Too much work for my horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Too much work for my horse?

I have a 5 year old SWB gelding and I have been setting up his winter schedule with my trainer recently. I am frustrated right now because I can't find any information anywhere about how much work a 5 year old horse should receive. He would be jumping, at maximum, once or twice a week, and some weeks he won't jump at all. He is getting turned out every day as well, but our turn out pen is not very large and in high demand. So this is how it stands so far:

Monday: "stretch out" ride (hand galloping, limited collection) with trainer
possible dressage ride/bareback work in pm

Tuesday: Cavesson lunging in am with trainer

Wednesday: dressage in am with trainer
light ride/trail ride in pm (unless I was too busy)

Thursday: light dressage or jumping (jumping is not set yet) in am with trainer
light ride in pm, again only if I have time as in light homework

Friday: Cavesson lunging or light ride in am with trainer
dressage pm

Saturday: Lesson in am

Sunday: my free day with him. What I do on this day may vary, may have a jump lesson if possible. A very rough estimate:
dressage in am
bareback work/trail ride in pm

So what do you think? Right now he is getting less riding than this, but it is almost all training dressage because he has a show next week. Currently, he is showing no signs of fatigue or stress. He will also get a 1-2 week vacation in mid/late October, where all he receives is turn out and pasture and maybe some lunging.

Last edited by roro; 09-04-2009 at 05:05 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 06:02 PM
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From the time a horse is about 5 years old until about 10 years of age is a rough estimate of a horse's most active time during its life. This is a very rough estimate, just so you know, but it should be pretty accurate. Anyways, a 5 year old horse, especially a gelding, should be able to do a lot of work. I would say jump once or twice a week (twice being the total maximum), work on simple dressage about 2-3 times a week (collecting, bending, etc.), hack once a week, give your horse a light riding (bareback) or a lunge once a week, and you really should give your horse off one day of the week at the least. You don't want to over work your horse, and he will for sure appreciate a day off. Also, you shouldn't ride twice a day unless you are just going to go on a simple, walking trail ride in the afternoon (p.m.).
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tuesday is his day off, the turn out system isn't good at our stables so the horses here need to be lunged on their day off. Thank you for the advice
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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This is the schedule that I WANT (don't have yet)

Monday: hand galloping, no contact work in am with trainer
bareback work in pm

Tuesday: cavesson lunging with trainer

Wednesday: dressage in am with trainer

Thursday: jump saddle/jumping in am with trainer

Friday: cavesson lunging in am with trainer
either bareback work, jumping saddle work or dressage work, depends on my mood.

Saturday: lesson

Sunday: either bareback work, jumping saddle work or dressage work, depends on my mood.

Last edited by roro; 09-04-2009 at 06:59 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 07:57 PM
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I don't think it should be any problem at all. Just watch for signs of stress or fatigue (which I am sure you would anyway). I am betting that your lessons average probably not much more than 2 or 3 hours a day, right? I have seen many horses do just fine and some of them thrive on 10 or 12 hours a day in a feed lot with maybe 1 day off a week; 2 if they are lucky. I don't think it is too much work at all and with the diversity, it is unlikely that he will become sour either.

Just a thought, every couple of weeks, an afternoon trail ride might be just the thing to help keep him (and you) relaxed.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-04-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! The am work with the trainer is just my trainer on him since I will be in school. Usually her rides are about an hour, and her lunging sessions with him are 20-30 minutes. A 'light ride' is 45 minutes. my rides on him are also usually an hour and that is how long his Saturday lesson is. We are primarily focused on dressage with him because he will be showing next summer, I want him to progress in dressage but not get sour about it or overworked. If there are clinics available at my barn I will be doing those as well. I would love to do trail rides, but I can't usually do them after school in the winter because by the time I get to the barn sometimes it is already dark. I guess I could do it on the weekends though. The most he is under saddle is on Monday, 2 hours, but it isn't hard work, Monday is his 'relaxing the neck/back day'. I put a lot of consideration into this schedule, so I just wanted to see what people think about it.

Last edited by roro; 09-04-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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