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What is your horse's work schedule like?

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  • What is your horse's work schedule like?

    Kind of a spin-off of the thread in the Dressage section.

    How often/how long do you ride your horse? If you jump, how often do you do so? Are you currently showing, aiming to show, or just trying to keep your horse in shape?

    If I had it my way I would ride 6 days a week, but with work and family that is not always possible. I'm currently riding about 4-5 days a week, usually around 45 minutes of flat work. My horse gets excited easily, so we do a lot of walk breaks on the buckle to stay relaxed. I am aiming to do some schooling shows this fall. I want to start jumping, but that is still far away (we have some issues we need to handle on the flat first!).
    Originally posted by barka.lounger
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.

  • #2
    I have an 8 year old OTTB who I show in Pre-Adults and am hoping to move up to AAs next year.

    I ride 4-5 times per week for about 45 minutes each time. I jump a maximum of twice per week but don't have a full course at home so we do a lot of singles and lines. Maybe the equivalent of two full courses once a week and a few ground poles/cross rails another time each week for me to work on position, distances, etc. At least once I week I go out in our big 10 acre field and trot up and down hills and let her play a little. The other 1-2 times per week, I work only on flat work, focusing on transitions and circles.


    • #3
      The gelding gets worked 6 days a week/30 minutes a day. He gets jumped in lessons twice a week. He's currently showing, but in classes ~3/4 days a week (depending on if he has a "moment" ), and usually 1 class a day. He needs consistency, and needs to understand that this is his full time job now (as opposed to his previous life, where he got pulled out every once in a while to do a children's jumper class), and he works extremely well in this schedule.

      The Mare is worked 4-5 times a week, no more than 30 minutes, with lots and lots and lots of dressage/lateral work to strengthen her hind end/back, build up her topline (she no longer looks like a brood mare who gave everything she had to her little mini-me! yay!). She's jumped 2 times a week too, and currently has a super light show schedule - 3 days, one class a day, and showing every other week during the shows (so, maybe 5ish weeks this year). She now has a 3' limit and won't be jumped higher than that ever. We're hoping for her continued successful rehab and treating her like she's glass.

      Ever since they both went into full work (the mare started jumping again in March), it's amazing how I've dropped those pesky couple extra pounds that just kept clinging on They're both kickin' my butt, moreso than they get worked!!! Now if we can just add a 3rd horse to get rid of the baggage around my hips...


      • #4
        My gelding gets worked 4-5 days a week, 4 by me and sometimes someone else will pick up the odd day. He gets jumped once every 2 weeks, he knows his job. 2-3 times a week are 30-45 minutes of ring work with lots of dressage. 1-2 days a week are walks/hacks in the field for muscle and relaxation. He isn't currently showing but could go to a show tomorrow, he's very fit.
        Can you stress-fracture your brain?


        • #5
          My baby boy (okay, he's six now. ) works about six times a week when he's in full-time work. Now he's going about three to four times a week, and we'll pick it up next week once I'm out of school. He does one crossrail from the trot or canter per ride and at least five ground poles. The consistency helps him chill out and realize that jumping isn't a big deal. We
          "actually" jump one to two times per week and only when he is comfortably working six days/week. We play out in the field once a week or so to keep him thinking and get him comfortable in "new environments." He usually works 30-50 minutes.

          The old gelding works about six times a week when he's in full-time work as well. He gets almost all flatwork - we jump maybe once a week. He sometimes takes my mom over crossrails on other days. He generally works about thirty minutes, unless we're jumping - then its more like 40.

          The mare works about six days a week as well - she works about 30-40 minutes usually. If "her kid" is out to ride as well I'll usually put in twenty minutes on her and then the kid'll do another twenty. She jumps maybe once a week - if kid is lessoning she'll do two jumping lessons a week. If its just me riding her, she probably won't jump - doesn't really need it.

          Our ring isn't big enough to set a course or involved gymnastics, so we do lines and bounce/one stride gymnastics. Work times are usually determined by the horse's age, experience under saddle, and what we're working on. I've called it quits after five to ten minutes on a three year old that is just hitting the walk/trot stage, and I've ridden for 90-100 minutes when we're really working on something (not jumping though...).


          • #6
            6 year old mare
            Jumping 2'3-2'6 (was off for 6 months last year for a mysterious lameness)
            Not currently showing, but trying to keep her in good enough shape that I'd only need to do 2 weeks of serious work before we were ready for a show

            Monday - off

            Tuesday - off

            Wednesday - flatwork, some dressage, maybe a crossrail here or there, trot poles, usually finish up with a 10-15 minute walk/trot down the driveway (on the side of it in the grass ) or once around the front of the property, about 45 minutes to an hour total, depending on how good she is

            Thursday - off

            Friday - flatwork, more intense dressage, trot poles/crossrails, about an hour of work total, sometimes a walk down the driveway if she's good

            Saturday - light hack, jump school, gymnastics. if I am moving up in height, this is the day I do it. usually about an hour of work. we only jump max height about 2-3 fences

            Sunday - Trail ride! If we need to touch on something that she didn't quite get on Saturday, or if there was something I wanted to get to but didn't have time, I'll work on that, but I try to spend less than 15 minutes in the ring. If we are alone, the trail I take is about 30-45 minutes, mostly walking, some trotting. If we have a buddy, we will go into the back cow pasture (about 100 acres) for an hour or more, mostly walking, some trotting, and a small amount of cantering.

            I work full time, but get off at noon on Friday, so this schedule works best for me. I try to fit in the gym on Mon., Tues., and Thurs. There's not enough time to ride AND go to the gym in the same day!

            FWIW, she gets turned out ALL night (6-8 pm until 8 am) EVERY night on about 30 acres. (I love the barn I board at )
            In loving memory of my precious Gwendolyn; you will always be with me, in my heart. I love you.


            • #7
              My guy gets ridden 4-6 times a week. He's 6 and hasn't done any real work since coming off the track 2 years ago, so I don't push overly hard. My rides are 20-60 minutes, depending on how much time I have. The shorter rides will maybe have 1 walk break, while the longer ones are probably closer to 1/3 walking. Right now we're working on trotting in a consistent rhythm and picking up the right lead. Lots of circles and transitions on a loose rein, lots of groundpoles. If he's "gotten" a concept we go over a cavaletti or crossrail as a reward--he loves to jump and I don't want to spoil that wonderful attitude. So I don't school him over fences, really. He's such a good boy that I try to keep rides fun and not frustrating, and I don't feel like he's up to a proper jump school yet.
              I love my Econo-Nag!


              • #8
                My QH gets ridden 4 days a week. I do a lot of flat work with him, and trail rides. That's what we do 3 days. Once a week I have a lesson in which we jump. He gets turnout every day.

                My other horse is ridden 5 days a week, only flat work. He also gets turnout every day.


                • #9
                  My jumper gets ridden 6 days/week. Here is his schedule in no particular day specific order (his day off depends on my own days off and schedule)

                  Day 1: Day off
                  Day 2: 30 minute light hack in either hackamore or Happy Mouth snaffle- outside the ring either on the track or in field
                  Day 3: 45 minute ring work, heavy flatwork in pelham usually
                  Day 4: 30 minute jumping lesson, in revolver-jointed Happy Mouth
                  Day 5: 30-45 min outside ring hack - again, hackamore or snaffle
                  Day 6: 30 minute track workout - lots of trotting, very little canter - again, in snaffle or hackamore
                  Day 7: 20 min caveletti lesson, very little jumps sometimes and light ride - in revolver jointed happy mouth

                  We only work hard about 3 days/week and I try to stay out of the ring unless we are jumping as he gets really "up" in the sand ring.


                  • #10
                    This is a very general schedule as it can change week to week depending on weather and etc. My mare is a green 10 yr old OTTB, she has to work at least every other day for her own sanity, even if it is a 15 minute hack.

                    Monday: 30 - 45 min w/t/c usually working over ground poles and small x's and verticles (2' -2'3")

                    Tuesday: Off

                    Wednesday 30 - 45 min w/t/c we focus a lot on lateral work on wednesday (though it is
                    incorportated into every ride), we stay mostly on a large figure 8. We'll pop over a crossrail at the

                    Thursday: Off

                    Friday: 1 hour lesson, hard flat and more overfence work, my trainer is tougher than me. ha

                    Saturday: 1 hour-ish trail ride, w/t/c/g sometimes will pop over the small logs.

                    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                    !! is the new .


                    • #11
                      I usually ride 5-6 days a week. Depending on the show schedule I usually have jumping lessons 1-2 times per week. If we have back to back weekend shows, sometimes I won't have a lesson in between and just do flat work. I don't really have a set schedule, it just really depends on shows, the weather, my schedule. But I always give him at least one day a week off.


                      • #12
                        Right now, during finals week? Their schedule consists of sleeping in their stalls, eating breakfast, hanging out in their turnouts, coming in for dinner then starting all over again. It's a rough life.

                        Normally it goes like this:

                        Monday: LONG trail ride with hill work
                        Tues-Weds: Flat work
                        Thurs: flat work with a small jump school (usually a gymnastic)
                        Friday: Flat with a short trail ride
                        Sat: A real jump school that varies depending on the horse
                        Sun: they usually get the day off but I always go out and mess with them a little. Sometimes I bathe, sometimes I take them on a short trail ride bareback w/ a halter and leadrope it just kind of depends.


                        • #13
                          All of my horses are currently showing--the hunter/eq horse I show in the Junior Hunters and the medals/classics. The jumper I show in the low junior jumpers.

                          Hunter/Equitation Horse:
                          Hacked 4 times per week and jumped 1 time per week. Monday is normally just walk because we probably showed that weekend or I'm just tired, the other 3 are 45 minute WTC with lateral work and 1 day I do either poles or a small gymnastic. The jumping day is normally a couple courses--hunter and eq type courses.

                          Jumper Horse:
                          Hacked 4 times per week and jumped 2 times per week. One day is usually light walk/trot (after a show). Another day is dressage/lateral work. The last two are just WTC normally out in the field. The two jumping days--one is small stuff 3ft usually--working on a lot of turns and gymnastics and combinations etc. The other one is bigger but still not show height and not a complete jumper course but more jumps than the other day.


                          • #14
                            Mine are ridden 6 days a week. I ride each of them 4 of those days, trainer rides the other 2. No set time...once I accomplish what I set out to do, or the horse does everything asked, I get off. I think horses are just smart enough to associate good behavior with a good reward and getting off is the best reward you can give them. It may be 15 minutes, it may be an hour, just depends.


                            • #15
                              Varies, but normally looks like this

                              Eq horse(big lazy WB that gets unfit easily)
                              Sunday-show(2-3 classes)
                              Wednesday-usually a schooling jumper class or two
                              Sat-show(2 classes)

                              If we are having a non showing week, she usually gets friday and wednesday off and gets jumped once or twice and flatted every other day. She does get a turnout or lunge or time in the arena everyday.

                              Jumper(older )
                              Wed-schooling class OR gallop day


                              • #16
                                Double post sry!
                                Last edited by earlybird; May. 13, 2009, 07:13 AM.


                                • #17
                                  My horse's schedule varies a little depending on *my* work schedule, but generally, he works 5-6 days per week under saddle. He also spends about 30 minutes per day on the treadmill during the week; I find it really helps his fitness.

                                  He usually has either Monday or Tuesday off from ridden work, depending on what I have going on at work. (He does work on the treadmill both days.)
                                  He will get a light hack/flat school most weeks on the day he is ridden.
                                  Wednesday is a 45 minute lesson which will include transitions between and within gaits, lateral work and jumping either some basic courses or perhaps a gymnastic school.
                                  Thursday will be a 45 minute flat school followed by a short trail ride.
                                  Friday will be a light hack or easy trail ride.
                                  Saturday will either be a horseshow or another 45 minute lesson if my trainer can fit one in.
                                  Sunday, again either a show or a 45 minute flat school (more typical.)

                                  He is turned out for about a half day 7 days per week, weather permitting. If the weather is bad, he'll at least get a handwalk in addition to the ridden work and treadmill time.
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                  • #18
                                    I have 3 and they are upper level jumpers - so they get ridden 6 days a week. I do anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes on them depending on the day and their work load for the week. Most of the time - we do about 15 to 20 minutes of trotting for conditioning....then lateral work, etc. If my trainers feel they need to be even more fit - then my trainer will do a 2nd ride on them later in the day.

                                    When work is completely overwhelming - I will do 2 and my trainer will do one if needed. I also like having my trainer get a ride in on them to make sure they are in tip top shape and paying attention. While I feel my flatwork has improved - obviously I am still an ammie and nothing beats the tune up of the pro ride now and then.

                                    We jump sparingly at home as we show about 2 weeks a month....so little jumping other than some gymnastics or low equitation stuff to keep working on form, lines, etc. If we haven't shown in a while - then we will usually do one day at "show height" before we leave for the horseshow - but that is quite rare. I try to vary their routines, the rings they ride in, etc - to keep them from getting too bored.


                                    • #19
                                      My jumper gets ridden 5-6 days a week. If we have a 6-ride week, one ride is pretty easy (walk on the trails or very light flatwork for ~20 minutes). Otherwise I like to do:

                                      2 days ring work/flatwork for 30-45 minutes
                                      1 day of trotting on trails for CV fitness (45 minutes)
                                      1 day of work in the jump field (similar to ring work days, but I let her open up and gallop more, and I feel like it helps her remember her balance with a rider - since we all know not all rings are perfectly level! )
                                      1 jumping lesson

                                      I try intersperse the hard works with days off/ring work days to keep her from getting sore or tired. Since I don't show every weekend, I like to give her a let-down week after a show; she is a very low-energy horse and I feel she benefits from the rest. We will usually scrap the lesson or a day of ring work for an easy trail ride in her let-down weeks.

                                      "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"


                                      • #20
                                        My hunter works between 3 and 5 days a week. He knows his job, he's good at it, and the fitter he is, the more he has to do in the morning before the show. I try to save his joints all around by keeping his work load very light. I'm suprised to hear such intense work schedules. I try to ride the very minimum necessary to save wear and tear on their joints. However, I don't do anything strenuous that requires a lot of fitness. As far as jumping, at best we'll have a lesson twice a week, generally once and then I'll jump a couple singles at home.