Is there a golden rule about how often a horse should be worked? I’m not so sure. However, when I have riders ask me how many days they should ride, I usually have a pretty standard answer… “It depends”. And that is what I want to dive into today.
Helping you to figure out how many days to ride your horse each week.
So let’s begin this conversation where you are at right now. How many days could you realistically ride your horse each week? You see, this is a really important question… Because, and this is me being really honest now, many riders will pick a number that actually doesn’t really reflect their current schedule! Nope, they rather pick what they would like it to be. I don’t think this is helpful.
I think being realistic about your time, your values, your responsibilities, and your energy levels will help in the long run.
If you begin feeling that horse riding is causing a lot of tension in an already packed schedule, you will be more inclined to ‘drop it’. Make sure that you are honest with what you can do, and then go from there.
The next piece of the puzzle to consider is your horse. Some horses honestly require more repetition and consistency than others. If you miss 6 days, what happens? Will you have to go back 2 weeks in your training to get back to where you were before the break? Or can you simply carry on from where you left off?
I also think factors such as your horse’s age, breed or physical type, condition, previous training, and personality all play a role when deciding. Include them all in your decision and go from there.
“Your Riding Level”
Now, just like your horse, you are unique as a rider. Do you require 3 days to recover from a particularly ‘taxing’ ride? Or do you thrive on consistently repeating new things until they ‘stick’? Also, how fit are you? If you are trying to increase your riding fitness, it makes sense to ride more frequently if possible. However, maybe shorter sessions with more focus will be a key part of your training schedule.
Lack of fitness really impacts the coordination and clarity of your aids in the saddle. So it makes sense to increase your riding fitness as quickly as possible initially.
Finally, what are your goals with your horse and your riding? If you are working towards something specific (a 15km trail ride, or jumping a 1m track of jumps) this will definitely help you to decide on what is necessary to be ready for that. However, often riders are simply riding to develop their skills and deepen their bond with their horse.
Whatever your goals are, it makes logical sense that ‘more riding time’ will help you get there more quickly. So it is always something to consider.
4 is More Than 3
My final suggestion here is the whole ‘4 is greater than 3’ idea. If you can make it to your horse 4 days a week, you are winning. This means 16 days a month (which is more than half). And I feel that this is a realistic number of rides to begin seeing progress.
And if you find yourself with a week or two where you only make it for 3 or 2 days, that’s okay. Accept it for what it is and then move on.
Try to get back into a more consistent routine as quickly as you can. Things happen… What’s important is that you are doing your best to get quality time with your horse and in the saddle.
Seeking Founding Riders…
If you are considering training your horse at home or alone (boarding at a barn, but don’t have a regular coach or trainer), make sure you check out the details of my upcoming brand-new program.
I’m looking for a limited number of riders to work in-depth with me and my team as we go through this program for the first time. Get on the waitlist to be the first to find out all of the information… We start in early September. Get All the Details HERE (no obligation to join the program, just be the first to know all of the details :) )
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