Everything Else Training

Tips from the Top: Canter Work for Fitness

Back img_8696in 2008, I attended one of the very first BE Coaching Development Team training days. I took copious notes that day, and still refer to them now. Some of them cover questions which come up time and time again, so I thought e-V was the perfect place to share them.

First up is that thorny question of fitness and canterwork.

 

Basic Canter Work

Racing article2The amount of canter work a horse needs for each of the levels is obviously very individual, and will depend to a large extent on how much thoroughbred blood your horse has. The general advice seems to be that for below BE100, your general riding should get them fit enough – but with the introduction of BE80, we’re seeing more and more cobs out on the circuit, and you should be mindful that they may need more fittening work. You want to be cantering about every 4 days – which equates to 3 pieces of canter work every 2 weeks. You can do either sprints or long slow canters – it depends on the facilities you have available to you as to which you choose, and really, you should be doing a mixture of the two. Remember, up hill is harder work.

BE100:  2 sprints of 5-6 furlongs/0.5 mile/800m or 3 x 3 minute canters at 450m/m

Novice: 3 sprints of 5-6 furlongs/0.5 mile/800m or 3 x 4 minute canters at 520m/m

CCI*/CIC*: 4 sprints of 5-6 furlongs/0.5 mile/800m or 3 x 5 minute canters at 520m/m

Intermediate: 3 sprints of 5-6 furlongs/0.5 mile/800m or 3 x 4 minute canters at 550m/m

CCI**/CIC**: 4 sprints of 5-6 furlongs/0.5 mile/800m or 3 x 6 minute canters at 550m/m

Moving to the Next Level

The amount of work you need to do to get your horse fit enough to move up a level is also important. This is a rough guide as to how much work a horse will need depending on the current fitness level.

 BE100

From 1 month or more off work: 12 weeks (4 weeks slow walk and trot initially, 4 weeks schooling, 4 weeks fast work)

From slow competition work (winter work): 6 weeks (3 weeks of canter work)

From the level below: N/A

Novice

From 1 month or more off work: 14 weeks (4 weeks slow walk and trot initially)

From slow competition work (winter work): 8 weeks (4 weeks of canter work)

From the level below: 2 weeks of canter work at the new level

Intermediate

From 1 month or more off work: 16 weeks (4 weeks slow walk and trot initially)

From slow competition work (winter work): 10 weeks with canter work

From the level below: 2 weeks of canter work at the new level

Advanced

From 1 month or more off work: 16 weeks (4 weeks slow walk and trot initially)

From slow competition work (winter work): 10 weeks with canter work

From the level below: 2 weeks of canter work at the new level

 

About the author

Tilly

7 Comments

  • can this be listed somewhere that is easy to find next season. this is really useful and i feel will just disappear into the ether like all the posts on here and are really hard to find when you want to refer to them again.

    cx

  • Glad you all think it’s useful! We’ll do a round up post at the start of next season linking to all the things people might want to use when preparing for the season – will that help?

  • I’ve only just found this (from a link in a thread on fitness on HHO). Agree it’s excellent, a really useful summary & if it could be ‘stickied’ for ease of future reference, that would be brilliant! Thank you!!

  • Ditto everyone’s comments – v.useful. Thank you

    I too went to the two of the BE Coaching Development training days – they were both excellent refreshers. It is a shame they aren’t still running them.