How much riding for older horse?
Because I work at a stable once a week, I get rides 2-3x a week. I've only been allowed on our School master horse, and I'm always worried about doing too much.
He is mid thirties, somewhere around 35-8, 14.2 hand Morgan horse and probably a 5 out of 9. I'm supposed to be doing canter work, and he eagerly goes for it, but I was wondering just how much he can handle. I make sure to ride him for no longer than a hour. Usually, this is what I do:
5-10 min walking
Trot work- circling, posting practice, etc.
10-15 min cool down
I was wondering if cantering for 10 minutes would be okay if I interspered it with trotting or walking.
I'm probably just worrying too much, because just two years ago he was jumping...
If he is still willingly wanting to work and canter, I would keep going. He will let you know if he is tired. The reason why he is probably still living and going, is because he IS being worked.
I still have the horse I rode after I moved up from our pony at 5. He is now almost 40, don't know exactly how old he is. And we trail rode for miles until one day he gave a little tiny (maybe 2 inches off the ground) buck and wouldn't move, something he had never done in the almost 16 years we have had him. He was done and his arthritis had caught up with him. He is on meds for it but he is my mom's horse and her baby so he is just her buddy now as She doesn't ride but maybe once a year now. So if your horse still wants to do it for goodness sake don't hold him back! Lol just my opinion... When it isn't fun, or starts getting difficult to ride, they usually let you know. :)
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Okay thanks. I get worried because when I'm halfway through riding him, someone usually comes in and is all shocked "Is that Sugarbear? Does his owner know you are riding him that hard?" and I'm only doing a trot- a rather slow one because I can't post as fast as he normally trots.
Turns out that I now have a chance to ride the 8 yr old green pony I've been looking at. I'm allowed to lease her as long as I don't get bucked off (which has happened to my trainer with 30+ years of riding experience:shock:), but Sugarbear isn't free from me yet!
My mare sounds similar to that horse. She's a Morgan mare, in her mid to late 30's. I ride her 2-3 times a week, lunge her 2-3 times a week. She's extremely energetic and loves to canter. I figure that as long as she wants to ride and run, she should be allowed to. If the horse wants to be ridden and isn't sore afterwards, I think exercise is very beneficial for the oldies!
As long as he is willing to go, I wouldn't worry about it too much. With the old guys, its best to do short periods of work, like one or two circles of canter/ trot, then a walk break for them to catch their breath, then you can do another trot/ canter session. As long as you pay close attention to your horse and his energy levels while you are riding you should be fine!
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