Conditioning Schedule

In spring/early summer I had a lot of people asking me about Henry’s conditioning schedule. I wavered a lot about whether or not to share this, because I think that something like a conditioning schedule can be a pretty personalized thing and what it should look like varies a lot from horse to horse, level to level, sport to sport, or even month to month. I’m sharing it, BUT with the huge bold red letter disclaimer: This is just what we did.


This was June’s schedule, which is pretty typical of what our normal spring/fall schedule looks like these days. Rides get shorter later in the summer when it’s a million degrees, and when the ground is bad (ie too muddy or too hard/cracked) the gallops pretty much go out the window. Right now our schedule looks pretty much nothing like this, but next month things will ramp back up to more of a full “competition season” schedule.


Some notes:

  • With that schedule Henry was very fit, probably over-fit for his level. I try to err on the over-fit side due to his respiratory issue, and especially in prepping him for AZ since I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the high altitude.
  • Before an event there’s a bit of a ramp down in the schedule.
  • Everywhere that says “walk” = forward, marching, on the aids. Not ambling around on a loose rein.
  • “3 x 4” means 3 sets of 4 minutes each.
  • “long trot” means no walking or breaks, just a solid chunk of trot.
  • The speed of the gallop sets depends on where we are in our schedule, but usually somewhere between 400-450mpm.
  • Road Hack is mostly forward walk with some trotting.
  • Dressage rides are usually about 45min with very little walking.
  • This is not set in stone… if something comes up things get shuffled around, or if we need to work more on one particular thing, days can be substituted (for instance, now we’re going to be doing 3 days a week of dressage, one jump day, and one or two conditioning days – so switching from a conditioning-heavy schedule to a dressage-heavy schedule). The calendar is really just a guideline to make sure we stay on track and fit everything in.


16 thoughts on “Conditioning Schedule

  1. Its very interesting to see how people keep their horses fit. I think you do a wonderful job keeping Henry fit and healthy.


  2. I really love how eventers have conditioning schedules, and obviously it makes sense — if you want to do all three phases and run XC it’s super important to have your horse fit. But I think the same is for many disciplines, including hunter/jumper. I just don’t have a schedule like this… but I do love it, hah


  3. i kinda love stuff like this. and it’s always interesting to me to see how different people make it all fit. for instance – my non-horsey life fits into a very week by week type structure, like ‘on wednesdays we wear pink’ type stuff. but it’s always felt tricky to fit a proper conditioning / schooling plan into that same 7 day plan.


  4. Wow! You board Henry (aka, he isn’t in your backyard) and work and have a SO and eat and sleep and still do all this? You are kinda my hero at the moment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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