all-day trail ride, you need to gradually increase your training time to about half the time of the actual ride.
» BY AUDREY PAVIA