So Laura @ Littlekeebler asked for advice on conditioning...
I'm afraid it's a field I have relatively limited knowledge on. To be honest, I haven't thought much on or practiced much in the way of a genuine conditioning program.
The last couple of years, it has become something that I have tried to learn more about and last fall it was definitely something I felt I needed to work on with Moon.
For the first time in a long time, I have a solidly broke, no issues, competitive horse.
The first thing that came to my mind, when I finally got that good run on Moon was...
I have spent the majority of my equestrian years starting colts and training or retraining horses for competition. When they got to a certain level, they were usually off to their own home or to a new home. The thrill of horses for me has always been bringing horses from nothing to something. When they got good or as good as they were going to get, it was time to move them on.
Now, I find myself as one of those people who is going to go on with one, so I have to learn what it takes to keep a competitive horse competitive and maybe even help them improve even more.
However, I'm a couple of months away from having to really focus on a competitive conditioning program. Right now, like everyone else who is coming out of winter months, I simply have soft, out-of-condition horses that I need to work slowly back into a semblance of shape.
Thankfully, Frosty(the buckskin) is the only one who is ridiculous. Moon actually looks pretty darn good. I swear that horse is still growing. He's 12 this year and looks incredible. Talk about a late bloomer huh?
I suspect all of the horses I plan on bringing from SD, except for long, tall and naturally lean VooDoo, are at least as thick as Frosty is at the moment.
So what to do with fat, soft horses?
You all share what you do, while I try to put my very simple thoughts into more words than, "Ride 'em". ;-)