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Focusing on Equine Fitness Plans with Enduro FIT: How The Pro’s Do It [2024 Guide]

Focusing on Equine Fitness Plans with Enduro FIT: How The Pro’s Do It [2024 Guide]

Our Team Enduro 5* event riders, talk us through a typical fitness regime, and how the Enduro FIT has helped both fitness and injury prevention.

Contents

Introducing Team Enduro Riders

Emma Hyslop-Webb is a well established five-star event rider, who as well as training riders, is producing an exciting string of horses at all levels, from her base at Vale View Equestrian Centre.

For Emma, the Enduro Equine Fitness Tracker is an essential piece of kit for all her event horses at any stage of training. She talks us through her typical equine fitness plan, and discusses how the Enduro FIT has helped her to improve the management of her horses’ fitness and injury prevention.

Off-season training to get your horse back to full fitness.

After the season has ended, I don’t tend to give my horses more than six weeks off. We don’t have the luxury of winter turnout and as we have just had such a wet winter so they’ve been in and some of them have just stayed hacking every other day and that’s been their holiday.

If they do have the full six weeks off, we would do the first week in walk, then in the second week we would introduce a bit of trot, and we would build this up gradually over the next few weeks. When we start trotting, it gives us a good starting point to see just how much fitness they have lost. We would do at least two weeks trotting and sometimes longer based on just how much of a solid holiday they have had. If they have remained walking every other day, then they might do more trotting early on. If they have had a solid six weeks off, then we might just do shorts stints and only uphill.

The rest of the time we are walking.

Getting up to speed, when to start fast work

When we choose to start the canter varies from horse to horse and depends on what time of holiday they have had, but we wouldn’t typically introduce this until around week six. They would be in the form of schooling, longing, hacking. We would introduce some jumping around week seven of if they haven’t had a complete holiday it would be a little earlier, but in terms of jumping a course we are looking at week eight.

I would then introduce the cross-country schooling when they’ve done several weeks of cantering and faster work. When you are actually doing this fast work, the Enduro Equine Fitness Tracker is really helpful not just to check the fitness but also to work out your metres per minute. It is an excellent aid to help you speed up or slow down, depending on what time/speed you need to maintain as part of your program.

Leveraging Equine Technology as a training aid

We use the Enduro Equine Heart Rate Monitor paired with the Enduro FIT App early on in our horse’s programmes. We use the technology for lunging, hacking, galloping and jump training. It’s been incredible to review everything on a weekly basis, whether you’ve just brought the horses back into work or we are leading up to a big event, it’s nice that we can analyse the data.

It’s also pleasant for me to know if I have done a hack, exactly how long it is and exactly what my beats per minute were and what I got my horses’ heart rate up to. Also, if I have three top horses, it is great to see how their fitness compares amongst the three, so some might need to gallop more, some don’t and I can adjust individual training plans to suit the needs and wellbeing of each horse.

Some horses keep themselves fitter, and you can find that you think one horse might be fitter, but it turns out that the other one is. So it’s fascinating to analyse the statistics that way.

We particularly like to use the Enduro for jumping because if we’ve had a really hard training session where I am jumping and doing ‘Bramham lines’ or something more taxing, it’s really interesting to know that counts as one of my ‘fast work’ sessions, where we’ve really got the heart rate up, and they are working anaerobically. Then I may not have to put on the pressure and strain of another gallop that week, so I might do only one gallop instead of two.

We are always trying to prevent injuries, so for me, it is nice to have peace of mind that your horse is getting fitter leading up to a big one. You can overtrain with horses, and I think tools like the Enduro Equine Heart Rate Monitor and the Enduro FIT App can help you avoid that risk.

If you have a busy yard it is also peace of mind to know that if I have got the girls (grooms) lunging, then we can look back at the data and I can see that they spent six minutes in walk, 12 in trot and 14 in canter or such like, so that I know the horses have worked properly. Also having a link to your phone is great, so each horse has their profile, and you can see exactly what they’ve done.

Enduro FIT Mobile App Screens

International five-star event rider, Kitty King, shares her endorsement of Enduro FIT.

“I’ve been using it for a year, I use it whenever I am doing my canter work, so I can see their recovery. It has a really cool feature that if you have your watch on with the app or ear pods in, it will speak to you on your phone so that you can hear what your speed and the horses’ heart rate is every fifteen seconds, so you can see how hard they are working when you are actually in work. So for example, on a windy day, sometimes I thought I was going really quickly because the wind makes it feel different, and the app tells me I wasn’t going as quickly as I needed to. Sometimes it makes me realise I don’t need to be working them as hard because they are still reaching the heart rate that they need to get to and I can watch their recovery. It’s definitely helped because I was probably over training before, whereas now I can tailor the fitness better.”

Five-star eventer David Britnell has a large team of horses and has seen huge benefits to the horse’s fitness and wellbeing since using Enduro FIT.

“It seemed much more user-friendly than previous products we had tried, and it gave a more consistent reading. As well as the fitness side, it logs exactly where you’ve been and what pace you’ve been in. When we do our fitness at King’s Park, we can see on the map where we have been and where we have trotted and cantered. It gives you a good idea about the horses’ characters too because a lot of them are more inclined to be more switched on and some are more lazy, so it is interesting to see how their heart rate changes, and you can make the fitness regime more individual rather than doing the same routine with all of them. Having it on your watch is really handy.

We’ve also used it on a couple of horses that are a bit anxious. Not necessarily on the fitness side but actually you can see on your watch when their heart rate goes up, and you can relate that to what the scenario is that you are in. That’s also handy because you can use that information to try to figure out what makes the horse anxious and triggers its quirks.”

Author

  • Eleanor Kelly

    Eleanore (Ellie) Kelly set up an equestrian business in 2003, in order to fund her ambition to reach the elite level of Three Day Eventing, which she duly did for seven years. During her time as a professional eventer and equestrian entrepreneur, Ellie entered the world of equestrian print and broadcast journalism. Her credits include presenting live horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival, BBC Sport, BT Sport, Eurosport, Horse and Country TV and a documentary series called "World Olympic Dreams". Ellie has also written for a number of newspapers including The Daily Mail, The Sunday Times and The Independent as well as magazines such as Tatler, Spear's and the official souvenir guide to The Olympics.

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