View Full Version : Spin-off: How long does it take to "do your horse"

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:01 AM
This is a spin-off question from the thread about barn hours.

On the days I ride, it takes me a minimum of 2.5 hourse from time I get to the barn to the time I leave. So the working stiffs among us have a full plate. If I ride after work, I never mean to have riding take up my whole night, but invariably the promise to leave by 7 gets broken.

If I do anything more than flat, this takes longer.

Other people's time estimates for the minimal, no-frills ride?

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:09 AM
I ride in the mornings before work... On full service I can be in and out in 45-50 minutes- with about 35-40 minutes of riding if I need to be. When I tack myself, it's about 1:20 minimum at the barn to get the same 35 minute ride.

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:09 AM
I would say about 2 hours/horse including tacking up/cooling out but not including things like bathing or other extra care which would take longer. I would say there is no way I could get in and out of the barn in under 4 hours for a minimal no frills ride on both horses. I usually feel pretty rushed on school days when I have class from 10-3...I don't usually leave the barn before 7 or 8pm on those days and that is with no frills.

On the weekends when I don't also have to work I will generally arrive around 9 am and not leave until 7 or 8 pm....5 of those hours are usually spent on my horses then I'll either ride a few for my BO, help her out with projects around the barn or just hang out and chat (I'm lucky in that she's one of my best friends).

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:11 AM
For the last several years I've been stuck with 2 hours to get as many horses ridden as I possibly can (that's how long my kids usually nap for). So I've been getting everyone cleaned up and ridden in that time. Usually I can get 3 horses done (2 ridden and one of the greenies lunged/long lined).

When I boarded at a barn it took me a lot longer just because of the social aspect of it. Now that I've got them at home it typically takes me ~20 minutes from walking out of the house to sitting on my first horse (I've got feeding/moving tasks I do before I start riding, which takes ~10 minues). If I'm just riding one and skip my mid-day feeding tasks, I can typically finish everything in an hour. And if I'm only working one of the green ones I can usually finish up in 30-45 minutes.

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:13 AM
riding wise:
Flat usually no more than 25-30 minutes. (starts by walking, then trot on a loose rein both directions. Pick up rein, start doing circles, lengthening and shortening. Sit trot and start lateral work. Canter. Work canter into lateral work. Practice doing lead changes to the counter canter on a straight line.)
Lesson means about an hour of riding time.

Grooming/Care wise- I'm on full board but I'll always polish my boots after riding and try to organize a few things. And I ALWAYS make sure to go and spend a few moments quality time with my horse.

Total time: about an hour and a half-2 hours.

Tini Sea Soldier
Mar. 30, 2009, 11:14 AM
Well, when I was working in NYC and Princeton, I gave myself the gift of grooming board! That was a DREAM... my horses were happy... and I was in and out in 45 mins, if I was just doing one... or about an hour and half for 2! Especially, if I gave them a ballpark time of arrival! If I'm not lessoning... I'm usually doing the "deluxe hack" of 20-25 mins. Both of mine were pretty well-schooled... so unless we were having a particularly naughty or feisty day... it was really just a matter of keeping us both stretched out and in top form. Best extra $300 a month I've ever spent! I looked at it this way, when I was working in NYC... I had limited days to make it out there... so I knew that my kids were being groomed and fussed over for about 30 mins a day regardless of whether I was there... so it reassured me that they were getting some TLC even when I was MIA!

When I wasn't on grooming board, probably about an hour and half for each... give or take. In the winter... maybe a bit less... and the summer a bit more, since I was usually hosing off after we were done.

Mar. 30, 2009, 11:17 AM
I usually figure on 1-1/2 hours to ride one horse, depending on how far I have to walk to bring him in from his field. Any extras like bathing, clipping, mane pulling, or hand grazing add extra time.

