Remarkably enough, the intensity of the training isn’t really important for the increase of the VO2max.
Two groups of horses were trained with different intensities. One group did mostly work in trot and the other group did more intensive work in canter.
Still, the improvement in the VO2max in both groups was the same. Of course has the harder training more effect on the other processes in the body.
Process 3, support of the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles, takes a lot longer
As you might expect, the improvement of the strength and/or length of the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles does take a lot longer, four to six months.
So it might be that the fitness is already really improved and that your horse, based on that, is able to handle a heavier workout, but the supporting parts of the body still can’t handle that amount of training and the risk of injuries increases.
And that is of course the point where it often goes wrong.
It seems like your horse can handle it, but the supporting parts aren’t strong enough.
Unfortunately this is very hard for us to monitor. But realize that it might take four to six months and that checking the legs on a daily basis can prevent overloading.
Besides that it is also good to realize that the older the horse is, the longer it takes before the supporting parts are strong enough.
Try, evaluate and adjust
The results from the researches can give us guidelines for the training schedule that we are creating for our horse. But we always have remember that every horse is different and that we need to create a seperate training schedule each individual horse.
And as a personal trainer of your horse does that mean you have to try, evaluate, adjust and try again, untill you know what fits your horse.