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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    134

    Default Hunt Horse Fitness - how long does it take to lose it?

    I've worked all Summer on getting my horse up to a decent fitness level to start hunting - I got to hunt once ... before he got an abscess (sp?). Then after a week and a half off, I get sick and he will probably have had a total of 2 weeks off before I get better enough to ride.

    Is all that work lost? How long does it take for a relatively fit horse to lose it?

    He's on 24/7 turn out, if that makes a difference!

    Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2001
    Location
    The Great White North, where we get taxed out the wazoo
    Posts
    638

    Thumbs up

    From what I've read the first aspect of fitness a horse loses is speed, which in the hunt field isn't too much of a factor. I'd say if he's been on T/O then a ride or two with possibly a good pipe opening gallop and you should be fine. have fun, see how he is, you can always retire a bit early if he's starting to exceed his legal limit for fun.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    3,032

    Default

    Is he a TB? If so, nope, most likely has has lost very little fitness, what with being on 24/7 turnout. It takes the TBs a good bit of time to really lose fitness.

    If he is a heavier type, you may have lost some "get up and go", but nothing to really worry about unless your hunt is already flying along for hours this early in the season.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SidesaddleRider View Post
    Is he a TB? If so, nope, most likely has has lost very little fitness, what with being on 24/7 turnout. It takes the TBs a good bit of time to really lose fitness.

    If he is a heavier type, you may have lost some "get up and go", but nothing to really worry about unless your hunt is already flying along for hours this early in the season.
    He is half TB! The other half is...Clydesdale.

    But thank you for your input! I usually ride him 6 days a week and - between his hoof and my getting sick - I feel absolutely awful that he hasn't been ridden; and I'm so worried about it!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,321

    Default

    If you are really worried about it just drop back a field for a few hunts, if you usually hunt first flight drop back to second, or from second to third....you will quickly get a feel for how your horse is feeling? Good luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
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    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyclubrocks View Post
    If you are really worried about it just drop back a field for a few hunts, if you usually hunt first flight drop back to second, or from second to third....you will quickly get a feel for how your horse is feeling? Good luck!
    That's a great idea! Thanks!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2003
    Location
    Wildwood, MO USA
    Posts
    2,599

    Default

    I have one I'm bringing back from surgery. I plan to take him out in second field at one of our fixtures that's small and not hilly. I'll see how he goes and take it from there. I figure I can always take him in early.

    He shouldn't have lost too much. But half drafts especially Clydes can be hard to get and keep fit. I don't see any reason not to take him out but keep an eye on him. If he doesn't catch his breath after a good run it might be time to take him in early.

    Also tell your field master in advance so that they are aware of the situation.
    -Painted Wings

    Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,386

    Default

    I'm in your shoes. I got to hunt once and then my horse abscessed out the heel bulb.

    I've kept my horse in light work. He's barefoot and my vet told me to keep him on grass. I've been working him a couple of times/week and he's not been lame on the soft ground. I don't know whether your horse has been sound.

    I hunted him for the first time today, after 2 1/2 weeks and he was fine (he is all TB, though). However, I chose a hunt that I knew was going to be on the short side and where the footing would be soft.

    My biggest fear in bringing him back was that he was still sore on the foot and I didn't want him to take a bad step and hurt himself worse.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Thanks for the advice, everyone!
    It really helps me out and I have something to go on



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    Horses lose fitness after about 6 weeks. They can be totally stalled (lets stay), and pretty much still have the same muscle, bone, and heart rate fitness. Then they can come back and be ridden a couple times, and they will be at the same fitness.

    Once fit they can be worked 1-2 times a week and still be in the same fitness condition.

    Sad for us humans, we lose fitness within a few days. Horses, not so.

    Here is an article, read all it, or scroll down to the subject of "detraining". Intensity is your riding, whether it is lunging or hard hard work for the horse.

    http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/hrs6942

    Here is more about fitness, which is where I got the article.

    http://enduranceridestuff.com/blog/endurance-riding/

    Even my current trail horse (I am not riding endurance any more) use the same principles I did when I endurance ride. Right now she is getting some hill work to strengthen her hind end. Also to get myself fit I use the same type training, although varied. Interval training.



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