The Benefits of Cross Training

Although my horse’s main job is running barrels, I like to spice things up every now and then by cross training with him. I think it helps horses stay more interested in you riding them and also helps them develop strengthphoto (26) in other areas of their body that could be useful in our main discipline. Now you might ask, what is cross training? Cross training is just simply exercising the cardiovascular system in a different way than training for the main discipline. Since my horse’s job is to run fast and turn hard I like to work on slow work or patterns to get him thinking. Ultimately I would like for him to be able to work a cow, this lets him think about doing his job without me having to pick on him all the time with my cues, and also makes him control his speed to match the cow and not just run off and leave the cow behind. I also like to work on dressage moves with my horse. This helps with his strength, coordination, and overall balance as well as collection.  So even if you are a western rider the benefits of going English one day a week or a few times a month or vice versa can help your horse be more interested in you as a rider because he doesn’t always know what to expect, as well as make him a better horse because he is a more versatile horse.

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