Compares to what level you are riding on, what ability your horse have and how much effort his body must make to be able to do the task you are asking from him.
If you have a horse with maximum scoop of 120, and you compete at 120 level, even tho those jumps don’t appear to be high since so many people are jumping huge jumps you must remember that for your horse it is max effort he must put in for eveyjump.
If then the course is long and has difficult lines and combination it can be difficult for your horse to stay concentrated. With this I mean, imagine yourself running as fast as you can for 2000 meters, while still have to keep running someone is asking you difficult mathematic questions, can you answer without stopping and catching your breath? And answer quick?
Probably not, because your brain does not get enough oxygen, so even if you normally would know the answer, in this situation it can be difficult.
So your horse have to jump on his maximum effort level, he at the same time must use his own intelligence or look at the Jump, understand the jump and balance his body, while listening to you, what you want him to do, what speed he should have, to be straight, the position of his head, how your balance is and when he should take off.
So if your horse it not trained well enough and are able to get enough oxygen out to his brain and the muscle fiber in his body, although the jumps are only 120 it will be impossible for him to do it clear.
You can also add the weather, the shows I compete on are from 20-36/37 degrees warm!! 20 in the beginning of the year in Spain, peer 30 in the Italian shows all summer! So 30 when you wake up in the morning and hotter in the day!
Even if you and your horse don’t go to shows that are so warm, it is harder for your horse if he’s not in perfect shape, if he used to the temperature being 15 degrees, and on the competition day is suddenly big sun and 25 degrees!
So to be able to succeed and reach your goal no matter what level you are riding on, it is extreamly important that you and your horse have the physical condition for it!
That is what I am training myself hard in warm weather, because I know come Sunday and Grand Prix day I will have to preform over a course with 17 jumps in a riding jacket. I have to stay concentrated and give the best possible signals to my horse!
Same goes for my horse! If they have been competed for 2 days, 3 day come I still want them to be as fresh as the first day, so they can easy do their best!
If you have to struggle eveytime you go in the ring it’s not fun for you or the horse! That’s why I train myself and the horse so hard at home that when we come to the show it’s easy for our physical condition, with easy I’m meaning that when we come over the finish line we can still breath and speak in a quite normal way!
The best training for the lunge capacity is interval training. You can do short intervals in high speed or longer once in a little lower speed!
One interval for a horse should not be under one min! Because the minimum of time you jump in the ring at shows is one min. I do my short intervals in minimum 2 min high speed and also up a little hill.
Mostly I train long interval, quite a lot of speed in 3-5 min. Let the horse rest and get down in puls and then repeat. Maybe I repeat 2 to maximum 4 times, the long intervals!
What you also must remember with this training is that each horse is build up by different muscle fibers, so some horses has easier for one thing and more hard for other things. Like Alf, he can do the double of interval than Ice Tea and Duc, but when it comes to building big muscles Ice Tea does that better then Alf’i!
The most important is that you and your horse are fit enough to do shows easy! So you can come out of the ring with joy and you both feel you could easy have done one more round!