Conditioning Caution

If your horse is mostly laid off over the winter, you’ll need a well-thought-out conditioning plan to bring him back into shape once weather permits. Workouts should start with a lot of long, slow distance work, which can include some time on a hotwalker. Don’t overdo your horse’s conditioning program, however, or he may get “on the muscle”—that is, so fit and high-spirited that he becomes difficult to ride. Too much work can also lead to soreness—another unhappy result of a too-vigorous conditioning program. Plan now to avoid this and other get-fit errors by reviewing Dr. Barb Crabbe’s feature “Top Five Conditioning Flubs” at

Credit: Photo by Alana Harrison

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