Mimi La Rue
Mar. 30, 2009, 12:12 PM
20 minutes of turn out or lunge if needed
15 minutes to brush and tack up
1 hour of riding (includes arena work and walking around the stable for a cool down)
15 minutes of horsey in a sunning pen while I clean the stall (my barn cleans stalls but I still have to do it too)
20 minutes of grooming/hosing off
5 minutes to get supplements ready

This seems to be my normal routine. :)

Mar. 30, 2009, 12:17 PM
2 1/2 hrs to groom, tack up, ride, cool down/hose off and let dry.

Mar. 30, 2009, 12:25 PM
Same as OP, 2 and 1/2 hours to groom, tack-up, ride, cool-out or hose down, hand graze a little, and put back in stall or turnout.

Mar. 30, 2009, 12:28 PM
30 minutes to catch horse, get my stuff together, groom and tack up (a little less if he's already in).

30-45 minutes of riding (includes warm up and cool down) ~ maybe closer to 1 hour on the weekends if I walk around the property or want to work on something a little bit more.

30-45 minutes to un-tack, do carrot stretches, groom, turn horse back out (if needed), wipe my stuff down and put everything away.

So about 1.5 to 2 hours. For one horse. :)

I do all the extra stuff on the weekends when I have more time (i.e. re-fill supplement bag, clip/trim/pull mane, bathe, organize and tidy up my things, etc.) So I'm there probably closer to 2.5 to 3 hours on some weekends. Especially when the weather turns nice (Spring & Fall).

Mar. 30, 2009, 12:33 PM
I live close (under 10 mins) to the barn, so this helps. But, if I arrive at the barn at 6 p.m., which is normal, and just do a basic grooming and hack, I can be home by 7:30 p.m. If I spend more extensive time with him, or have a lesson, it's usually 8:30-8:45 p.m., before I get home.

Mar. 30, 2009, 01:15 PM
I'm at a part-care facility now, but only five minutes from my house. My routine of cleaning stall (15-20), grooming (10-15), riding (30-45), cool/brush out (20-25) is generally about 1.5-2 hrs. Depends on whether she's out or if the stall is messier than other days. At the full care facility, which was 20 minutes away, I would be about an hour to 1.5 hours at the barn.

Jersey Fresh
Mar. 30, 2009, 01:32 PM
I can typically do the 2 I ride in about 3-3.5 hours. One is my green bean and the other is my trainers older gelding who just needs to stay fit. I head to the barn straight from work to get there around 5:30. I do quick grooming before I get on and a more thorough job afterwards.
Horse A:
10-20 min lunge (depending on the day)
20-30 ride/ cool out (he's currently doing walk trot)
15 min to untack, stick him in his stall to let his sweat marks dry off.
Total: about 1 hr 10mins max.
That puts me at 6:40pm

Horse B:
Tack up: 10-15 mins
Ride (and cool out): 35-45
untack: 10 mins.
1 hr 10 mins or 7:50pm.

I then go groom my greenie while horse B is drying off and then finish horse B after my horse is put away. Not ideal, but it works for the 3 days after work i ride. I spend much more time grooming, grazing, cleaning tack etc on Sat and Sun but I feel like 8:30 is late enough to get home on a week night, so I do the "quick and dirty" version during the week.

Mar. 30, 2009, 01:36 PM
Judging from your replies, I can tell that I'm not way out of line.

I was wondering because I train my horse myself and have reason to wonder whether or not I spend enough time on his back to get as fit as we should and progress the way we should.

I think that if I really did it right, I'd spend even more time on warm-up and things like cold hosing afterward. It's tough to be the trainer, groom and financier all in one!

Go Fish
Mar. 30, 2009, 01:49 PM
About two hours per horse. This includes my pee breaks, gossiping with friends and cleaning tack. We have a groom, but I do my own horses. If I have to hose off, I stick around to put blankets on a dry horse so the groom doesn't have to do it. I can ride in the middle of the day when it's less busy at the barn.

