top of page

How to prepare for getting back to training and competing.

Or jumping in for the first time?

Preparing for your first show or even getting back in the ring after some time off can be daunting, to say the least!

But what if you could know you were fully prepared and ready to go? Wouldn’t that save you a tonne of time and worry?

But how? What is it that you’ve missed?

In this article, I’ll talk through the top 3 things my patients miss when preparing to get back to training and competition.

  1. Forgetting to focus on fitness and core conditioning

  2. Missing out on the foundation training

  3. Not assessing you and your pet’s ability correctly

Which one do you think is you?

Let’s take a look at each one individually so you can identify your weak points and get on the road to fixing them.

Number 1: Forgetting to focus on fitness and core conditioning

Does your pet have a fitness plan? They should!

Having a fitness plan that your pet can keep up with each week is one of the easiest ways to ensure that no matter what happens (like a national lockdown and covid virus) you’re always ready to get going again.

So what should this fitness plan include?

First, if you haven’t checked out my recent blog on how to write your own fitness plan I recommend you read it here otherwise this might be a little confusing.

Once you’ve identified your pets weak areas, you can build a plan to help them enhance these areas.

If you notice your pet has weak limbs you can focus on:

  • Improving limb range of motion

  • Improving limb muscle mass and strength

Some exercises you can use to get started are:

  • Cavaletti

  • Weight shifting

  • Lifting each limb

  • Hill work

  • Massage

If you notice your pet has weak core strength you might prefer to add-in:

  • Ab lifts in your horse's

  • Tricks in your dogs

Focusing on your pets weak areas means that they become overall much stronger reducing the risk of any injuries and increasing their performance.

Number 2: Missing out on foundation training

This is slowly reintroducing training to your pets. If you haven’t stopped training this is still important, returning to foundation training is a brilliant way to remind your pets of how to really perform each skill.

This ensures that your pet is performing each movement correctly and in the most energy-efficient manner reducing their risk of injury. And more so giving them the confidence they need to face a competitive environment.

Recapping foundation training might feel like a step back but it’s really your biggest step forward.

Number 3: Not assessing you and your pet’s ability correctly

To get the best assessment of you and your pet you should both be regularly seeing your physio’s.

This ensures you catch any tiny injuries, overuses or strains before they start limiting your performance or worse become an injury.

This is where your pre-season assessment comes into play. If you are in need of a pre-season assessment place contact me at

If your getting ready for agility I have a special FREE webinar just for you:

Is your dog ready to get back to agility training?

If you'd prefer to watch check out the YouTube Video here:

Recent Posts

See All

Top 3 features you need in your dogs insurance policy

In my opinion as a vet physio. I get lots of questions regarding pet insurance and its one of the things that can cause frustration in my clients too. So I thought it was about time to take a look at

Dog Physio vs Massage all you need to know

Veterinary massage and physiotherapy use a range of manual, exercise and electrotherapies to treat movement and musculoskeletal conditions of dogs. These can be pathological conditions such as back p


bottom of page