If you've ever wondered what it takes to keep a top dressage horse in shape, then check out this short video all about dressage superstar Valegro.
Our horses are incredible athletes. They do everything that we ask of them, and they do so while carrying us on their backs. But in order to keep our horses performing at the best of their abilities, we need to keep them physically fit, healthy, and happy. When you're handling a dressage superstar like Valegro, that becomes even more important.
Check out this insightful video featuring both Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. Dujardin discusses Valegro's fitness program, how he spends his downtime after competitions, and the use of a water treadmill which allows Valegro to train with reduced injury risk.
Check out this video for a special behind-the-scenes look at this incredible horse.
Dujardin spends quite a bit of time talking about how Valegro is hacked out regularly. Hacking a horse can be a great fitness builder, especially when you spend long portions of time walking your horse.
If you want to improve your horse's fitness, start with long walks out around the farm. Getting your horse out of the schooling ring provides him with a mental break from training, while walking helps to build muscles and strength.
For an added challenge, try to find some hills and work your horse up and down them. Hill work quickly builds and strengthens muscles, but it does it without the high-impact activity that cantering and jumping have. Be sure to progress gradually with your hill work, especially if your horse is unfit. You don't want to work him too hard on hills and risk an injury.
Providing your horse with a variety of different conditioning and schooling methods can help to keep him healthier and happier, overall.