Mireille den Hoed

Mireille den Hoed, Sport horse Great George

The Challenge

Training the condition, strength, and riding skills of a young horse correctly without under- or overloading it. I am an experienced dressage rider who relies on intuition. For many horses, this was sufficient, but with Great George, I didn’t know what to do. He was tired quickly, and made no improvements. I attended a lecture by Dr. Carolien Munsters at the KNHS. When I decided to seek help for my sport horse, I contacted her.

The Approach

The first step was a comprehensive fitness test. The test revealed that Great George was insufficiently trained. Carolien tailored a training program for a period of three months. Each day, I knew exactly what I had to do. I bought a heart rate monitor and followed the schedule exactly. At first, I found it difficult and contradictory. In my opinion, my horse was not yet ready for certain riding skills. Normally, I would only introduce these later in the training program. I trusted Carolien completely and stuck to the schedule. Fortunately, because in a short time, I saw Great George’s results improve. He became faster, stronger, and started enduring the training sessions more easily. He also mastered certain riding skills that I hadn’t trained with him before.

The Insight

Without Carolien’s advice, I would not have gotten my horse in shape so quickly. Thanks to the measurements, I have insight into my horse’s physical capabilities. I now have insight in the physical features of my horse. I know how I can target my training, for example how I can work on improving his strength or endurance. After the first program, I continued to train Great George with the heart rate monitor. I always look forward to Carolien’s feedback. It’s a great moment to compare my intuition with obtained measurements. It provides a better and complete picture of the training and how my horse responds to it.

The Result

Without Equine Integration, I would never have trained in this way. As a dressage rider, I step out of my comfort zone and train based on measurements instead of intuition. It was difficult at first, but now I find it great. This is the best way to train for Great George. His condition has improved rapidly, he is stronger, and he masters the desired riding skills.