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One of the other threads inspired me to ask. I know there have been variations of these such as "how often do you ride" but I really wanna know how often you exercise your horse not just for schooling but for their physical well being.

How often do you ride in the arena and for how long?
How often do you trail ride and for how long?
Do you do any other activities such as lunging?
Do you participate in any horse events/shows or just prefer a casual ride? Dressage, eventing, endurance etc..
What's your weekly routine?
Do things like turnout/medical requirements/age etc affect how often you HAVE to exercise etc? (eg you have to ride daily because they are stalled more often than not)
Do you do any physical exercise for yourself?

When I got my first horse eva my impression of a workout was a generic group lesson lol. So it was a bit of a slow realisation that actually... she needs far more than that on a consistent basis to keep her strong. It took longer as well for me to fully realise that for her OWN sake I have to keep her fit even on evenings I'm dead tired which changed my whole perspective. So much to learn eh :p
 

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I can’t ride anymore and even if I could, I would not make a concerted effort to exercise my horses.

They are broke to death trail horses who live on 25 acres of rolling hills. They stay broke and exercise themselves more in one day than many horses get in a week’s worth of guided-by-human-hands-workout:smile:

They are out during the day and come in at night.

There is a horse in the “bowl” behind the dogs, who get their daily exercise checking fences, while I ride the 4-wheeler:). That bowl is so deep in the center the lid on the farm tractor disappears when it’s bushogging.

The horse in the background is coming 26 and still very well muscled from all the running he does, hither, thither, and yon. He has impressed a couple of vets with his good physical condition.

My other horse is IR/Cushings so has some muscle waste. He has his own six hilly acres. He will traverse that plot at least twice daily, giving him much needed exercise.

The entire property is a mix of rolling hills (at least that is what they are called in Tennessee:), and some sort of flat; although the 4-wheelers need their parking brakes set to keep from rolling away on many of those flat areas, lol

04F627C4-C9EB-4E5C-954F-BEF74BC0B813.jpg
 

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I ride more than most people, so I am not a good qualifier. But here goes. I ride every morning, and in the winter, I often ride in the afternoons as well. I invite other people to ride my horses with me, so I look for ways to give them breaks, rather than more riding.

In the summer I ride 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day unless I am camping. I do a lot of walking and not so much cortoing and cantering. If I am camping, I ride about 4 hours a day.

I am fortunate because I am retired, live on acreage, and can pretty much ride when I want to. If it is raining, I'll either ride in the rain (not very often, but yes, I do it) or wait for the rain to quit. Florida is the Sunshine State, so we don't get rain very often, and we almost always want it, unless it's a hurricane.
 

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My horse permanently lame, so how he is feeling dictates what we do. I mostly try to keep him moving for his arthritis and build strength for his stifles.

We mostly walk with short trots on his good days. He had a really good day the other week and we cantered for the first time in a year. On bad days I may only walk on the buckle for 10 minutes.

Sometimes I'll stick him on the lunge and get him moving that way, using the whole arena, not just a circle. Sometimes we do in hand bridle work or long lining.

I ride outside any chance I can, but it's winter so not to many options.
 

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My horses are kept here at home and are mostly older well trained horses so I do not "intentionally" exercise them unless we are going out for a ride. They live in a pasture and are put up into pens at night so they get their daily exercise in the pasture. To be very honest I don't think my mare even knows how to lunge and I would have to trailer to ride in any kind of arena and have never done so with my mare (I have owned her 3 years) My horses get most of the winter off (due to weather and trails closed) but when trails open up in the spring we jump on and go. No lunging, no riding at home first
 

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Winter here and buried in over two feet of snow. Ride time now is limited to only on property average an hour & half,4 to 5 days a week. Mostly walking a little bit of trotting,if footing allows.

Horses are turned out 24/7 unless really bad weather,then they are in barn.

Spring/summer ride 6 days a week on trails 4 hour rides. Lots of trotting and cantering. Don't do much lunging once in a great while if horse is really full of himself. Sometimes are rides are shorter do to bad weather like lighting storms .

