Conditioning Tip

Problem: Your horse needs long-trotting for conditioning, but you never seem to do it enough. (Long-trotting, a key aerobic exercise for horses, involves moving the horse into an extended trot, covering more ground and raising his heart rate.)

Solution: Long-trot to music, with either a radio in your arena or a portable music device. If your horse is out of shape, start with trotting to one or two songs each direction. Work your way up to long-trotting to five songs in each direction, leaving time to rest in between direction changes. The music will keep you entertained while the exercise helps your horse build muscle and endurance.

Extra motivation: Long-trotting can be a great workout for you, too. Practice dropping your stirrups every other song to work on your balance and core strength. Also, try sitting in your saddle and feeling your horse’s diagonals. Both exercises will help your riding and your overall fitness.

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