Why do we need to condition our horses? To build stamina and reduce injury risk.

Have your veterinarian confirm your horse is healthy and sound for work. Have your farrier check his feet.

Workload Levels

  • Light: 1-3 hours of riding per week
  • Moderate: 3-5 hours with some skill work
  • Heavy: 4-5 hours with substantial skill work
  • Very Heavy: 6-12 hours

Know our horse’s normal temperature, pulse and respiration. Check these before and after exercise to determine fitness.

Normal Temperature – Heart Rate – Respiratory Rate

  • Temperature – 98-101° F
  • Heart Rate – 32-40 BPM
  • Respiratory Rate – 8-20 Breaths per minute

Max Recommendations:

  • Temperature – > 103° F
  • Heart Rate – >200 BPM during moderate exercise
  • Respiratory Rate – 80-100 breaths per minute

Just like in humans your horses heart rate after exercise returns to normal faster as your horse becomes fitter.

Start with frequent, short, low-intensity workouts to prevent injuries, and increase duration and intensity gradually, especially if your horse is under- or overweight.

Warm your horse up slowly. Cool him down after work with hand-walking, hosing and fans.



  • The Horse