Fit and raring to go: how you and your horse can hit the ground running in tip top shape *H&H Plus*

  • If fitness levels for you and your horse have been on the back burner, hit the ground running with these exercise plans, advises Andrea Oakes

    After a year of stop-start activity on the competition front, we’re again getting the green light to go. But to what extent has a triple whammy of lockdown, bad weather and Brexit border chaos derailed preparation? When the starting bell sounds, will we be ready?

    Without the certainty of a show schedule, dressage riders have been wondering whether to keep their top horses at full fitness or bubbling under.

    “We had a plan with the international horses and built them up, then everything stopped and we let them down a bit,” says Team GBR dressage rider Gareth Hughes. “The experienced ones do develop greater endurance over the years and tend to come back to fitness a bit quicker, but those who’ve not done much at top level or travelled abroad take longer to recuperate. In a grand prix, the last centre line can seem so far away.”

    This feature will also be available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday 25 March

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