Lingfield Equine Vets have organised 2 fitness days this year using the superb facilities available at Lingfield Park Racecourse, not least the exclusive use for the day of the stunning all weather racetrack.
Due to the kind sponsorship of both Boehringer Ingelheim and Saracen feeds as well as generous rates for use of the Lingfield Park facilities, participants were able to enjoy excellent training from Maggie Pattinson and the first class surface provided by the track at a very nominal rate.
In addition to an hour’s session on the track with Maggie in groups of 4 people, all horses were weighed before and after their sessions, losing a surprising amount of weight in some cases.
Jo Woodman from Lingfield Equine Vets was present all day for further advice on fitness training and on all veterinary issues and we had information sheets on cooling and use of electrolytes.
Representatives from Boehringer were there to talk about Equitop Myoplast - for building muscle, and from Saracens to talk about feeding and to provide some free samples.
We had a huge range of horses of all shapes and sizes, ranging from 80km fit endurance horses to Olga the Ardenne and 2 carriage horses in the first clinic, and, in the second clinic, fit event horses, a very fit 12.2 pony club pony through to a dressage horse, in rehab work just starting her canter again, and a novice rider on a very green Highland pony.
Everyone had a great time with each session tailored to the needs of the group and each group doing different exercises according to what Maggie felt would be most helpful for them.
The horses all enjoyed working on such a beautiful surface and went better and better the more they did, as they gained confidence. Despite some riders’ concerns about the horses becoming over excited, they all behaved very well, as if they knew running away was a fruitless exercise!
For those who wanted to, there was an opportunity at the end to really open their horses up with a gallop - for some the first time they had been able to do this.
Heart rate monitors helped to show how well horses were recovering and often horses were fitter than their owners gave them credit for!
At least one rider commented after all Maggie's exercises that her horse was much fitter than she expected but that her own fitness was sadly lacking.
Maggie's exercises made everyone work very hard, made them concentrate and gave them all something to think about and take home.
Some of those who came to the first clinic enjoyed it so much they came again and we have already had calls for more repeats next year.
We had other comments on Facebook and on the days about how much everyone enjoyed themselves - the horses really love it too - they come back from their session with a big smile on their faces!
Jo Woodman, Lingfield Equine Vets.
Sophie Ignarski - Boehringer Ingelheim, sponsors of Maggie's fee for both fitness clinics, said after the first one.
. “I’m glad the day was a success, it seemed to go fantastically well from what I saw and experienced. Great to get such a diverse group of riders/horses together and provide such great quality training for them – other practices should be inspired by such an event I think!”
Local Rider Magazine reported:
For links to companies who we worked with on these days, visit our Links page: Links
R.McCourt - Mongol Derby 2014
I think Maggie was fairly horrified when I arrived at her yard with nothing more than a bit of polo experience, a Derby golden ticket and totally unable to tack up...
Fast forward a year and I was a different person. I didn't win the Derby, but I had a wonderful time, finished the race, loved the horses, loved the country and didn't have a bad experience at any point. I owe this in large part to Maggie, who taught me how to relax and let the horse run. It sounds so easy but believe me, on a half wild horse in the middle of nowhere just how much fun I had is a real testament to Maggie's methods and approach.
With Love from Charlie and Josie
When I first reached out to Maggie I thought my dream of a wonderful horsey life was over and would need to give up horses from fear. My beautiful mare and I were terrified of each other, and after one of those classic experiences when out for a hack with some other people she had “tanked off” at full pelt gallop for over 1/2mile I was terrified to get back on. The day Maggie arrived at my yard to meet my mare and I and watch me ride she put me completely at ease, even if I would not step out of walk with her! It has been one hell of journey that I am delighted to say has transformed my horsey life. Maggie has been by my side every step of the way, celebrating every triumph and building an unbreakable bond between my mare and I. I look at what we have achieved since that day three years ago: competed at Endurance rides, days out at pleasure rides on our own (and under control!), weekends away jumping training and I am astonished.
Maggie has helped me build confidence in myself as a rider and at my horsemanship, taught me how to listen to my beautiful mare and provided invaluable advice and friendship along the way. Gentle nudges out of my comfort zone has enabled me to achieve more than I ever thought I could, and always the right amount at the right time. On top of this, when the chips were down and my mare needed surgery, Maggie took care of my darling girl in rehab to the highest possible standard and I will forever be grateful. Now I have three beautiful girls and a a thoroughly enjoyable hobby and passion, plus a friend for life in Maggie.
Report of Ridgeway Barbury 100K ER by Sarah Ewart on Flecky
If we can do it anyone can...
Well picture this: rider very nervous of fairly excitable arab horse who is not very fit and does not use himself properly at all... fast forward 4 months to a fifth place in a 100K endurance ride at Barbury! How did we do that, you may well wonder?
I must give great credit to Maggie Pattinson from "On the Hoof" training, with whom I had a go at a gallops interval training session earlier in the year. I immediately liked Maggie as she
obviously knows how to train horses as well as riders, but has a great way of increasing confidence too. She also has a great sense of fun! I started employing her after that interval session and it
was amazing to see Flecky change shape, muscle up and start using those muscles. Meanwhile Maggie massively improved my riding position (still a long way to go there!) Credit also to physio Lorna
Skinner, who straightened up Flecky brilliantly....he now has regular sessions with Lorna.
Maggie tailors her training to the agreed objective... which in my case was doing an ER on Flecky. I have done a few of these on my older horse, Menos, but only up to 80K and not generally very well. My first challenge was to do an EGB ride on my own on Flecky, as I had got him to advanced by riding with EGB friends (Sue Henry and Jane Greatorex in particular). The solo ride went much better than I expected, and the penny started to drop that if Maggie says we can manage something, we can!! After that, we built more distance, up to 65km. Then one day Maggie said "how about this objective of doing an ER then". Despite my feelings of panic, as I had thought we would attempt this next year, I felt very excited... could we really do it? I followed Maggies instructions to a tee: we did about 5 special interval training sessions on gallops/ hills.
Race day dawned and I was nervous as hell, but a bit numb as I had to get up at 3am! Bless him, my non-horsey other half came with me to help drive home, and the very capable Mid-South member Pauline Higgs kindly did crewing for me. She was also helped by Hilary Weaver, who was in charge on the Inter-Regional team (which I was part of). So after warming up off we all went: not a mad start at all, thank goodness. The first 40K loop was quick enough though given its a tough hilly route: 20km/ hr. The following three loops everyone was more spread out so the pace dropped off a bit. The final 16K loop had an enormous hill at the start, and both Flecky and I felt tired that one round. But he still managed a good canter up the mile of grass gallops to the end. I was so proud of him as we crossed that finish line, but had to concentrate to get him ready for his 5th and final vetting, with massive help from Pauline. It is a very comprehensive vetting for ERs, and for the final trot up 3 vets watch then cast a ballot. You can imagine my relief when he passed, and even greater delight when I learnt he got placed (especially as the ones ahead were far more experienced riders/ horses).
So come on everyone...if we can do this what's stopping you?! This is one of the best achievements of my life! Whatever you would like to achieve is possible with some effort, so give it a go!
On the Hoof Distance Training
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