Mar. 30, 2009, 01:51 PM
I work at the barn so I don't entirely know how much time I actually spend on my ride because everything just kind of runs together! I'd say that grooming/tacking up, riding, and then untacking/grooming/turning out takes me about 90 minutes for about a 1 hour ride. I've got lesson horses to groom and tack, so I'm exceptionally good at the speed groom. If I have the time (like on Saturday afternoons) I'll spend between 2-2.5 hours on my boy. I can do everything in under 1 hour if need be, but I don't really like to rush if I don't have to.

And one of our other instructors, who rides those that need work or a little training, can do 2 horses in less than an hour. Including grooming herself. She only rides each for about 20 minutes, but it's 20 minutes of good solid schooling and it works well for the ones she rides on a regular basis. Even the three year old.

Mar. 30, 2009, 01:52 PM
I usually figure on 1-1/2 hours to ride one horse, depending on how far I have to walk to bring him in from his field. Any extras like bathing, clipping, mane pulling, or hand grazing add extra time.

Ditto. If I drive to ride one for a friend, that is an additional 1/2 hr each way travel time and the walk to her paddocks are longer....

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:02 PM
My minimum time seems to be 2 hours from arrival to departure:
30 min - get horse, groom, tack up
45 min - ride (flatwork only)
45 min - untack, groom, put up horse, clean tack, sweep tie stall area

Usually it's closer to 2.5 hours, with a full hour of riding plus more time spent grooming.

Add a 30 minute (no traffic) or 45-55 minute (traffic) commute and I'm looking at 3.5 hours easily. There's no way I could ride at barn that closed at 6, or even 7pm, really. My barn closes at 10pm but I'm often the last one out at 8:30-9pm.

Sing Mia Song
Mar. 30, 2009, 02:05 PM
Two hours for the one at home. Generally 2 1/2 for the one at my trainer's, who requires much longer in the tack.

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:06 PM
I work 8-5 and I bring my riding clothes with me so I can change before I get out there. With that in mind- I normally will leave the farm around 7:30-7:45 after grooming and hacking. On lesson days- its around 8. Not too bad except after the long day of work plus riding- you're wiped by the time you get home!!

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:26 PM
On a normal day,where I am not in a hurry,it takes me 15 minutes to groom/tack up etc.

then i flat for about 45 minutes,then hose down etc which takes about 10.

On lesson days,im usually ALWAYS in a hurry,so i tack up and then ride for an hour.The after that I hose down,walk him out to eat grass and cool down,then I bring him him,oil his feet,fly spray him,brush him again etc.

so,depends on the day.

Hurried-usually about 1.5 hours
Not in a hurry-usually around 2 or 3.

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:40 PM
Bare minimum: 5 minutes catch from pasture and bring in, 15 minutes quick groom and tack up, 20 minutes to half hour ride, 10 minutes quick groom and untack, 5 minutes put away, half hour gossip with barn owner. So at least an hour and a half to two hours.

Gossip though tends to add another hour or two, usually as I help with chores...

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:48 PM
I like to get to the barn around 345 and usually spend an hour grooming and lesson at 445, then around 530/545 (depending on when lesson is finished) i spend another 30-60 mins grooming, depending on how much homework i have or how dirty my pony is :P on the weekends, i'll be there all day, and spend atleast 2+ hours on grooming. (my pony is white, FYI. and somehow despite all my grooming, he is still a pig :lol:)

Mar. 30, 2009, 02:58 PM
I'd say that a 30 minute hack takes me close to an hour and a half. Although if there are people there, "chatting" time can increase this exponentially.

If my horse is clean, I'll do a super quick brush off and throw on the tack. Ready to go in 10 minutes or less. Afterwards he'll get a real grooming. 20-30 minutes. If he's dirty, he gets the long grooming ahead of time and just gets a brush run over him after, so it averages out to about 40 minutes tack up/un tack. 30 minutes to ride.

Throw in 5 minutes here and there (clean tack, change from work, walk around because I forgot something or someone borrowed something that I now have to track down, sweeping up, etc.) and it gets to 90 minutes pretty quickly.

