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We are one or two years away from leasing or buying (I want to become more competent) but I started to look at our options and I have a question. When you own/board a horse (and live in a city, have kids and a full time job), how many times per week should you plan on riding the horse? Assuming you’d like to be the only one and not letting it be ridden by anyone. If you can’t ride every single day, what should you ask the staff at the barn to do? Walk it around? Lunge it? Let him run around with fellow horses? Thanks!
 

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At my barn I am not allowed to ride my horse everyday because they are show horses and need breaks. Instead of riding on their off days sometimes they will get lunged and every day are let out into the pasture. I ride my horse 2 times a week but as show season is approaching I will probably ride him 3-8 times a week. I only ride them that often when its like 2-3 weeks away.
 

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I think you're asking how much exercise a horse needs just for its general health. It looks like you are thinking about a horse that's in a stall all day. This is not optimal. A horse that's on pasture all day or at least is turned out half a day does not need any extra exercise. A horse that's in a stall all day, I don't know. It definitely needs to get out of that stall and get some movement. But horses really should not live in stalls all the time.

Now, if you want the horse to be in really good shape, and to stay trained, if you can't ride it often, that's a different question.
 

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I think you're asking how much exercise a horse needs just for its general health. It looks like you are thinking about a horse that's in a stall all day. This is not optimal. A horse that's on pasture all day or at least is turned out half a day does not need any extra exercise. A horse that's in a stall all day, I don't know. It definitely needs to get out of that stall and get some movement. But horses really should not live in stalls all the time.

Now, if you want the horse to be in really good shape, and to stay trained, if you can't ride it often, that's a different question.
Yes, and agreed! Both places we are looking at have pasture and the chance for the animals to run around as much as they want. I guess I was referring more to making sure the horse remains suitable for riding at beginners level. Thanks!
 

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As always it depends on the horse and what your end goals are. Some horses have to have a job and need to have something to do. Don't give them that outlet and they can be terrors. You may not find that out until after purchase.

Being stalled the entire time you can't be there would to me say it isn't time or that isn't the place to board. A laid back horse with plenty of turn out and a good foundation you could get away with it if you are a competent rider and your horse is one that is the same every time you take him out whether the last ride was that morning, the day before, a week ago, months ago or heck even years ago. I have/had several like that but it takes knowing the right questions to ask and in some cases knowing the horse before hand. Sometimes you just get lucky. Both my cousin and a SIL were in that boat. Both had solid horses and both horses had plenty of turn out and weren't herd bound. Both had plenty of support for the few minor tune ups. One rode after work every day. She got off at 3 and went to the barn. Daddy brought the kids to day care in the am so he had time with them. She picked them up between 5.30 and 6 on her way home. Everything was close enough travel time was negligible. Weekends were family time and her horse's days off. The other worked a deal with a teen at the barn that wanted more lessons. As board came with 4 lessons a month and she didn't want them she arranged for the girl to have the lessons and for I think 40$ extra a month they were on the barns lesson horses. So kid got 2 lessons a week instead of one and this woman rode while the girl entertained the kids at the barn. That was at least 3 afternoons a week. On the weekend she had one 4 hour block of time devoted to horse and daddy had kids. If that couldn't happen the teen watched them for cash.

Our barn has had a few with kids and the sitter meets them at the barn. Others have just worked it into their day off. Kids at mommy's day out or daycare and the days off are during the week. For me after Katrina family kept the kids and I was able to borrow a horse for a couple of hours here and there when I couldn't make it home to ride or be with my own.
 

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If the horse gets daily turnout, and your rides aren't that demanding on it, then riding at least once or twice a week should be all right, and daily turnout should be enough to keep them happy. But as everyone is saying, it depends on the horse. :) If you're worried about the horse losing some of its training, you might be able to find someone a bit more experienced than yourself who would be willing to ride it sometimes to keep it tuned up, or you could pay a coach or a trainer to put regular tune-up rides on the horse for you. But you might not need that.
 
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