Getting Louie to competition level

HorseCrazyGirl

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Apr 12, 2019
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OK, so my friend has a pony called Louie who's a welsh hill pony and is 28. He currently is permanently turned out but most days she comes up and trots him round his field a few times (she's a cross country runner). We've decided to bring him out of his semi-retirement to being regularly ridden and hopefully to some competitions (probably dressage as jumping might be a bit much) by September. He's quite fit and our plan is to start him bareback and lunging him with tack on (not for very long) and then moving him onto riding fully and gradually increasing the exercise and training so his fitness and stamina levels as well as skill will improve or return. First few competitions will probably be novice to see how he copes and then if he's alright continue moving forwards but nothing too much. I don't have much experience with older horses as i own and am always but in charge of younger ones. Any suggestions on training / feed plans or tracking and schooling? Any advice you have is welcome!!!
 

carthorse

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Seriously? My suggestion is to scrap this plan before you start it.

How long has he been retired from ridden work, and what did he do leading up to retirement?

Trotting him round his field in hand is exercise, but it isn't giving him any of the muscle needed to carry a rider.

If you absolutely must get him back into ridden work then start by getting his saddle checked his feet balanced & a once over by a vet to check there are no significant problems. Then daily walking on a hack, starting with maybe 15 minutes and upping by maybe 10 minutes after a week and gradually increasing on a weekly basis. Walk him for at least 8 weeks, and during that time keep a tight eye on him for stiffness, lameness, general reluctance to work & his saddle fit. Only after this time & if everything is good should you think of adding in trot. Don't start bareback, saddles are there for horse comfort, not just the rider, and certainly don't lunge as that's asking a lot of old joints, tendons & muscles. Even if he copes I certainly don't think he'll be ready for any competition by September, with an old horse you have to allow more time for everything as it takes old bodies far longer to condition, and that's assuming they can.
 

Trewsers

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Seriously? My suggestion is to scrap this plan before you start it.

How long has he been retired from ridden work, and what did he do leading up to retirement?

Trotting him round his field in hand is exercise, but it isn't giving him any of the muscle needed to carry a rider.

If you absolutely must get him back into ridden work then start by getting his saddle checked his feet balanced & a once over by a vet to check there are no significant problems. Then daily walking on a hack, starting with maybe 15 minutes and upping by maybe 10 minutes after a week and gradually increasing on a weekly basis. Walk him for at least 8 weeks, and during that time keep a tight eye on him for stiffness, lameness, general reluctance to work & his saddle fit. Only after this time & if everything is good should you think of adding in trot. Don't start bareback, saddles are there for horse comfort, not just the rider, and certainly don't lunge as that's asking a lot of old joints, tendons & muscles. Even if he copes I certainly don't think he'll be ready for any competition by September, with an old horse you have to allow more time for everything as it takes old bodies far longer to condition, and that's assuming they can.

This^^^^^ with knobs on!
 
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HorseCrazyGirl

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Apr 12, 2019
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OK, lmao:D! He's quite fit and he is ridden out once a week but it's just building his stamina to a level where we can start training him. We are not jumping him at all but your idea of getting him checked by a vet is first on the list. His owner is a vet and she's said he's fine he just needs to get back to regular riding. He's a welsh hill pony so he's got a good build and so far he's kept the energy of a colt!! His favourite time of the week is being ridden and previously he worked at a rda school. His owner says that he's in brilliant condition but just needs to be kept an eye on when being ridden. Although as i say i haven't much experience with older ponies and horses but i'm guessing you''ve had loads! Thanks for the feedback!!
 
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carthorse

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Troll alert!

OK, so my friend has a pony called Louie who's a welsh hill pony and is 28. He currently is permanently turned out but most days she comes up and trots him round his field a few times (she's a cross country runner). We've decided to bring him out of his semi-retirement to being regularly ridden and hopefully to some competitions (probably dressage as jumping might be a bit much) by September. He's quite fit and our plan is to start him bareback and lunging him with tack on (not for very long) and then moving him onto riding fully and gradually increasing the exercise and training so his fitness and stamina levels as well as skill will improve or return. First few competitions will probably be novice to see how he copes and then if he's alright continue moving forwards but nothing too much. I don't have much experience with older horses as i own and am always but in charge of younger ones. Any suggestions on training / feed plans or tracking and schooling? Any advice you have is welcome!!!
OK, lmao:D! He's quite fit and he is ridden out once a week but it's just building his stamina to a level where we can start training him. We are not jumping him at all but your idea of getting him checked by a vet is first on the list. His owner is a vet and she's said he's fine he just needs to get back to regular riding. He's a welsh hill pony so he's got a good build and so far he's kept the energy of a colt!! His favourite time of the week is being ridden and previously he worked at a rda school. His owner says that he's in brilliant condition but just needs to be kept an eye on when being ridden. Thanks for the feedback!!

So in your first post you say about starting him bareback, in your second you say he's ridden once week - care to make up your mind which story you're going with? Either way he isn't going to be quite fit as you claim in both posts,, and if his owner is a vet she'd jolly well know that. She'd also know that bringing back a pretty much retired pony of his age into full work, never mind competition, is unreasonable - it's one thing to carry on at a lower level if they've never been let down, but that isn't the case here. Basically I think you're either a troll or a delusional idiot - if the pony exists at all then I hope for his sake it's the former.
 
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newforest

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If riding a horse out once a week and trotting round a field is quite fit I hope his owner isn't an equine vet!!!
From that description mine is endurance fit as she hacks out twice. :rolleyes:
 

carthorse

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Ooooh, coblet is a racer! Or possibly just so overworked that I should be reported to the RSPCA. I know what my equine vets class as fit & it sure as heck isn't that, that isn't even going to class as light work.
 
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newforest

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Ooooh, coblet is a racer! Or possibly just so overworked that I should be reported to the RSPCA. I know what my equine vets class as fit & it sure as heck isn't that, that isn't even going to class as light work.
Yes because she does her morning work out with the herd and some are experienced exracers. :D:p
 
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