Spring Guide

Griffin Equestrian Spring Guide

Spring is here and so is our Griffin Guide to bringing your horse into work and getting your tack ready for the new season.


Bringing Your Horse Into Work

There is a variety of ways to bring your horse into work, after a winter break. Here at Griffin Equestrian, we do things a little differently. Our horses are turned out 24/7, a daily schooling ride is 45minutes and a long ride is a 2hour trek on the weekend.


So here is our 10-week plan to bring our horses into work:


Week 0: Start a routine & check your gear
Bring your horse in regularly for a groom, this will get them back into a routine and help you identify any issues that might have arisen over winter, such as weight gain or loss, skin issues, behavioural issues etc.

Check their groundwork. Can your horse back-up from a voice que or light aid? Can they quarter yield? Can they “park” while you take several steps away? Your horse’s groundwork doesn’t have to be perfect at first, but it is nice to know where each horse is at and work on it.

This is also a great opportunity to check your gear, is everything ready to use or do you need to stock up on any supplies?


Week 1: Walk in hand 10mins
Lunging can be hard on your horses’ joints. So, I start my horse’s fitness plan by walking them in hand, in straight lines on a hard, level surface (a quiet road is ideal) as this will help to strengthen the legs.


Week 2: Walk under saddle 15mins
If your horse is feeling fresh, begin in a safe area. For example, a round pen, arena or paddock before progressing to riding on a hard, level road.


Week 3: 5 mins Trotting + 15 mins walk
Start with 30 seconds of trotting for every five minutes of walking. Try to trot in straight lines at first, and don’t pick the horse up too much. Introduce hill work at walk. Practice halt and rein back under saddle.


Week 4: 6-10 mins trotting + 20 mins walk
Introduce lunge work, gentle arena schooling and trotting poles. Max 20 mins of arena work.


Week 5: 10 min trot + 20 mins walk + 5 mins canter
Introduce canter work out of the saddle, riding in big circles to start with. Introduce easier lateral work, such as leg yield and shoulder in.


Week 6 and 7: 10 min trot + 20 mins walk + 10 mins canter
Start basic schooling including pole work and lengthening or shortening strides. Introduce hill work.


Week 8 and 9: Jumps and schooling 45 mins
Introduce some faster canter work when hacking out, and possibly even controlled galloping. Canter them up hills from time to time to help build strength and stamina. For arena work, Max 30 mins.

Assuming your horse has been doing canter work for around four weeks by this stage, both you and your horse should be strong and fit enough to take on some jumping. Keep it nice and low to start with, and make sure your horse is warmed up properly before you attempt the first jump at trot.


Week 10: You are now ready for your first competition!



Getting your tack ready for the new season

Did you clean and store you tack nicely at the end of winter? No? Okay, so let’s sort that! 

Properly cleaning and conditioning your leather tack will extend its lifespan and ensure that it does not become dry or cracked.


STEP 1: Let’s clean that tack!

The CDM Belvoir Tack Cleaner is my go-to product to clean leather. Simply shake, spray and wipe clean. It will remove all grease, sweat, dirt, dust, mould and mildew from your tack.

If your tack is really bad…leave it on for 5 minutes before wiping it clean.

Bonus points – it has an antifungal formular that will prevent the growth of mildew or mould and it can also be used on synthetic tack!


STEP 2: Let’s condition that leather tack!

We have a few options here, so pick the one that suits you and your tack:

  • For a shiny finish: Choose the CDM Belvoir Tack Conditioner spray to condition and protect your leather tack. Simply shake, spray and rub on, then let it dry. Once it’s dry, use a dry cloth to polish it.
  • For a matte finish: Choose the CDM Brecknall Turner Leather Conditioning Soap. This comes with a sponge, wet it first before applying the product and rubbing it into your leather tack. Once it’s dry, buff it off with a dry cloth.
  • For dry or cracked leather: Choose CDM Belvoir Leather Balsam for a more intensive conditioner that will add a brilliant shine. If you ride in the rain often, this is the product you need! Use the sponge it comes with to apply, then leave for 10 minutes before wiping with a dry cloth.
  • For excessively dry, cracked or brittle leather: Choose CDM Carrs Leather Oil. It will condition, protect and waterproof your leather boots, tack or harness gear. Simply apply the oil liberally with a cloth or brush to clean dry leather.


If tack is not going to be used for some time, it should be carefully stored to preserve its condition. CDM KO-CHO-Line Leather Dressing is a specially formulated conditioner which protects leather from drying or cracking and metal from rusting when in storage. Store your leather gear in a bridle/saddle bag or clear plastic sealed container for easy identification.

Done! Your tack is now clean and ready to use or store away for another day!



1 comment

I absolutely love this!! I am 100% using this for bringing Storm back into work! I have started walking and I am going to go from there!! Amazing job Sophie ❤️

Anna Hughes September 19, 2022

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