Mar. 30, 2009, 03:15 PM
Well for me it's....
40 minutes to the barn and 40 minutes home.
20 minutes to groom and tack up
20-45 minutes riding
30 minutes grooming and giving treats
So it takes me about 3 hours including getting to the barn and getting home and that is if I only ride one.

make x it x so
Mar. 30, 2009, 03:20 PM
When I'm in a rush, I've taken as little as 45min at the barn- but that's just hoofpick, tack, get on, ride for 10min, get off, hoofpick, put away.

In general, I find I need a good 1.5-2 hours on a regular day (the horse isn't really sweaty/dirty). This includes a fairly thorough grooming job (not necessarily show-ready but definitely clean and presentable), around 45 minutes to an hour of riding (including warm-up and cool down), and then the obvious grooming after I ride. I'm pretty good at getting my socializing done WHILE I'm grooming or doing other things.

Lesson days tend to take longer because the horse is sweatier and usually needs to cool out longer, so probably more like 2-2.5 hours. I try to make sure my horse is REALLY clean for a lesson, too.

Add the fact that it takes me ~40 minutes to get to the barn give or take 5 minutes, and I spend A LOT of my free time on horses.

Mar. 30, 2009, 03:48 PM
I usually allow two hours, but an hour and a half is plenty of time for a short hack. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to change and tack up, ride for 25-30 minutes, and 15-20 minutes to put the horse away and clean tack. If I don't spend time talking, I can be out in less time. Additional horses take about 50-60 minutes each, since I don't have to spend time changing since I already have my boots and helmet on. On lesson days I'm usually there for two to two and a half hours, depending on how long the lesson lasts. I also spend longer there on days I'm not in a hurry and when I have extra care to do for my horse.

Mar. 30, 2009, 04:25 PM
It's usually a solid 2.5 hours per horse. I groom quite a bit, ride for 45mins - 1.5 hrs depending on what we are doing, and then he's got to be cooled off and put away. Try as I might it's hard to trim down my time any.

Mar. 30, 2009, 04:56 PM
For me:
Get off work at 5,
40 minute drive to the barn
15 minute grooming and tacking up
30-40 minute ride, an hour if I have a lesson
20 minute untack and shower
20 minutes standing in cross ties while I clean his stall and tack
10 minutes of putting stuff away
5-30 minutes of chatting with trainer and friends :D
15 minute drive home

I am usually home by 8ish.

So it's anywhere from 2 hours to 3 hours depending on my socializing and overall punctuality.

Mar. 30, 2009, 05:12 PM
I can get three worked in 3 hours if I have help. Usually, I will ride 30-45 min in the ring and combine a hack out with two horses (ride one, pony one) --about 30min. Switch horses. I'm really moving to get this done...no chit chatting in the barn and I have help switching horses. If don't have help...I can get three done in 3.5-4 hours....but it isn't easy. Tack will NOT get cleaned and grooming is minimal. Very easy for me to get 2 horses done by my self in 3 hours with riding 45min -1 hour each. I spend more time grooming and cleaning tack on the weekends.

Paint Hunter/Jumper
Mar. 30, 2009, 05:18 PM
It takes me anywhere from 1-2 hours to ride and take care of my horse. It all depends on how long I ride and how much I get distracted. On weekdays I'm usually at the barn for 2 1/2 hours and on weekends and days that I'm off from school I'll be there for like 4-7 hours. I hang and help out a lot :)

Mar. 30, 2009, 09:36 PM
Weekdays: work until 4:30, 30-minute drive to barn, 30 minutes to groom/tack up, 30-45 minute ride, 30 minutes cool down/put stuff away, 1 hour drive home. I can be home by 8:00, but inevitably I end up chatting with barn friends and don't usually leave the barn until 7:30, later in the summer when it's daylight longer.

Weekends: 60-minute drive to barn, 2 to 3 hours grooming/riding/cooling out, more if I end up going out with a group trail ride or something. Usually on Saturdays I'll leave to go down at 8:00 AM, and if I'm home by 2:00 it feels like I've been rushing.

