Hylofit Training Club Week 2: Gradual Build

Welcome to Week 2 of the Hylofit Training Club! We hope you got off to a strong start in Week 1, collecting Baseline measurements and doing a check-in with your horse. 

If you missed Week 1 or are just starting out, don't worry! You can catch Week 1's plan right here. 

Olympic show jumping rider Margie Engle, when asked about what the key is to success with riding, says that the most important element of riding is the relationship you have with your horse. The stronger you can make that relationship, the more goals you can achieve and the happier your horse will be. 

Strong, lasting relationships take time. You should never rush fitness or training. This is why we’ve designed the Hylofit Training Club to build gradually, over the course of a few weeks.

Each horse is an individual, so as you progress through each week’s training plan, pay close attention to how your horse responds. Watch his heart rate recovery — is his heart rate taking longer than two minutes to come back down under 100 bpm after your exercise is finished? Is he more tired or sore than usual? Factor these in and use the Notes element of the Hylofit app to make note of anything unusual or remarkable.

In Week 2, we’re adding just one minute of time to each part of the ride. The idea is to build strength over time with gradual increases in intensity. 

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This concept is similar to the idea of “progressive overload” that weightlifters use. Simply put, this term just means that the weightlifter adds more weight over time in order to build strength, adding on to their base of strength each week. This is what you’re doing with these training plans. 

Here are some things to remember during your Training Club rides:

Go Forward: These rides are intended to be ridden at a nice, forward pace. Your horse should be into the bridle, pushing through from his hind end. If he’s shuffling his feet or losing his canter, he will not see the same benefit from a fitness standpoint. 

Change Direction: Don’t just mosey along on the rail during the entire ride! Keep things interesting; work in some serpentine loops, circles, and changes of direction to keep your horse in tune to your aids. 

Work On You, Too: These sets should be practice for you, too! Practice your two-point or half-seat if you’re a jumping rider or drop your stirrups for a portion of the ride. Use your core to stay light on your horse’s back, allowing the back to come up and round as your horse uses his hind end to push forward. Don’t forget your rider heart monitor!

Weekly Exercise: Get on a two- or three-loop serpentine in your arena or riding area. Drop your stirrups or practice two-point/half-seat on the straight parts of the loop, then resume sitting or posting in your turns. The frequency of changing your position will keep you aware of your body and how your balance affects that of your horse. 

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