By Kathlyn Hossack
It makes sense that we can’t just go hard in our training all the time. Not only would our horses break down, our own bodies would also start to complain. Having a long-term strategy when it comes to our training is important – it can mean the difference between an all-star season and an absolute train wreck.
For most athletes there is a set off-season, pre-season, and in-season schedule. Conversely, many equestrians don’t take much time off from training or competing. We just follow the in-season wherever it goes, which means we have to be pretty smart with our training in order to avoid burnout. You wouldn’t expect your horse to compete or do course work day in and day out for weeks on end, would you? Your body can’t be held to that standard either.
I recommend a generalized strength and mixed cardio program for athletes in the off season. This is to help recover from any injuries, maintain the body, and keep on track for closer to pre-season (pre-season is generally the 6-8 weeks leading up to competition). The “off” season for an equestrian may be a few weeks between major competitions, or a few months. Either way, this is an important time to use to recover and prepare before the in-season – or your next competition – begins in earnest.
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