Training Cycle: Increase the breathing rate of your horse

Watch the video: Do you work your horse hard enough to raise his breathing rate? If you want better results maybe you should.

Using a training cycle means that you, the rider, has an overall plan. This plan involves having some days that are harder than others. Often times if the rider doesn’t make this plan…the horse will by becoming difficult. Many horses would improve if they had some more challenging rides where they were required to work hard enough to raise their breathing rate. Several hard workouts makes both the horse and the rider appreciate the ‘easier’ days.

The concept of cycles applies not only to individual workouts, but to overall training plans over weeks and months.  For example, pertaining to a weekly plan, Monday will be an easier day than Tuesday, Wednesday.  And Thursday may be the peak of the week, and Friday will be easier — similar to Monday or Tuesday. The weekend can be used as recovery time, as time needs to be allowed for the body to rest and rebuild.

Training cycle with horses

On an even bigger scale, looking at a month or several months, the training should have cycles in which week one is easier than week two, three and four but then week five might head back down the scale.

A horse that is ridden several times a week, with a routine that never changes, will often become more difficult because they have reached a level of fitness and are not being challenged either physically or mentally.



  1. Erin Applegate on May 13, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    What would you suggest to do with training cycles when life happens and changes your plans? Example if I’m using the weekly schedule you suggested and Tuesday I cannot work the horse. Do you change the plan that week? Or continue the rest as normal? Just curious as to what is best for training purposes. Thank you.

    • Stacy Westfall on May 18, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      It really depends on the intensity and type of plan. Sometimes if I think that day can be skipped…I might keep moving.

      If it doesn’t work out the way I guessed it would, then next time I would try something different. Maybe repeating Monday’s work again and not getting quite as much done.
      Half the work is making the plan, the other half is learning how to adjust it.

  2. […] time can cause as many problems as light all the time. I have written several blogs on the idea (Training Cycle: Breathing, Training Cycles: Who’s making decisions?, Jac Video on Training […]

  3. […] Training Cycle: Increase the breathing rate of your horse […]

  4. Sharon Hill on May 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    How do you work shows into the cycle?

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