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Discuss How to fit a Halter Horse? at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

Hi Everyone! Im going to be fitting and showing A coming 3 y/o Halter Filly ...
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    Full Member RKshowhorses's Avatar
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    How to fit a Halter Horse?

    Hi Everyone! Im going to be fitting and showing A coming 3 y/o Halter Filly (you can look her up on allbreedpedigree.com her name is "Dont touch my Barbie" And this will be my first time at it, I have always Showed western pleasure, Reining, HUS, and showmanship And now time to expand my horizons and try halter! Woo!!! Anywho, Im looking for Hints, Tips and most importantly, What is your Fitting Schedual/ Daily Routine? Thanks!!!!!

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    Senior Member+ Austinngirl's Avatar
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    I read an interesting article a while ago, an interview of the trainer of a major halter horse barn. They made sure the schedule was the exact same everyday. Part of the fitness schedule was excersise being ponied off a golf cart, and being sweat in the barn for a certain amount of time, then fed.. or something like that...

    Sorry, that all i remember. LOL
    Dream big and dare to fail. <3

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    Full Member RKshowhorses's Avatar
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    Hmmmm... Aybody else got anything??

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    I owned a dun gelding that did all-around with, including halter. The last year I showed him I got him super fit for halter. He was worked every other day at the long trot....LOTS of long trotting with a neck sweat, then stall tied for about 1/2 an hour. I also did some backing on the ground to build up his hip muscles more. On the off days we worked on setting up, trotting out etc...but I also showed him in Showmanship so it suited a dual purpose.
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    I use our four wheeler-atv to ponie for about 30 minutes, with sweats on. Mainly fast walking and long trotting. I would then let my young horse stand ties with sweats on for 30 minutes. I always practice setting up /squaring up first thing. Then at the end of the work out I work on squaring up again.

    I am a big beliver in ending with on a positive note. I belive in giving praise to my horse and rewarding when they try or do what I am asking of them.

    I then wash my horse with plain water, rinsing off legs and then then neck area. I usually will hand walk then around for 5-10 minutes afterwards, braid tail, and redress the horse with the sheet. Just spend a little time with them.
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    Full Member RKshowhorses's Avatar
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    What did you guys feed when you were fitting?

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    Buuuummmmppppp
    Last edited by RKshowhorses; 01-01-2012 at 03:12 PM.

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    I'm just guessing your still looking for information on this, so I'll add what my trainer has instructed me to do at this point. I just got my first halter horse back in November, AQHA World Show Sale baby! She's (now) 3 year old AQHA filly, with 3.5 points that she got as a yearling, then got her 2 year old year off. I'm keeping her at home, as I can't afford boarding her at a place with an indoor, but it's going great so far.

    Keep in mind: my mare is just under 15.3hh and has good mass to her. She's also got awesome legs, but we still keep an eye on her to make sure everything is working for her.

    So here's what I've been doing so far:

    Feed routine:
    When we got her home, she was started on half a coffee can of Purina Ultium and half a can of whole oats 2x a day. Plus she was getting about 2 ounces of oil per day.
    Now that I've started real fitting on her, she's getting 1 coffee can of Ultium and 1 can of whole oats 2x a day. Along with the oil.
    As soon as our supplier gets some in, she'll be getting DAC Orange and DAC oil. It's what my trainer uses on his halter horses as a vitamin and coat conditioner. Makes a HUGE difference. I'll probably give it to my pleasure horse too.

    She's also getting ~2 flakes of 2nd cutting alfalfa twice a day, with her grain. If she doesn't clean up more than half of her hay at dinner time, I'll check her later in the evening and give her more then. Otherwise, she just makes a giant bed of it.

    Now on to the fun stuff!

    Exercise:
    To start with, I rub her down, really well. Get one of the harder rubber curry combs, and get used to your arms being sore! They work the best at taking hair off, and you'll work arm muscles you didn't know you had! I've gotten to the point where 1 lasts me about a week and a half-on one horse. They aren't getting broken, just worn out. Then I brush out her mane and tail, and run her over with a SOFT body brush. You'll need to do this every day, before and after you work her.

    Right off, I'll let you know, I'm ponying. It's a lot easier on them, and they build more muscle on the flat. Plus, it's more fun and exercise for me. If you pony, you only need to go one direction, if you lunge, you need to split your time and do equal time periods each way, say 10 minutes max each direction. When I first started ponying her, we did about 15 minutes(she was already in shape from lunging). 3 weeks into it, we're at 20 minutes of long trotting and jogging and we won't be extending that anymore. 20 minutes is the optimal time for fitting, without overworking them. Focus on long trotting and jogging. Loping doesn't build as much muscle and burns more fat. If she needs some work on her topline, then do some loping, but not a lot!

    After we finish ponying (or lunging, when I'm short on time). I back her up about one lap around our pasture, to build hip and back muscles. After we finish that, we practice trotting and setting up. I stay at a walk, but have her job beside me. I use a chain while I pony and while I practice. For ponying, it's looped around her nose, and for practice, it's under her chin, just like it will be when I show.

    When we're completely finished with exercise and practice, we go back to the barn, and she gets tied in her stall for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to cool down. I'm not sweating her at this point, but once that begins, she'll stand for at least a half an hour. While she stands, I clean her stall, mix her grain, etc. After she's done standing, I rub her down again, and put all her blankets back on.

