A 3,000-year-old horse training program gives modern trainers the ability to improve their horses’ fitness while keeping them healthy and happy.

The program was named after its creator, Mitannian Master Horse Trainer Kikkuli, whose horse conditioning techniques helped establish a military

empire around 1345 BC By following the instructions in the Kikkuli text, you will be able to produce a superb equine athlete without the use of drugs or expensive feed additives.

Performance horses and racehorses as a whole continue to be trained with tired old conventional methods. Race times for horses have barely improved in recent decades (in contrast to the vast improvement in times for human athletes) and lameness disqualifies potentially outstanding endurance horses and early-career eventers. Kikkuli’s method addressed all these problems.

Kikkuli used interval training based on several principles. One of these techniques was that what he intended to do under the saddle, he did first by leading the horse (not on the same day – this is like a principle). This means that if the horse is to be trotted under saddle, the horse must be led at a trot (from a vehicle or another horse) for a certain period (that is, over days or weeks) before this. If the horse is to be galloped under saddle, the horse should be led at the gallop (from a vehicle or another horse) for a certain period (that is, over days or weeks) before this (and so on). Kikkuli even led horses in the gallop. In this way, the horse’s system will adapt to the work without weight stress and without the psychological stress of handling a rider. By following this Kikkuli principle, there will be no weight-bearing stress on the horse in the initial training.

If you are leading more than one horse, make sure you get the order right. Some horses like to lead and some horses like to follow. The horses led from the front of the vehicle, from the front doors, must move out wider to allow the vehicle to turn around corners and bends. Horses that like to kick other horses must of course be led from the back of the vehicle. When leading five horses, place a horse that likes to kick in the middle of two horses at the rear of the vehicle. This is the place that offers the least movement. I always lead stallions from the driver’s window so they are easily accessible. Some horses can become competitive with the vehicle and at times will try to ride it or bite it. Don’t worry about this, this will stop, or at least only happen from time to time, as the horse gets more used to leading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.