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Pre-Season Horse Training Tips

Pre-Season Horse Training Tips

Have you ever wondered how top-level riders and trainers plan their horse’s fitness training for the upcoming season?


Team Enduro Riders share their tips on effective preparation for a competitive and successful season.

Jim Boyle Racing

Jim Boyle Racing

“We’ve been working with the Enduro Heart Rate monitors for the last few seasons, and the additional data they provide has been helpful in planning our fitness programmes. The HR monitors are really simple to use, fitting easily into our yard routine, and the app is clear and concise. I really like being able to track my horses when away from the yard, and in particular keep an eye on their recovery rates post exercise. These monitors provide us with another piece of the jigsaw in getting our horses to the track in the best possible shape.”

Louisa Allen, Jim Boyle Racing

Louisa Allen Jim Boyle Racing

“Working with Enduro has been a real eye-opener. Learning about our horses fitness through heart rate and recovery parameters has been really helpful in assessing our horses as we get them ready for the track.”

Flo Burnop, Eventing

Flo Burnop Jim Boyle Racing

“Now the freezing weather is over we can start going to the gallops and I can start HIT training the horses. I attach my monitor and we canter until their heart rate hits about 180bpm and try to maintain it. If it goes over 190 we slow down to a walk to allow them to recover. When it gets to 70bpm, off we go again! It’s amazing to watch how their recovery speeds up as they get fitter.”

Tamsin Drew, Eventing

Tamsin Drew

“With only a month until the eventing season starts and with the first event entered. I’ve been upping the canter work, in the school, out hacking and introducing the gallops shortly. Plus working on jumping fitness. Enduro HRM is essential piece of kit for my horses fitness, monitors HR and recovery when doing canter work out hacking, can monitor with increase in canter lengths and speed also that I’m not over doing it but my horse is recovering and on track with fitness work. I love how the app announces the speed and HR monitor and can be tracked also on a i watch. This is my 3rd season with Enduro and never go hacking or to gallops without it. It has provided me with knowledge and insight into Kate’s resting HR, gait HR and recovery HR as well as how long it takes to recovery. Keeping her on track to perform and ensuring she is fit for her job.”

Linda Cowperthwaite, Endurance

Linda Cowperthwaite

“I find using the Enduro Heart rate monitor an excellent way of assessing the benchmark of fitness when returning to training. It gives me a good starting point, as not to over stress the horse. The Enduro HRM will also show any pain by raised HR. I have previous accurate data and can compare year on year for changes and make improvements. Making my training more effective and less risk of potential injury.”

Fiona Bloom, Endurance

Fiona Bloom

“Monitoring my horses fitness progression is imperative to me, particularly at the start of the season, or when asking them to ‘go up a level’. Yes, with many years of experience I ride by feel, but the Enduro Equine Heart Rate Monitor and Enduro FIT App allow me to objectively track the training I do and the recovery rate so I know my horse is as prepared as possible for the competition season ahead. Watching the HR over the same training loop, or the same hill over a period of time enables me to see whether the horse is improving, has stabilised (so either needs more of a challenge or is fit enough for the competition required) or, if an anomaly in HR occurs, whether they may be harbouring a sub clinical issue. This makes me pay greater attention and investigate where necessary… unless of course it can be attributed to the squirrel hiding in the bushes…!”

David Britnell, Eventing

David Britnell Addington

“Enduro Equine HRM allows you to work with and understand each individual horse’s fitness, character and needs. The beauty of this product is how user friendly it is, therefore making it very straight forward to understand your horse’s current fitness level and how best to develop your horses fitness further. Knowing when they are working hard enough to improve fitness without pushing them too far and risking injury.”

Louise Rich, Endurance

Louise Rich

“Now hopefully winter is behind us it’s time for the horses to start training again, they work throughout the winter but now they start working with the HRM on the flat & hill gallops at home. I love being able to see how their fitness picks up quicker & quicker over the coming months on flat and hill ground. Being able to have all this information stored to go back on if you have an issue is paramount.”

Emma Hyslop-Webb, Eventing

Emma Hyslop Webb

“Pre-season preparation is key to a successful year competing with the horses. We are meticulous with our planning and analytics, which relies heavily on tracking data with the Enduro heart rate monitor. The horses aiming for 4 and 5* level events in 2024 will wear the monitor in different forms of exercise once per week. Whether this be hill work, hacking and roadwork, lunging, jumping or schooling, we exercise the horse and gather raw data. Each horse has a chart, which one of my team is responsible for. She collates the data for each horse at the end of every month and reports back any trends to myself. We can then tailor fitness programmes and workload accordingly.”

Nicki Thorne, Endurance

Team GB Rider on horseback talking to Enduro Equine Team

“Understanding the wellbeing of your horse is crucial to not just your success but to your horse’s welfare and happiness – nothing is more important to me than that. Monitoring your horses heart rates over time and building up a mental database of where your fitness levels are compared to previous training and during your current training programmes is essential. Then by utilising any variances to establish if the heart rate is indicating any level of change to how your horse is training and most importantly any pain or stress that is indicated through the heart rate – you are able to improve your training and measure your programmes as well as your horse fitness and try to detect issues early. Early prevention of more serious injury is crucial to your horse’s competitive future. Most important though is enabling you to notice as soon as possible if something is wrong with your horse and better protect them from the rigours of a competition lifestyle. For me, it’s all about the horse welfare.”

Kitty King, Eventing


“My horses are currently building their fitness up for the forthcoming season. At this time of year we are doing slower interval training building a good solid base fitness and endurance.
The Enduro Equine HRM is helping me to track their heart rates and recovery, it helps me from doing too much too soon with them and I can keep a good track of their development.”

Laura Cutter

Laura has 15+ years working with leading equine brands & high profile professional riders. Laura has a proven track record in marketing, social media and managing sponsorships, brand ambassadors & influencers. She is also an experienced horse owner & rider in her own right.
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