Create An Exercise Plan To Increase Fitness Slowly & Avoid Injury
This will depend on the level of work the horse is currently in. For example, a horse that has been turned away over the winter will require you to factor in a longer period to get the fitness levels increased to an adequate level for the competition. This will need to include a prolonged period of walking to build up core strength before starting any schooling or faster work. No horse can stay at peak fitness forever, so time your run to have your horse at optimum fitness for the required period. For example, early smaller competitions can be used to improve fitness.
Make Sure Your Horse’s Diet Is Adequate For The Increasing Level Of Work
For many horses their diet will not need to change significantly, especially in the initial phases of fitness work. Adding a feed balancer can be a good way of making sure your horse is not lacking in any trace elements or vitamins as their energy requirements increase. Depending on the competition requirements of your horse, higher energy feeds may be required as the fitness levels increase but this will depend on the workload and specific metabolic requirements of your horse.
If there are any concerns with your horse’s progress or behaviour it is sensible to speak to your vet. Sometimes a full clinical exam and blood sample is helpful to check you are good to go.