We will ride in rain if it's not lighting out just ride bareback. Don't like getting my saddle wet if I can avoid it.

Horse are on pasture come summer so also get lots of exercise, roaming the 10 acres.

Horses right now don't do much self exercise, mostly stand and eat hay. Have just a small area they walk in, do to lots of snow.

Good thing they don't go very far most of hot fence is down and buried in snow. Horses are kept at home so I can go out and ride any time of day.
 

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Exercising my horses is dictated by the weather.

They are on 24/7 turnout, so at least they can move around as much as they want (although the lazy beasts don't move as much as I would like).

In the winter when the weather is good I typically trailer my mare to an arena once every week or two for a lesson.

Right now I don't have a saddle for her, so I have been getting her out for hand walks about 3 or 4 times a week, and/or ponying her so she gets exercised.

When it is warm enough to ride I will saddle up my gelding and we'll go for short rides (likely no more than 5 miles), and that could be up to 3 times a week. It really depends on the weather and what else is going on as our days are still pretty short.

In the spring/summer when I will be conditioning these guys they will hopefully get worked at minimum 4 days a week. Most of this riding will be on trails.

My horses do lunge, but I don't often use it as a form of exercise - lunging is terribly boring and running them in circles is hard on their joints (plus it makes me dizzy). I'd much rather do in-hand bending exercises or take them for walks if it is too cold to ride.
 

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In the winter I'm lucky if my main horse gets ridden once a week. Chico got out for 7 miles yesterday which is more than I ever do in the winter so I was pretty happy about that. DH rides with me so his main horse (Comet) is getting ridden equally much.

Stitch and Lilo have been off since December but they have cattle sorting starting at the end of February so they'll get ridden once a week for 4 weeks then.

Jake and Daisy haven't been ridden in awhile. Hopefully DH will ride Daisy next weekend and as soon as the snow melts enough to get the big trailer out I'll bring Jake along and pony him on my rides with Chico.

They're on 24/7 turnout unless it gets down to -50 again this winter (fingers crossed that doesn't happen) although they don't run around too much.

Summer/Spring/Fall is a different story. Chico and Comet will do 6 miles one to two nights a week and at least 10 on the weekend if we don't have a ride. If we have a ride they're doing 25-50 and then getting a week to 2 weeks off in between. Jake will likely be ponied most of those rides and a friend will ride him at rides with us. Lilo, Stitch and Daisy will be ridden 6-10 miles at least once a week and hopefully on the weekends too and I'm hoping to get Lilo and Daisy into 25's this year at rides. They'll get ridden a lot more on Chico and Comet's off weeks.

Dixie will hopefully be going to a trainer in spring and getting her own schedule too!
 

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My horses are kept here at home and are mostly older well trained horses so I do not "intentionally" exercise them unless we are going out for a ride. They live in a pasture and are put up into pens at night so they get their daily exercise in the pasture. To be very honest I don't think my mare even knows how to lunge and I would have to trailer to ride in any kind of arena and have never done so with my mare (I have owned her 3 years) My horses get most of the winter off (due to weather and trails closed) but when trails open up in the spring we jump on and go. No lunging, no riding at home first
Amen:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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My schooling rides are also essentially my exercising rides. I try not to drill whatever we're working on and make sure that I'm working both sides equally so that Nav gets strong on both sides. Since we're taking lessons we do work a lot more on things like lateral work and strength training than we used to, so I have seen Nav become stronger and nicer mover in the last year.

Now, unfortunately we don't ride frequently enough to make fast progress. Just due to my work schedule and the distance the barn is from home (and gross weather, lately), we have been getting about 2-3 rides a week.

As for the specific questions...

How often do you ride in the arena and for how long? - We usually ride in the arena, and do between 25-50 minute rides including our warm up and cool down.

How often do you trail ride and for how long? - Rarely, just because there are no real trails around here. I will very occasionally take Nav out on the roads in the neighborhood but it's not the same. We do ride in the empty paddock sometimes though, and that at least gives us a varied terrain to work over.

