It's no secret that I believe more training OUTSIDE on trails and in new environments actually yields better results INSIDE the arena, and doing hill work with my horses is quite possibly one of my favorite training exercises.
When done in-hand, not only does it condition my horse, but it also conditions me as a rider. Every rider should strive to be in top physical condition because a stronger rider is also a more balanced rider and a more stable "package" for your horse to carry.
I would like to challenge anyone who reads this to start incorporating at least one day a week to trotting hills with your horses (weather permitting of course - running hills in wet footing is never safe). Even just 15 minutes of hill work can prove more valuable than 45 minutes of arena work because it challenges your horse to utilize different muscles, and it is great for your horse's brain and overall well being.
By Kyle Rothfus
This blog is dedicated to providing insight about OTTB re-training, Thoroughbred pedigrees and general equine care. You can also track the progress of horses I have for sale through posts here.