This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fit to Ride Part 4: Muscles

Fit to Ride by Bromiley contains a very technical section about muscles and muscle development, including addressing fatigue in your conditioning program. Even with my background in this, my eyes glazed over. Handy as a reference to refer to if I was trying to diagnose a problem in the future.....

There are different types of exercise that improve muscle:
  • Concentric (example: Uphill work)
  • Eccentric (example: Downhill work)
  • Isokinetic
  • Isometric
  • Closed Chain

The last 3 types of exercises can be accomplished through correct cavelleti work, as of which some examples are given.

The author stresses that it is impossible to properly prepare a horse in an arena, even dressage horses need variety. However, there are a variety of arena exercises that are good to include in a conditioning program.

Bromiley prefers combined exercise of the "classical" school and use of cavaletti's. Work over cavallettis is done on long reins.

She gives several examples of an arena course designed to give a horse a full workout. Specific dressage exercises and the "why's" are also described.

Next: Interval training and Fartleks


  1. What do you mean by "work over cavallettis is done on a long rein"? Like long lining or riding on a loose rein?

  2. Yeah, my attention has often wondered while reading these parts! But once I actually made the effort to read it, it was interesting and helpful.

  3. Heather -

    The long rein referred to "long reins" ie. ground driving. She does reccomend bitting a horse up, but not to the point you are setting the head, just where the horses natural way of going is. Since how you are doing the cavaletti work is about muscle training, she empasized that in general, the horse will do the work more correct in long reins than on a lunge system.

    While she did reccomend specific dressage exercises for riding, most of the cavelletti work seemed to be from the ground.

    JB - it is my hope to go back and re-read some of the sections I skimmed before I give the book back!

  4. "She gives several examples of an arena course designed to give a horse a full workout. Specific dressage exercises and the "why's" are also described"

    Mel can you give me a few specifics on these? Thanks :)


  5. EG - sure! I'm rereading the section now before giving the book back to Jaime. There's enough information that I'll post it as a seperate part the beginning of next week.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.