Do you do any other activities such as lunging? - Yes, for days when I'm short on barn time we lunge or do groundwork, but not regularly and for no more than 15-20 minutes.

Do you participate in any horse events/shows or just prefer a casual ride? - We have bi-weekly dressage lessons, but aside from that we are pretty casual, no shows at the moment. Lessons are more for us to become better partners and not develop bad habits.

What's your weekly routine? - I can usually get to the barn on 3 days of the week, so that is what I go for. We usually just do arena work and practice what we've been working on in lessons, and then will sometimes ride in the paddock instead to give us some variety. Sometimes pull out the poles and do either low jumps or trot poles for something different.

Do things like turnout/medical requirements/age etc affect how often you HAVE to exercise etc? (eg you have to ride daily because they are stalled more often than not) - No, thankfully Nav is turned out 24/7 (minus feedings) so he does get a decent amount of movement and exercise day to day.

Do you do any physical exercise for yourself? - I try to work out a couple times a week but I've been slacking! Usually do at least 15 minutes of cardio and then some weight training.
 

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I couldn't put a number on it, but a significant amount of riding that I've done over the last year has been for their health -- trying to build Teddy's topline or get weight off Pony. That's how I motivate myself to ride both of them one after the other. I show up early to a lesson and ride one of them, then ride the other in the lesson. Or sometimes ride after. Or I'll lesson on both of them in the same day. There are times where I don't feel like riding but I make myself do it, for their sakes. At least Moonshine is ridden by my daughter and I no longer have to ride her as well.

IDK, maybe I could just lung them instead of actually riding. Maybe easier but definitely more boring.

At least they are on pasture 24/7, so they don't need someone to come out and actually "exercise" them every day. There's a barn I looked into because it's less than 10 minutes from my house, but they stalled horses all day (you were lucky to get two hours a day of turnout) and then charged you to exercise them because, of course, they needed the exercise.

As for myself, I try to walk twice a week. My "walk" is either just in a neighborhood or could be on trails, but it's always 5-10 miles and lots of big hills. I was able to walk more before I got Teddy, but then I had to trade a walking day for a riding day. I only have so much time, and a lot of it is spent working to pay for them LOL.
 
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Short answer...Never.

I only ride in the warmer seasons. My horse is free to come and go 24/7. When we do start out it's for short periods. I have access to trails from home so we are free to make a ride however long we want but the days of going miles are over. When we do go out I'm happy to walk part of the time. It's good for both of us.
 

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I ride April, on average, 3 or 4 times a week. I wish I could ride her every day, but some 12+ hour work and/or school days make it impossible. It's not a huge deal, though, because April has 24/7 turnout and walks around to reach the different hay/water/shelter stations all day.

I go straight out on the trails, no arena time, unless the situation doesn't permit it. If the wind is so strong that I'm worried April might have a bad spook on the road, I ride in the arena first to see her reactions. If she's a fire-breathing dragon, I just keep riding in the arena for an hour or so and call it a day - don't need to be riding a fire-breathing dragon on 50 mph roads, not a good combo. If recent rain prevents me from riding across the lawn to get to the trails, and I instead need to ride on the road, I might end up just riding in the arena if the traffic is so horrible that I can't find a break. In all, I usually ride in the arena about twice a month - the rest is all trails.

Unfortunately, I don't have very expansive trails around me. I can trot all the trails I know down and back in about an hour - about 5 miles.

I've never brought April to a show. I would absolutely do endurance with her, if I had a little more time to condition and a little more money to spend on entry fees. And a trailer.

I never lunge. I can't remember on what thread, but there was a post about people who tried to lunge down an Arabian for hours to make them more like a western-pleasure horse. It doesn't work with my half-Arabian either!! It will just put more fire under her hooves. But I will free-lunge her in a kind of liberty style just for fun in nicer weather, which is essentially just 10% her trotting around goofing off and 90% her following me because she much prefers being near people.

I ride to keep myself in shape, and slowly condition April. She isn't the type of horse to get out of condition quickly, especially being an Arab/Standardbred, but I notice a big difference in her balance and coordination when she's strong versus when she's not.

