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Date Posted: 20:05:34 10/13/10 Wed
Author: Amerins
Subject: Keuring
In reply to: Eros 's message, "Update" on 17:29:58 10/08/10 Fri

Congrats on your Friesian, glad you are enjoying her!

When we train them for the Keuring, we like to stop riding them for a while and just work in hand. I usually start about 3 months in advance, some horses need more time, it doesn't hurt to start sooner.
I lunge them in side reins that are not to short, you want to keep the nose on or slightly in front of the vertical. ( I don't use actual reins, I use a piece of nylon rope that I run from the sides of the surcingle, through the bit, then through the ring between the front legs, through the other bitring, and then to the surcingle on that side. That way they can bring their head up or down, but they can't make themselves long and flat.)
Anyways, I lunge them in a lower position to start off, after a couple of weeks, as they grow stronger, I gradually start attaching the side reins a bit higher. I want the neck to come up out of the withers and arch, without the horse dropping it's back.
I also use the longlines, and lunge them with those in the arena, working on transitions within the trot. I will collect them a bit on a smaller volte in a corner, en as soon as they are in balance and soft, I let them go straight onto the long side and extend the trot. As soon as the trot starts to fall apart, I get back on my circle and re-balance the horse. This teaches them to balance on their hindquarters, and they will start to take more weight behind, meaning the frontlegs will be able to move out further.
In the last 6 to 8 weeks I also start using weighted boots, to strenghten the hindquarters. Be careful not to use these on an unconditioned horse though, and never use them for long periods of time. It is like weightlifting for the horse. Don't use very heavy ones either.
As far as my training schedule, I train them in the trot every other day, switching between longlining (developing thrusting power) and lunging (developing muscle tone). The other days, they go on the hotwalker to train the walk.
If possible, it is probably a good idea to practise standing her up a couple of times, and teach her to stand still. Also, if you can practise the actual running with the person that will be showing her, that will help. If not, run her a couple of times yourself, so you (and her) know what to expect, and you can tell the runner.

The other important things, are that ours are not turned out. They are rinsed off every day after working to keep them as black as possible. I braid the mane as well.
The feeding is very important too. You want them lean but muscled up, absolutely not fat!!
Feed a higher energy feed and less hay close before the keuring, keep bloating to a minimum.

That's about all I can tell you, it's just how we do it but it seems to work. Hope it helps you :)

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