Lindsey and I had a great morning in the arena. The horses are all a bit tired as the work intensifies heading to test day on Saturday.
Why dressage horses get tired…
From human models, the fastest way to build muscle is a work/rest ratio of 1/5. To develop a dressage horse, the work is primarily muscle building. Keeping to that muscle building ratio is sometimes very unworkable in day to day training. The skill development portion of our work, from time to time, requires more reps than can fit into that ideal model. A real workable ratio for daily work is 1 to 3. Sometimes the rest portion can be a relaxed, open canter or depending on the amount of muscle load (collection), a rest period needs to be a walk break. It’s a daily juggling act of skill development and muscle building. They need correct muscle to develop skills at each level and they definately need the correct skills to develop the correct muscles. If the skill development/muscle building balance is out of sync, the horse will compensate in their bodies or in their approach to their work. If the balance is struck, the horses stay happy and working hard.
Our goal…happy, working horses.