I don't usually ride longer than 30-45 minutes unless we're out on a trail ride. Gosh, I never really thought about how much time I spend at the barn that's NOT in the saddle!

Mar. 30, 2009, 10:39 PM
I'm usually at the barn 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on how muddy/dirty/ poopy/stainy/sheddy/hairy my horse is, how muddy/sweaty/dirty/hairy my tack ends up. and how long it takes to cool out the possibly hairy/sweaty beast afterwards.

It takes about 1/2 hour each way to get to/from the barn.

Mar. 31, 2009, 12:31 AM
Here is my routine...
go get horse from corral (5 minutes)
groom (variable sometimes she is very clean other times a mud pie) (10 - 30 minutes depending)
turn out to romp (10-15 minutes)
lunge (optional) 10-15 minutes mostly to work on voice commands
tack up (brush if she rolled while romping) 10 minutes
ride 15-30 minutes (she's green)
If extra time go for a little hack around the property (15 minutes)
turn out in arena to roll (10 minutes) She LOVES to roll.
hand graze 10- 15 minutes(optional but she LOVES this)
groom 15 minutes
bedtime and snack

If I'm in a hurry I take short cuts (like take a bareback pad, bridle, and helmet down to the arena so I can get ride right after turn out). My fastest short cut is to ride her bareback with a halter after turning her out (she will walk, trot, canter, back up, side pass etc has even done flying changes this way!- she is such a good horse!) I guess it takes me about 1.5 to 2+ hours if I go after work. On weekends I like to just take more time on everything because I can and I usually trail ride so that is a whole nother production - riding local trails is about an hour to hour and a half ride. Trailering to trails can be a whole lot longer. My horse LOVEs trail rides!!! I love spending time with my horse and can't wait until I win the lottery so I can remove work from the equation.

Mar. 31, 2009, 09:39 AM
The horse I board:

It kind of depends on whether or not I'm in a hurry. If I am, I can do a really quick grooming and tacking (I always go get him out of the field first, unless he's already in his stall, which saves a few minutes) that takes maybe 10 minutes. If I'm really rushed and in a hurry to get on him, I wait to put hoof stuff on him until after I ride.

The amount of time I spend riding varies.

After I ride, he gets groomed, hooves treated if I didn't do it before I rode, and he gets treats and goes back out or in his stall, depending on the time of day I'm out there. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes or more, depending on how much time I've got.

I have gone out to the barn, gotten my horse, tacked, rode, groomed, etc in an hour before. Granted, it was a shorter ride, but it's been done. I much prefer to take my time, though. I like to piddle. :yes:

Mar. 31, 2009, 11:30 AM
I have three horses in work.
During the work week I can do two a day, and I try to make it out three days M-F (and both weekend days) so everyone is going at least four times a week.

So during the workweek the riding schedule is
4am -wake up
4:15 - ~1 hour drive to barn (usually a little less)
5:15 - 10/15 minutes groom and tack up (everybody gets a quick pass with the curry, stiff brush, soft brush, show sheen in the tail and the grey usually needs a swipe with the rubbing alcohol towel to be presentable, I added 5 minutes for the grey) first horse
5:30 - ride first horse (30/45 minutes)
6:15 - 5 minutes put first horse away (this leaves time for a quick rinsing and drying of the legs if necessary)
6:20 - 10 minutes groom second horse
6:30 - 30/45 minutes ride second horse
7:15 - 5 minutes put second horse away
7:20 -10 minutes sweep up grooming stall and clean tack
7:30 - ~1 hour drive back home (usually a little more this way)
8:45 - shower
9:00 - 1 hour train to work
10:30 - at my desk

(There is an extra half hour in there for the inevitable hitting of the snooze button, possible traffic, and grocery shopping which I do on the way back from the barn because the grocery store there is much better than anything near my apartment.)

On Sunday I did all three back to back and did leisurely grooming and tack cleaning and was there from 4pm to 7:30. However one is 3 (4 in May) and another is just coming back to work from a winter off so those guys don't go all that long.

