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60-Day Back-to-Work Schedule

Horses are extremely athletic animals. However, like people, horses must improve their level of fitness to accommodate a heavier work load. Bones, ligaments, and muscles all remodel and strengthen during increased exercise. If the level of exercise exceeds the level of fitness, injury will occur. Therefore, it is very important that we allow time for our horses to respond and adapt sufficiently to increased exercise, particularly following a prolonged period of rest.


We have prepared a schedule that is designed to increase your horse’s level of fitness over an 8-week period. This way, your horse will increase fitness gradually, allowing ample time for appropriate tissue remodeling.

Please note that unsupervised turnout is considered MAXIMUM exercise and should be avoided until the back-to-work protocol has been completed.

Please note certain "rules" when following this schedule:

  • Any activity performed on a previous day is permitted for the scheduled day.
  • Do not skip days!
  • Carefully assess your horse’s soundness each day prior to exercising.
  • If any unsoundness is detected, place your horse in a stall and call your veterinarian.

DAY 0:
Last day of rest


DAY 1-3:
Tack walk (under saddle) on a flat surface (straight line, uncollected) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 4-5:
Tack walk on a flat surface (straight line, collected) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 6-7: Tack walk (any surface, collected) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 8-10: Long-line trot (no rider) for 10 minutes in each direction once daily


DAY 11-14: Light trotting (under saddle) on a flat surface (uncollected, straight line) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 15-18: Light trotting on a flat surface (collected, straight line) for 20 minutes once daily


DAY 19-21: Light trotting on a flat surface (collected, any direction) for 20 minutes once daily


DAY 22-30: Trot on a flat surface (collected, any direction) for 30 minutes once or twice daily


DAY 31-34: Canter lightly on a flat surface (uncollected, straight line) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 35-37: Canter lightly on a flat surface (collected, straight line) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 38-40: Trot on any surface (collected, any direction) for 30 minutes once daily


DAY 41-44: Canter lightly on a flat surface (collected, any direction) for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 45-48: Canter on a flat surface (collected, any direction) for 30 minutes once daily


DAY 49-51: Canter on any surface (collected, any direction) for 20 minutes once daily


DAY 52-56: Light jumping (≤ 2' 6") for 15 minutes once daily


DAY 56-60: Light jumping (≤ 2' 6") for 30 minutes once daily


DAY 61: Resume normal work regimen.

If you would like any more information pertaining to your horse and/or a specific injury, please ask one of our staff. We will be glad to help you in any way that we can.

THE ATLANTA EQUINE CLINIC: 1665 Ward Road, Hoschton, Georgia 30548 - ph. 678-867-2577

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