The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    331

    Default Time Off for the horse

    So this summer I will be going out of town for about two weeks. Normally I find someone around the barn that wants extra rides and get them to exercise my guy. He is generally well behaved and is quite popular around the barn. However, he is just coming off a half lease and has been ridden 6 days a week generally and horse shows 1-2 times a month. I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to his mental health more than anything to just get a short break? It obviously depends on the horse but has anyone noticed these relatively short breaks to be beneficial or just make them crazy when you get back? Theyre out basically 24/7 weather permitting.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2011
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I've always given my horses at least a month off in winter. They come back better than before as long as they have a lot of turnout.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Location
    Northern Va
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Our horses all get 3-6 weeks off in the winter to just be horses. Keeps them fresh, sound, sane, and happy. They're all a little wild when they first start back, but get back to the routine within a week or two.
    "A canter is the cure for every evil."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,256

    Default

    Hah, my horse had 3 months off this winter. He was THRILLED. Came back to work and seemed refreshed.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2001
    Location
    At the barn or at the office
    Posts
    1,072

    Default

    Time off is fine -- sometimes good to shed a little fitness and just have a couple of weeks off to fling themselves in the mud. I'm not a big fan of lunging before getting on a horse that has had a couple of weeks off, so might give 1/2 cc of Ace on the first ride after a break to make sure horse and I finish our ride together without any leaping around by either of us.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,720

    Default

    My horse has always come back better after her short breaks. Neither were voluntary, but both involved lots of turnout and no riding. Did not come back crazy at all, and felt better through her body than before. So for two weeks I wouldn't hesitate, as long as you know someone will still be keeping an eye on him while you're gone!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    669

    Default

    We have the opposite of "winter breaks" down here: nasty, humid, rainy, August. Our horses typically get most of the month off due to bad weather and sloppy riding conditions. They seem to enjoy the break and come back just fine. Your boy may enjoy a vacation too



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2008
    Posts
    4,090

    Default

    everyone needs a little vacation, why not horses too. He'll be fine.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    320

    Default

    My horse enjoys a little time off. In November he had the whole month off and came back much more focused, relaxed and ready to work. Not crazy at all. I think they do enjoy some time off to recharge their batteries so to speak.

    Your guy will be fine for 2 weeks. You can always ask if someone will groom or hand walk him for you while your gone.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,978

    Default

    Do the 2 weeks, and add a week on each side. He'll be the better for it.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Every year my horse gets a 2 week vacation in the summer, it's my military Annual Training. I try to find people to take him out on hacks, but usually it's July and ridiculously hot, so he just chills out in the pasture. Heck, last year I had an unrecognized HT a week after, he was awesome (only horse to have double clears in sj AND xc!).

    I also give him a month off in the winter, usually Dec since I'm so busy with the holidays. We're both better for it!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
    Posts
    268

    Default Mental Break Vacation

    My gelding just got 2 weeks off because I had a family emergency I had to deal with. I fed him, told him he was beautiful and other than that he got to be a horse. I was afraid he was going to be a flying lunatic when I took him out this weekend, but he was so good. He seemed to "get" things in the ring that we had been fighting about in the few weeks before his break, and we had two long level-headed trail rides that he was super on. Do it!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2011
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    2,336

    Default

    My guy gets a week off every month or so (work a month +/-, get a week off). Just how he ended up going best.

    He did inadvertently get around 4 months off due to a mouth infection, although that wasn't much fun. Came back better than he's ever been, though
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2010
    Posts
    72

    Default

    For the past few summers, I've gone as a groom for a week long horse show out of town. Anyone I'd trust to ride my horse is there or away elsewhere and unfortunately, he has never been able to make the trip with me. He usually gets the week off and maybe a few days on either side- about 10 in total- and comes back happy and ready to work. I think breaks are great, both mentally and physically. And two weeks or so is ideal for him. He gets a mental and physical break, but not so long that it takes a month to fit him up again.

    Long story short, I'd go with a vacation for both you and him!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,585

    Default

    Why don't you just enjoy being a person and not worry about the horse and let him be a horse and not worry about pleasing humans for a couple of weeks. You will both be better for the break.

    Having shown one up to age 21, all the "old wives tales" about keeping them in steady, daily work were just that, myths. He'll be out and moving and, if he is anythink like mine was, he'll come back sharper then you have seen him for some time and eager for work.

    Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    100

    Default

    It's a great idea! And you don't have to worry about anything going wrong if you have several different people geared up to ride him in those 2 weeks. He'll appreciate it I'm sure. BN always gets a few weeks off in the winter, and he gets off a week-ten days in the summer when I go on vacation. I try to not have any shows until I've been back about 2 weeks and we're into our routine again. He also gets a week off after show season ends. And then we play until his winter break.
    The Branded Bear
    Personalized + creative saddle pads for the hunter/jumper enthusiast. Check us out



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 31
    Last Post: Sep. 2, 2012, 10:04 AM
  2. When/How will the old horse tell you its time?
    By emcfarling1 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: May. 16, 2011, 07:06 PM
  3. Have no time for your horse?
    By eventr4life in forum Eventing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Mar. 27, 2011, 08:20 PM
  4. When your horse says it's time for bed
    By DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" in forum Off Course
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Oct. 22, 2009, 04:05 PM
  5. Time For Another Horse?
    By IdahoRider in forum Endurance and Trail Riding
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Nov. 24, 2007, 08:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •