How long can you ride a horse ?


"How long can you ride a horse?" - a question that many riders ask themselves. You are probably familiar with the following situation: You are on your way to the riding stables and you know that you will not get in the saddle today. Maybe you're not doing so well, you don't have much time or the weather isn't playing along. Perhaps the horse has worked so well over the past few days that you want to give it a little break, or you simply don't feel like riding. Nevertheless, one naturally asks oneself: can or do I have to ride my horse every day?


Program in the barn


Whatever the reason, horseback riding is not on the agenda. So you arrive at the barn with a different program in mind: Today we are going for a walk. Or you can let your four-legged friend run free. Maybe you lunge too? A bit of groundwork would be nice again. Or it is simply inserted a nice, long paddock day. Whichever alternative you choose, you happily stride in the direction of the box and grab your four-legged friend, who is supposed to enjoy a day of riding today. As soon as you have left the stable alley with the horse on a rope to do whatever, stablemate XY comes towards you. With an astonished look, she asks: "Oh, aren't you riding today?!"Horse people who follow a certain routine and, for example, always have a day off on Mondays or always let them run tightly on Saturdays, may even hear the heightened version: "Oh, aren't you riding again today?! "


No matter what tone of voice you answer, the statement "No, my horse is free to ride today" causes an incredulous to shocked expression on the face of comrade xy. It can't be true, Zoe isn't being ridden today? What is he there for? Pretty lazy. You have to train, after all, muscles don't grow overnight, as you can read in every internet forum. And the horse needs exercise! And anyway, she doesn't ride! Animal cruelty!


Training can't hurt, right?

So you shuffle past XY with gnashing of teeth and maybe even feel a little bad – is xy right? Would you rather ride? Does my horse need to be exercised? Training really can't hurt...

I was allowed to experience this situation again and again - both with understanding and nice stablemates as well as with the instructing, aghast and shocked. Why? My horse is regularly free from riding one or two days a week. On these days it's only time to go to the paddock or to let off steam in the hall. You can also choose to lunge or walk around a bit at a walk. My gray lady doesn't like riding every day and if I'm honest: I don't either. I evil man! So if you are wondering how long can you ride a horse or how often does a horse needs to be exercised, then you may have been in a similar situation.


How long can you ride a horse: is riding the real thing?


There is an alarmingly large number of horse people who seem to think that only riding is the "real thing". A riding horse is there to be ridden, so it must be ridden, quite simply! When asked about arguments for riding every day, 365 days a year, you hear the funniest stories. "He has to stay in training", "We have to deepen this and that lesson before it is forgotten", "I have to ride my horse every day!" or "What else should I do?" are just a few of the answers I've heard over the past few years.

Of course, I also started to ponder and asked myself whether I might be thinking strangely and should ride more often. In the end, my horse decided for me. At the latest after the fifth day of riding in the track, all motivation has completely disappeared - and believe me, the gray lady can get very creative when she doesn't feel like it anymore! Accordingly, I now react quite calmly when someone sees me without riding clothes and with the horse by hand across the yard. Yes, I am not riding today - and my horse is still alive!

 

Riding a horse every day: when does it make sense to take a break?


Horse and rider should find and follow their rhythm and training plan, regardless of the opinions of others. Indeed, there may be horses that are real workhorses and want to be ridden and exercised every day. There will also be four-legged friends who, like my mare, will hoist the white flag when it comes to riding every day. Many horses can do much more with variety in training than with riding a la "Groundhog Day". (Riding) breaks do not have to be harmful, as many riders seem to assume and openly state this opinion with an indignant look.

Rather, riding-free days can often even be beneficial for muscle building, togetherness, and motivation. Many experts even warn of signs of fatigue and loss of performance if you train too hard or for too long on consecutive days. In addition, there are so many great alternatives to horseback riding! These not only bring fun and variety to the training but also help to train and promote the majority of our horses. Who wants to do the same program day in, day out? Still, sometimes you feel like you're being frowned upon when you're not riding.

 

Conclusion: How long can you ride a horse?

 

Our sport is certainly at its best when we can enjoy it from horseback - but this back may also need a break once in a while. Of course, the riding-free days and the training days should be in a balanced relationship to each other, but a break now and then does no harm to anyone - on the contrary! So give yourself and your horses a ride-free day of strolling if you feel it is necessary.


Let stablemate xy circling around the riding arena day after day and lap after lap. After a hard day at work, at 30 degrees in the shade or after a really good workout the day before, I prefer to sit on the edge and watch - of course with my gray lady at hand. After all, she should also be kept busy on days when she is not riding!

 

 

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