    Miscellaneous: In order to get a show coat on your mare, she needs to be under lights for 16 hours, in order to trick her into shedding. Lady has a clear 200 watt bulb that is on from 6pm to 10am. Works like a charm, and she's dumping hair. Please keep in mind: This is what is currently working for my mare. Every horse is going to be different, and you have to adjust them accordingly. If your mare is a bit small than mine, you probably won't want to feed her as much. You'll have to adjust as you go along. Just start slow and try different things, until you figure out what works for you.

  9. #9
    Full Member RKshowhorses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kels View Post
    I'm just guessing your still looking for information on this, so I'll add what my trainer has instructed me to do at this point. I just got my first halter horse back in November, AQHA World Show Sale baby! She's (now) 3 year old AQHA filly, with 3.5 points that she got as a yearling, then got her 2 year old year off. I'm keeping her at home, as I can't afford boarding her at a place with an indoor, but it's going great so far.

    Keep in mind: my mare is just under 15.3hh and has good mass to her. She's also got awesome legs, but we still keep an eye on her to make sure everything is working for her.

    So here's what I've been doing so far:

    Feed routine:
    When we got her home, she was started on half a coffee can of Purina Ultium and half a can of whole oats 2x a day. Plus she was getting about 2 ounces of oil per day.
    Now that I've started real fitting on her, she's getting 1 coffee can of Ultium and 1 can of whole oats 2x a day. Along with the oil.
    As soon as our supplier gets some in, she'll be getting DAC Orange and DAC oil. It's what my trainer uses on his halter horses as a vitamin and coat conditioner. Makes a HUGE difference. I'll probably give it to my pleasure horse too.

    She's also getting ~2 flakes of 2nd cutting alfalfa twice a day, with her grain. If she doesn't clean up more than half of her hay at dinner time, I'll check her later in the evening and give her more then. Otherwise, she just makes a giant bed of it.

    Now on to the fun stuff!

    Exercise:
    To start with, I rub her down, really well. Get one of the harder rubber curry combs, and get used to your arms being sore! They work the best at taking hair off, and you'll work arm muscles you didn't know you had! I've gotten to the point where 1 lasts me about a week and a half-on one horse. They aren't getting broken, just worn out. Then I brush out her mane and tail, and run her over with a SOFT body brush. You'll need to do this every day, before and after you work her.

    Right off, I'll let you know, I'm ponying. It's a lot easier on them, and they build more muscle on the flat. Plus, it's more fun and exercise for me. If you pony, you only need to go one direction, if you lunge, you need to split your time and do equal time periods each way, say 10 minutes max each direction. When I first started ponying her, we did about 15 minutes(she was already in shape from lunging). 3 weeks into it, we're at 20 minutes of long trotting and jogging and we won't be extending that anymore. 20 minutes is the optimal time for fitting, without overworking them. Focus on long trotting and jogging. Loping doesn't build as much muscle and burns more fat. If she needs some work on her topline, then do some loping, but not a lot!

    After we finish ponying (or lunging, when I'm short on time). I back her up about one lap around our pasture, to build hip and back muscles. After we finish that, we practice trotting and setting up. I stay at a walk, but have her job beside me. I use a chain while I pony and while I practice. For ponying, it's looped around her nose, and for practice, it's under her chin, just like it will be when I show.

    When we're completely finished with exercise and practice, we go back to the barn, and she gets tied in her stall for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to cool down. I'm not sweating her at this point, but once that begins, she'll stand for at least a half an hour. While she stands, I clean her stall, mix her grain, etc. After she's done standing, I rub her down again, and put all her blankets back on.

    Miscellaneous: In order to get a show coat on your mare, she needs to be under lights for 16 hours, in order to trick her into shedding. Lady has a clear 200 watt bulb that is on from 6pm to 10am. Works like a charm, and she's dumping hair. Please keep in mind: This is what is currently working for my mare. Every horse is going to be different, and you have to adjust them accordingly. If your mare is a bit small than mine, you probably won't want to feed her as much. You'll have to adjust as you go along. Just start slow and try different things, until you figure out what works for you.
    Wow thanks so much!! you've been really helpful!! Im gunna wrie this all down!! Thanks!
    This is her pre-fiting, and all wooly!
    And now for our mantra:
    ohmmmm-just-because-it-has-a-uterus-doesn’t-mean-it-needs-a-baby-ohhmmm

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    No problem! I hope it helps!

    Also, I just noticed that you are in Canada...From what I've heard, Purina doesn't stock Ultium in Canada (I could very well be wrong). Nutrena makes 2 different products: XTN and Empower. XTN is very similar to Ultium and I *think* is fed at about the same ratios at Ultium, but always double check the bag. Empower is a little different. I feed my Arab Quarter Horse X mare Empower Boost, with her oats in the winter, to for some extra fat, as she doesn't get very fuzzy, and can use the extra calories. Empower is a rice bran product, and you don't have to feed very large quantities. It's also a complete feed, so it shouldn't need any extra supplements. Depending on the size of your mare, and what the bag says, I'd say she'll probably need maybe 2 pounds of Empower per day, along with oats.

    Also, feeding halter horses is expensive! But if it's something you really want to do, you have to keep up on the feed, or they won't be competitive.
    RKshowhorses likes this.

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