Mar. 31, 2009, 11:50 AM
I usually ride 3/4 horses every night and I flat each of them for about 45 minutes. I'm usually done around 9-10 at night. I groom and tack up as quick as I can, then really take care of them afterwards. Usually the last horse i ride gets an easier day so I try to change up the order regularly. If i'm jumping forget it; washing legs, wrapping, poulticing, liniment baths for the big jumpers - i take forever haha.

Mar. 31, 2009, 11:59 AM
I ride out of 2 barns...the one boards my hunter...and other one I work out of and it houses all of the babies and young green horses I ride.
With my horse...I can usually be in and out of the barn in about 2.5 hours.....that's spending time grooming at the beginning (I'm obsessed with currying him!) at least an hour ride. (either dressage work in one of the fields, trot sets, or jumping work in the ring) and then whatever I do to him afterwards.....groom, bathe, clip, pull a mane...hoof pack feet, etc.

At the barn I work at it's a bit different...my goal is to get through as many horses as I can in the limited amount of time I have...
So I can normally do a horse an hour....I'll brush off my first horse...tack up and ride...if he's sweaty I'll throw a cooler on him and stick him either in his stall or on the hot walker and start on my next horse....after I'm done riding horse number 2 I'll either pluck the first horse from his stall or the hot walker....run a brush over him and blanket him and then stick horse number to on the walker or in stall and then move to horse number 3...After I'm all done riding for the day I'll pick a simple task to do on every horse...whether it be to put hoof conditioner on their feet, clip their muzzle and bridle path...whatever I'll do that. And then (since everyone basically uses the same bridle) I wipe the bridle off, wipe my saddle off...and last but not least, throw the girths and saddle pads, and polos into the washer. My boss who is older and lives alone on the property likes to come out to the barn at night and groom his "kids" so I don't have to worry about rubbing on them for hours to get a nice coat. With this system I can ride the entire half of the farm I'm responsible for (8 horses) in about 9 hours...give or take....that's eating lunch while I'm taking up and given that none of the babies act totally stupid or anything!!!!! Although I rarely have 9 hours to ride everyone so that only happens about 2 days a week. haha

Mar. 31, 2009, 12:08 PM
Over 2 hours. Groom, ride for 45 minutes, groom/hose, 20-30 minutes of LED therapy while cleaning tack/hanging out.

Mar. 31, 2009, 01:18 PM
When I was actually working at the barn I ride at, I know it took a good 4.5/5 hours to do 3/4 ponies, and feed at least once. Also, anytime I had a time constraint, it always took much longer than normal.;) Luckily it was a private farm and I was allowed to be out there pretty much whenever I wanted. Dream come true.:)

Mar. 31, 2009, 05:19 PM
I used to have to make sure to schedule 4 hours if I was doing it between my am job and pm job. That gave me a good hour of riding, tack up/down, plus time to go home shower and get back to work.

I'd guess I could do it in about 2 hours but I'm a big loiterer. And I like to pamper the ponies. In the winter it takes lots longer to blow-dry.

Apr. 1, 2009, 09:58 PM
My trainer has me ride a lot of other horses besides my personal horse-
I try to give myself around an hour and a half for each one. this includes grooming, tacking, hosing, socks/stockings (i'm psycho about them being white ;)) and of course, the actual riding.
I try to save my guy for last so i can give him as much time as he needs and don't have to worry about riding another after him.

Apr. 2, 2009, 10:23 AM
It depends on how much time I have. For a I -want-to-get-on-right-now, or I-don't-have-any-time:
2 minutes for grooming [pick feet, brush body and head]
10 minutes for tacking [front boots or wraps, girth, flat and mattes pad, saddle, bridle]
2 minutes for my dressing [helmet + bonnet, gloves]
5 minute warm-up
20 minute work
5 minute cool-down
10 minutes to untack
10 minutes to groom or spray down

So, about an hour for 1 horse :winkgrin:

For a normal day, it takes about an hour and a half per horse :yes: