Day in the life of a horse owner?

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Day in the life of a horse owner?

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  • Life of a horse owner
  • Life of a horse owner with full board

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    07-05-2011, 02:34 PM
Day in the life of a horse owner?

Right now I'm learning to ride hunt seat and taking lessons every week, and I think I'd like to have my own horse. I plan to lease first so I can try out different breeds and temperaments, so this isn't going to happen any time in the very near future, but I'm already starting to think seriously about this.

I'd be boarding this Hypothetical Horse, with full board because my work schedule can get a little wonky and I want to make sure that it's getting fed and mucked out on a predictable schedule. I'd also want to, I think, continue taking regular lessons.

All of the time I've had with horses has been pretty structured - I show up, I collect my mount, I groom and tack, I ride a lesson and cool down, I untack and groom, and put him back in his paddock or stall. I'm sure there is more to it than just showing up to do this every day or two when you own a horse, but I'm not sure what people usually do...

I know a lot of "day of horse" involves feeding, watering, mucking, turning out, bring in, etc. that I won't have to mess with if I get on full board. So, for those who board (or even those who don't) - what does the typical day with your horse look like?
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    07-05-2011, 02:54 PM
I don't board, but I have seven horses at my house and my aunt and uncle have an arabian ranch I visit every summer.

At my house, I wake up at 5am, feed grain, hay and water and clean stalls. Open doors to stalls so horses have free access to dirt pasture. Go to school, come home at 3pm. Grab something to eat, change clothes, and go out to the barn. Let horses out to grass pasture, clean stalls. Change clothes, grab tack, ride 3-4 horses, rinse them off, and put them back out to pasture. Around 6, I'll bring them back into clean stalls and feed hay and grain.

When I go to my aunt and uncle's ranch, I wake up at 5:30, put horses in dirt pens with hay, and clean their stalls. Go in for breakfast, go back out, lunge a few horses, then ride the 8 riding horses, rinse them off, and put out to grass. Drive farm truck to retired mares' pasture, empty water from tank into trough, feed hay, go back in for lunch. After lunch, we usually trailered to the mountains for a trail ride.
    07-05-2011, 02:57 PM
When you're lunging the horses, are you doing that to exercise them? Or are you spending regular time on some kind of training activity? Or is lunging, by itself, the training activity?
    07-05-2011, 03:00 PM
Depending on the "full board" situation, it may be exactly as you described. Many places take care of vet, farrier, deworming and blanket storage for you.
For me I full board in the sense that my horses stall is mucked, he is brought in and out and the blankets and boots I provide are put on and he is fed on the barn feeding schedule. I arrange all farrier and vet visits, design the feed program for my horse and deal with all other care beyond the basics.
So, it really depends on the barn and how much control you want.
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    07-05-2011, 03:01 PM
I guess part of my question would be about the interactions with the horses - I know from reading HF here that a lot of horses seem to need more training than they are getting (people posting problems, and replies to problems).

Is it important to do regular groundwork, or do you just have to do that if the horse starts to get behavior problems?

I've heard that horses should get worked 5 times per week, or so - but I'm also not sure what that would be. I know when I ride the lesson horse in a lesson that counts as him getting "worked". I'm not sure what else counts as "working" the horse.
    07-05-2011, 03:32 PM
It really depends on the horse. You should look for a slower "steady Eddie" horse that will be fine if he is only ridden a few times a week. If you are ever unsure of how hyper a horse is, then lunge him before you get on to see and let him get some energy out.
For some people/horses, a 10 minute lunge is "work". For me I am out there every day of the week and I ride for an hour six days a week training hard and our "day off" will usually be a light outside hack for 20 to30 minutes to burn off energy. My horse is fit and hyper and not suitable as a first horse though.
When you go to look at horses ask how long and how often they are worked and assess their personality. A horse that is ridden for an hour 5 days a week and is still perk will most likely not be suitable. A horse that is not worked at all should be passed by. You want to see the horse in the same amount of work you will be giving it to determine his personality.
I don't do groundwork with my horse beyond leading him around. As a new owner it will be important for you to take lessons about groundwork and learn how to do it correctly but if you buy the right horse it shouldn't be necessary.

Good luck!
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    07-05-2011, 04:30 PM
I cannot currently ride our/ my boyfriends horse so I go to the barn, do some groundwork, lunge him then ride one of the BOs horses for about an hour and go home. I do that 4-7 times a week depending on what else I have going on. We are looking for a horse for me and I imagine it'll be about the same except ill ride my horse instead of the BOs. I intend to get a well trained horse so we may do some ground work a few times a week.

We have the option at our barn to schedule vet and farrier visits on our own or let them just do our horses when they come out to do the rest of the barn. It depends on what the issue they are seeing the vet for as to whether I go out or whether I let the barn hands hold them for the vet and farrier. We have full board and at our barn we can be as involved or uninvolved as we like.
    07-05-2011, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by serafina    
When you're lunging the horses, are you doing that to exercise them? Or are you spending regular time on some kind of training activity? Or is lunging, by itself, the training activity?
Instead of riding, we sometimes lunge them. For example, if we're planning on heading out on trail later in the day and want to exercise them but not wear them out, I'll lunge them for a few minutes. Or, as was the case this summer, one mare was playing with the bit more than usual so we lunged her instead of riding her until the vet could come out to do her teeth.
    07-05-2011, 05:52 PM
I full board my horse. Here's a typical day with my mare:
I get her out of her stall and walk her to the crossties. I usually look at her legs as she walks to check for any lameness or injury. In the crossties I brush her while checking for any swelling or cuts. Then I tack up and ride for 30-60 mins depending on the weather usually. I then turn her out to roll and finish cooling off. After about 10 mins I put her back in the crossties and brush agian. In the summer I also rinse her off. I put her away and clean my tack. Every 60 days I deworm her. The farrier comes out every 6 weeks, and the vet twice a year for shots. Some days I have more cleaning to do (my tack, brushes, or bath day for my mare) but I usually spend about 2 hours a day at the barn.
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    07-05-2011, 05:57 PM
Thanks everyone! This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping to get.

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