One of the best parts about getting a new horse is regularly taking them for rides. However, most horses should not be ridden daily. Instead, it can be a good idea to give them a break now and then. How often should horses be ridden? This will depend on many factors.
The Rider’s Goals
If a person is riding a horse for general recreation, it is good to ride the horse for roughly half an hour three times a week. This gives the horse plenty of exercise without overextending it. Horses training for local competitions need to ride at least four times a week with exercises that include plenty of trotting and cantering. If a rider and horse are training for serious competitions, they may want to train as many as six days a week. Even at the highest level of performance, horses still need at least one rest day each week.
The Horse’s Age
Like humans, younger horses tend to be energetic and excitable, while older horses are more relaxed. This means that a younger horse can usually be ridden for more extended periods of time. Of course, a very young horse of around two years will be too immature for any lengthy training or rides. However, horses around four years old can usually be ridden an extra day or two each week compared to older horses. Riders with senior horses may only be able to ride two or three times a week.
The Horse’s Habitat
If a horse is stabled in between rides, it will need more rides each week. This is important because stabled horses have few chances for exercise. Compared to a horse that spends most of its time in a paddock, a stabled horse will have higher exercise needs. However, their stamina might be slightly less, so stabled horses do better with lighter, more frequent exercise.
The Type of Riding
Some riders may be doing very light training, such as walking along a smooth, flat trail. In these cases, horses can usually go on rides several times a week. If horses are doing very strenuous activities like jumping, rides should be less frequent. Most horses should only jump one to three times a week.