Getting your horse fit for a three-day-event

Your horse’s fitness programme will depend on his type, your facilities and his current fitness level. You should discuss your bespoke programme with your own trainer, but here are some general guidelines:

Aim to have your horse ready 10 days before the event in case of delays, for example due to weather

You will need to increase his canter work from about four to five weeks before this

You should aim to be doing canter work every fourth day

If you usually use short sprints uphill to get your horse fit, you should look at upping this from twice up the gallop to three times

If you usually use longer, slower work over flatter ground, you should look at upping this from two 5min canters (with 3-4min walking in between) to two 7min canters

A third fitness method is Fartlek, which involves building to a long period of non-stop cantering (up to 15min), but varying the speed within the pace

A combination of these three methods can also be effective

The key is knowing your horse so you can recognise if he is getting fitter or simply becoming stressed

Don’t neglect your own fitness – riding one horse a day may not be enough if you are office-bound the rest of the time

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