Outdoor training

Horses must learn to gallop and jump cross country in order to gain confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Therefore, training outdoors and on different types of ground is essential both for the horse’s athletic form and for improving its technical skills and aptitude. The rider must establish a gradual physical training programme for the horse that is suited to the discipline they compete in and the level of the classes planned. How can a horse that is always collected and cantering on a short stride deal with double in a Grand Prix or any other class at such a level? Every horse must be aware of its abilities and confident of its power. Muscles are more easily built-up and developed through regular outdoor training aimed at improving the horse’s natural impulse and balance. Furthermore, training outdoors generates energy, strengthening and increasing a horse’s physical stamina and breathing capacity. A horse in good shape is less prone to disease, lameness and, most importantly, can recover more quickly after a major effort. One of the goals of outdoor work is to achieve relaxation and a positive mood so as to stimulate good energy circulation in the horse’s body. It is essential to always allow horses to take their time to feel comfortable, so one should allow them to look around, breathe, move their bodies freely until they are relaxed and loosened up. This is clearly visible when the horse stretches its neck and moves its nose forward and downwards.

Michel Robert for Team WOW