I... uh... should exercise on my own, but I don't. Oops!! Does being on my feet for 95% of my animal hospital job count as exercise? How about wrestling big dogs and dodging angry cat swipes? At least it gets my blood pumping!
 

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I've got 2, but only one is rideable, and I try to get him out as close to every day as I can, even if it's just a 10 or 15 minute walk under saddle. They're on fairly large drylots for the property (compared to some of the horses up in full care) and my gelding always has room to rocket around his corral, so he can blow off some steam. He's just smart (Haflinger!) and needs the daily work to keep his mischief at bay. We both hate ring work. I get tired of circles and he's not much better about it, but I do try and do trot/canter work at least twice a week in the jumping arena or the dressage court. Our barn trails aren't technical or anything, and they're mostly gravel/dirt access roads where I usually stick to a walk. We save trot/canter on trails for off property rides where appropriate and allowable. I don't ride off property because it's a busy road where people drive like speed demons, there's no shoulders and I have a hearing problem, and don't take chances. Any off-ranch riding gets done by hauling out in my trailer, and that happens less than I'd like but there's not helping that much.



I have taken him to one dressage training show (mostly because I was asked to haul for a friend ... she paid her share of gas ... and figured if I was taking one horse, I might as well take my old boy) and I would do endurance rides (sticking to Intro and LD due to his age and our combined fitness levels, plus the lack of conditioning opportunities for longer riders) but extracurricular funding for entry fees have been less than optimal, so I only really go to group trail rides where possible.



My retired mare gets out every day to go for a walk up to the round pen where she likes to roll in the softer footing there.


I don't do a lot of exercise myself, besides walking to the park on PoGo community days, but since I do self care, and make it a point to muck every day, I get a pretty good workout in doing all the barn chores.
 

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Hmm. My current trail horse is 18 years old and well trained, so I am trying to save her legs more than burn off energy, BUT I do think exercise is good for her. And when she has a lot of energy, like in the the winter, our rides are pretty energetic whether I want them to be or not! If the footing is good, I have been known to let her run a bit to burn off energy just so I can get her to walk towards home.

In the summer we might trail ride 4-5 days a week, for 1.5- 4 hours at a time. If we do a longer ride, like a good active 3-4 hour one, I try to give her a day or two off afterwards. I don't know if she needs it, but I feel better about it. If we are going out for maybe 1.5 hours or so, I think daily riding is good for her.

I only trail ride, so no shows or arena work. And no lunging. But I did have a younger horse I used to round pen before rides. I didn't like doing it, it was more for my own safety and sanity, lol! But if a horse will let me feel safe hopping on and going, that is what I prefer to do.

My horse isn't stalled, but we don't have pasture either. She lives in a large pen. In the winter she gets fat. But she slims down pretty good once she gets consistently ridden again. In the winter, I will sometimes go a week or two without riding her because of the mud or snow. I am probably a wuss, but I worry about her pulling a tendon or breaking a leg or something if she slips.

I am overweight too. Have been most of my life. Last year I started walking and riding. I hope to do that some more this spring in combination with a diet that I have already started. :smile:
 

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Mine exercise themselves. They have 24/7 turnout in large hilly pastures plus both pastures have a ravine, brushy areas and downed trees to step over so it's like they take themselves on trails every day. I hardly ever ride anymore and when I do it's to climb on one of them bareback to make sure they remember what their job is supposed to be so for about 10 minutes we'll move forward, back a couple of steps, turn each direction, do a short trot and a couple of whoas. They get more exercise coming to the barn for a drink from the pasture than they do on our little tune-ups. I get my exercise by taking care of and cleaning up after the 9 of them every day.

Some old pictures where you can see a bit of the lay of the land and notice that the horses aren't lacking in muscle tone. First picture is pasture #1 and you can see where the ravine is behind Thunder who was a late 2 year old in this picture, he's 20 now just to say how old this picture is. LOL Second picture is pasture #2 with it's ravine behind the horses. Also note that I have never fed special feeds or supplements for muscle building nor were they on an exercise regimen other than turnout.

Thunder4.jpg

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