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TRAINER'S TIP - Spring 2012

Trainer's Tip:  Barend Heilbron

Question: Since you live and train year round in southern New Hampshire, USA which is a cold climate in the winter, will you offer your comments and guidelines on  training and maintaining a fitness level for horses during cold weather conditions?

Answer: I continue my normal training. There is a very slight difference in the progression of their training program during the three winter months. Essentially, there should be no difference from summer, fall to winter. Here are some of the simple, common sense guidelines I use for training in the cold winter months:

1. If the temperature is below 18-20 degree’s I don’t ride. It is too cold for me, and too cold for the horse! So, if we are both too cold, we will not accomplish anything.

2. Maintain the basics and a progressive training program weather permitting.

3. If I have several days off in a row due to weather temperature etc. I adjust the level of exercises in the horse’s training to reflect the lack of work for several days. I primarily do this to prevent an injury such as a muscle pull.

4. During the cold temperatures, warm up slowly. For instance, walk the horse for 10 minutes to warm up the joints and muscles before beginning your work.

5. Do not be afraid to take a brake. A little brake is good for both horse and rider. If the basics and training is established, the horse will pick up where you left off.

6. And finally, the horse should be prepared at all times to go into competition at the level of his education and fitness. Of course, the horse must be healthy and sound.

Barend's Profile

Barend Heilbron, originally from Holland, owner of Capstone Farm in Madbury NH, USA, is a longstanding horseman, rider and trainer of all levels of dressage horses. He lives at the farm with his wife Anne- Marie, an established rider, his two children, two dogs, cats, chickens, and fifteen horses in training. Barend and his wife Anne-Marie have successfully completed the Vereiter School in Holland one of the world’s most recognized colleges specializing in equestrian education, this school is similar to the Warendorf School in Germany.

Barend is a gifted teacher, horseman, trainer, rider, and competitor of dressage horses from schooling to Grand Prix. Barend successfully imports numerous horses from Germany and Holland to the US. He is talented in choosing the horse because of his keen ability to recognize excellent conformation, rideability and talent in those horses he imports. Currently, Don Duetto, a Oldenburg stallion who was purchased and imported by Barend from Germany is successfully competing in Wellington Fl.

Despite maintaining a nationally recognized Dressage barn in New England, Barend is often traveling to Florida and other east coast areas teaching clinics and individual lessons. Barend not only has a strong following in the dressage world, but is sought for his teachings and clinics with event riders and jumpers. Barend is open and flexible to teach any horse and rider of any discipline.

Barend can be reached at Walloon04@mac.com, Barn phone number 1.603.749 .3436



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