When training a young event horse, you should put a lot of emphasis on building strength and muscle so your horse can properly do their job. Using your time wisely and efficiently while on your horse is important and it helps you as the rider have a plan and a goal to stick to during your ride.
As the cold weather seems to linger on, Lauren Ferguson provides us with more exercises you can work on with your young eventer through the winter, along with working on your own fitness. Look at the wintertime as an opportunity to really enhance your skills as a rider and allow yourself time to get to the basics with your horse so when the competition season comes around, you’re confident and ready.
It’s hard to get motivated when the temperature outside is below 30 degrees, there’s nothing on the competition calendar for months, and you’re more than likely going to be stuck in your indoor if you don’t have a concrete plan. For those riders that can’t escape the winter to go south, Ferguson creates a game plan that allows you and your horse to reach new milestones and stay fit.
Choosing the right young event horse can often seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. There are so many talented horses out there being advertised everyday in all shapes and sizes that it can be hard to narrow down your search and find your perfect match. Keeping an open mind is absolutely critical when horse shopping, as the perfect picture that you have in mind may not be the horse you need.
Warming your young horse up before a jump school or before a jumping phase of competition is critical to the outcome of that school or jumping phase. Making absolutely sure your horse is in front of your leg is of the utmost importance.
Whenever you introduce something new to a young horse it can always be a bit stressful. Riding out in a field for the first time is always an important milestone for any young horse, but especially for a young event horse.
Gridwork is an absolutely fabulous tool to integrate into your young event horse’s weekly routine as it effectively teaches them where their feet are and how to use their bodies correctly without a lot of interference from the rider.
For young horses just beginning their career, conditioning them for cross-country is very important. Madeline Backus explains that even at the Beginner Novice level, you want to have a fit horse to help ensure that it’s fun for them their first few times out. A tired and exhausted horse won’t come off cross-country begging to get back out there and do it again.
One of the most important pieces of training that Meghan Truppner likes to instill in her young horses is how to properly turn on the forehand early on.
Flatwork with young horses can at times become monotonous while riders spend a lot of time honing in on the basics and building correct muscle. It’s important to make sure your young horse looks forward to dressage days, and with some fun exercises you can easily make that happen at home on your own.
Balance, balance, balance. This is a key concept that Eric Dierks instills in his young horses from the very beginning through very simple exercises that allow his horses to gain confidence in not only themselves and but also their rider.