Tips for Exercising Your Good Doer

(3-minute read)

You can provide your good doer with the best diet possible, but diet alone is often not enough to keep them at a healthy weight. When you want your horse to lose weight, the simplest way is to reduce calorie intake while increasing calorie output. Below are a few tips to help you exercise your good doer as effectively as possible.

Hacking: Hacking is fantastic for increasing your horse’s fitness, core stability, and introducing them to new experiences. Take them out on varied terrain, up and down hills, and enjoy the quality time with them.

Hill Work: Hill work is excellent for burning calories. The gait you choose does not matter too much, but ensure the horse is working through their back and powering from their hind end.

Short High-Intensity Workouts: If you don’t have lots of time to exercise, short high-intensity work is effective. It is better to ensure they get 15 minutes of exercise than none at all.

Pole Work: Pole work not only helps the horse to focus and adjust their gait but also requires them to put additional effort into lifting their legs, which in turn helps to strengthen their core muscles. You don’t have to make it complicated; just walking over raised poles is a great strengthening exercise.

Lateral Work and Circles: Lateral work and circles are harder exercises than riding in straight lines.

Make It Fun: Make the exercise fun for you and your horse. If you aren’t dressage divas and find schooling dull, why not make an obstacle course to ride around? You can include cones for bending, raised poles, zig-zag poles, and hoops for transitions or turns. You are far more likely to exercise your horse if it is fun!

Active Paces: Ensure that all of your paces are active. Even if you can only walk your horse, making sure that they are moving forward and using their body will ensure they burn more calories, as well as improving their posture.

In-Hand Exercise: If you can’t ride your horse or are concerned that they have been out of work for a while and have lost muscle, you can exercise them in hand. In-hand hacking is not only great exercise for you and your horse but also helps to solidify your bond. Teaching schooling movements from the ground improves your horse’s posture and makes it so much easier to do so from the saddle.

Watch the video below for a quick pole exercise to try with your horse.

What are your favourite ways to keep your horse in shape?

Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.