Ever wondered if you should be doing something else to support your pet’s fitness and performance?
You’ve been sticking to your training routines, attending competitions and shows but somethings missing… but what?
When was the last time you took a step back and worked on some key skills?
It’s easy to think that once we’ve trained the basics and our pets have mastered them we can bench them and move on. But that’s not really the case. Once we’ve trained the basics we can move on to more advanced training that’s true...BUT we can’t just bench the foundations.
So why are the foundations so important?
Once you’ve nailed the foundations you can convert and continue to utilise your foundation training as a conditioning program with just a few simple adjustments.
Let me show you a few examples-
So first step in training your agility dog is going to be basic commands (sit, down, stand etc.) theses can all be utilised in a core conditioning plan used daily all you have to do is assess where your dog is and where you want to be. Then you can choose the exercises that fit best as you only want 5 or 6 (remember you have to do them every day!) to create your conditioning plan.
In your agility foundation training, you’re going to want to be focusing on learning equipment, turns and weaves. Now the skills your dogs learning here can be adapted to your conditioning program too. Weaving on the lead in and out of trees on a walk increases flexibility, unstable surfaces increase muscle mass and turns can be progressed to spins to challenge balance and flexibility.
Now that was a quick whistle-stop tour but I hope it will help you take a look back at your foundation training and give you the first step towards creating a conditioning program.
Once your horse is backed, ridden away and ready to start dressage training you’ve already got a wealth of training and exercises you can draw on and adapt to create a conditioning program.
A great place to start is revisiting your groundwork, backing-up, circles and transitions as these are a huge asset to any horse's conditioning program.
You can also add in some other exercises to keep things varied. Why not try some hill work, poles or stretching?
Rember you can only stretch your horse a maximum of 3 times a week though!
If you need more help you can book a free call with us or join one of our conditioning webinars where we take a deep dive into each exercise, how to start and progress you plan and how and when to assess your pet.
What else should you be doing?
Check-in with your vet regularly
Make sure you keep up-to-date with your yearly appointments, not only will your vet ensure your pet isn’t injured or suffering from an illness that could limit their performance they will also be able to ensure your pet’s vaccinations, passport etc are ready for competition.
Book regular vet physio sessions
Your vet physio is an essential tool that you should be making the most of. They can create conditioning plans for you saving you a heap of time and worry. At each session, they will also assess your pet and carry out any necessary treatment to relieve muscle tension, overuse or limited range of motion meaning your pet has a greater stride length, flexibility, strength and balance.
Looking for a vet physio in West or South Yorkshire? Look no further you can book online now or call 07531161608.
Constantly assess and re-assess where your pet is
This is the number one way of preventing injury and improving performance in your pets. I suggest you assess your pet each month and make any necessary changes or progressions in your fitness and conditioning plans.
If you need any help we’re always at the end of the phone. Book your free call now.