Not Riding Enough? Or Riding Too Often?

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Not Riding Enough? Or Riding Too Often?

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    07-20-2012, 03:09 PM
Thumbs up Not Riding Enough? Or Riding Too Often?

Hello, thank you for clicking! I would like your opinion or educated fact on how often you should be riding your horse. Of course it probably depends on the horse's physical condition. My pony weight about 850-900 lbs. (I haven't measured lately) and she is 14.2 hands tall. A 7 year old Quarter Pony mare. She competes in about 4 show per season entered in a wide variety of classes including - gaming, judged western classes, leadline classes, small jumping classes, and english judged flat classes. She is not a huge beefy Quarter Horse she is half bars. A sweet girl - she drinks about 2 buckets of water per day (5 gallon bucket and I leave two 5 gallon buckets in her stall at night and she usually doesn't finish both, but she has on warmer nights. She gets 2 'scoops' of sweet feed (10%) and 3 or 4 flakes of hay in the morning and night. She is pasture fed during the day. She is healthy, but I was thinking about her future. I want her to be happy when she is retired. What are some things I could do when she is younger to help her be happy when she is older? I care about her a lot and I am willing to take advice fromyou if you give me some logic behind it. I just want to make sure that she lives a long and happy life. Oh yes! And she gets linament baths (directed mostly for legs, shoulders, and hindquarters) every week or two. Please no rude comments. Thank you very much for reading! :)
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    07-20-2012, 03:14 PM
Green Broke
Just keep her in good physical condition and don't overdo the hard hard stuff. Don't jump high daily, etc. I think horses deserve a day a week that a hand walk, a grooming day etc. I also feel like it's good for them mentally to have a change of pace every now and again. We ride like this...bareback a day a week, jumping 2 days and dressage work 2 days. Groomed every time we ride, and loved on every day rain or shine. My horses are healthy and happy, have no vices and don't ever have health issues related to injury or overwork.
Good food, clean water and exercise are what you need to bring your horse into a good future. You can't fight some things, like conformational faults and genetic issues, but you can do your best to support them.
ALSO...research that sweet feed, it may not be your best bet for your horse. Lots of sugar and unnecessary items in feeding candy to a kid.
Horsealot and iamanequestrian like this.
    07-20-2012, 03:21 PM
Thank you cakemom! I have been questioning that feed lately myself, we have been getting that type becuase it is locally made. Thanks again!
    07-20-2012, 09:06 PM
Re riding, it's more about what you do rather than how much... unless you're riding more than the average endurance horse in training perhaps. Eg. Amount of jumping, tight circles or otherwise hard riding should be considered. Also I'd alternate between bareback & saddled, as e Also depends on the horse's and your build. If you're concerned with your horse's longevity, consider hoof health & soundness carefully too.

24/7 turnout is best, rather than cooping up a horse part- or full-time. Free choice or at least little & often feeding of low grade(compared to improved, cattle fattening pasture) forage, be that hay or grazing, is important. I'd ditch the sweets, which aside from being coated in sugar is likely grainy too. High starch diets aren't great for horses generally, but if you are going to feed that sort of thing - eg. Your horse needs a high energy diet because she's a high performance athlete or such - then well processed grain in little & often meals with lots of roughage added is important. A good nutritional supplement is also generally needed. is one great resource for working out diet & nutrition.
    07-20-2012, 09:35 PM
We always follow the KISS method... K(eep) I(t) S(imple) S(tupid). Lots of good forage (we do pasture + free choice hay), limited grain (no sweet feed), and 24x7 turnout. Good for the digestion, teeth, feet, and mind. All our mares (18, 17, 10, and 8 yrs) are healthy and ready to work every day or once a month.
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    07-20-2012, 11:39 PM
Thank you loosie! I do plan on switching her grain gradually to something more supportive. I try to stay away from supplements. I would turn her our at night too, but we don't have a run in shed and she is the only horse I own at the moment. She feels very comfortable in her stall at night. She has plenty of hay in there.
    07-20-2012, 11:42 PM
Thank you PaintHorseMares ! The KISS method is funny! :) Thank you for your help. I do not feel comfortable turning her out at night because she is our only horse right now and we do have animals around our house. She is very comfy and looks forward to her indoor stay where there is plenty of hay and water awaiting her. Thanks again!
    07-21-2012, 03:12 AM
Curious jaman, why do you want to stay away from supplements?
    07-21-2012, 04:21 AM
Over-supplementing can be a concern, but a good, general multi-vitamin/mineral supplement probably wouldn't be a bad idea, unless you know for a fact that he's getting everything he needs. Most of his nutrients can be found in good green grass, but right now, good green grass is hard to find. And if you have some, I am extremely jealous.
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Ray MacDonald likes this.
    07-21-2012, 05:40 AM
Originally Posted by aforred    
Most of his nutrients can be found in good green grass, but right now, good green grass is hard to find.
Even when it's easy to find, from what I've learned, I'm not so sure. Depends what & how many types of grass/plant, soil types, how it's grown & fertilised...

aging, overworked, ponies, pony, underworked

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