Last Updated on May 6, 2022
It is a burning question that is often a topic of hot debate between horse owners – how often should I ride my horse? Do you have to ride every day, or is this not necessary? How much exercise is too much for a horse? Let’s find out!
How Often Should I Ride My Horse?
Many people have put off the idea of getting a horse because they think they won’t have the time to ride every day. However, horses do not need riding every day, and they can be ridden as often as you have time for! In fact, some horse owners never ride their horses, and that is no problem at all.
If you cannot ride your horse every day, it is essential that your horse gets some form of exercise. If the horse lives outside in a field or is turned out for several hours each day, this will be enough exercise to prevent medical problems. If your access to turnout is limited, you will need to exercise your horse using a different method.
Ways to exercise a horse if you don’t have time or don’t want to ride include:
- Loose Schooling
- Automatic Horse Walker
- Walking In-Hand
- Long Reining
The reason that horses need regular exercise is that it is essential to maintain the health of various body systems. In the wild, a horse would move constantly for many hours each day, normally at a slow walk as they graze. They will increase their speed to cover the ground as they move from one location to another.
This constant movement helps to keep the bones and muscles of the horse healthy and strong. It also maintains cardiovascular fitness, keeping the lungs, heart, and circulatory system healthy. Another benefit of slow, steady movement is that it maintains the motility of the gastrointestinal system – this is why horses that are stabled are more likely to succumb to impaction colic.
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How Often Should I Ride My Horse To Get Fit?
Riding horses can be a great way to boost your physical fitness, as well as being very enjoyable and good for mental health and well-being too. It is a good idea to combine horse riding with other forms of exercise, to improve your overall levels of fitness and stamina.
It is recommended that we all get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day – this could be walking, running, training at the gym, or horse riding. So, you could ride your horse every day, as long as your horse is physically capable of this level of exercise.
However, mixing this up with other forms of exercise will help to work all of your muscle groups, as well as improve your stamina and core stability. Gradually extending the length and intensity of the exercise sessions will help to improve your fitness levels.
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How Often Should I Ride My Horse In The Summer?
The summer months are when we really get the most enjoyment out of owning horses – the longer days and better weather mean that it is much easier to find time to ride your horse. If you’re a fair-weather rider, don’t forget that your horse will need to be fit enough to do the work you are expecting of him. A horse that has been rested all winter will not be able to cope with a full day of trail riding without a gradual fitness program first!
When riding in the summer, remember that your horse can become dehydrated and overheated in hot weather. It may be preferable to ride first thing in the morning or in the evening, rather than in the heat of the day.
How Often Should I Ride My Horse In The Winter?
If you have somewhere suitable to ride, you can ride your horse as often as you want in the winter. However, treacherous terrain such as ice can make this difficult, and many horse owners opt to rest their horses over winter. Even if you do not ride your horse, he will need some form of exercise every day in the winter.
So, as we have learned, horses need exercise in some form every day, but they do not need to be ridden daily. The amount of ridden exercise a horse gets should be matched to its age and fitness levels. The frequency with which you ride your horse may well alter through the seasons and will depend on how much free time you have available.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on how often should I ride my horse! Do you worry that you don’t have enough time to ride and exercise your horse? Or maybe you’re trying to get your horse fit and have questions about training a horse? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Do Horses Like To Be Ridden?
If a horse is trained carefully and learns to trust its rider, it will normally enjoy being ridden. Horses are fun-loving animals and will get a lot of enjoyment out of ridden exercise.
How Long Can A Horse Go Without Being Ridden?
It is not essential for horses to be ridden, and many horses are never ridden at all! However, all horses need some form of exercise every day, either in the form of turnout in a field, or training exercise. If a horse has not been ridden for several weeks, it will need to be ridden slowly for a few weeks to build up its fitness levels.
How Often Should A Horse Be Exercised?
If a horse is kept in a stable, it needs to be exercised every day. This can be ridden exercise, or the horse can be turned out in a paddock or large enclosure to exercise.
How Many Hours A Day Can A Horse Be Ridden?
How many hours a day a horse can be ridden depends on its fitness levels. An unfit horse will only be able to manage 20-30 minutes of gentle exercise. A fully-fit competitive endurance or trail horse can be ridden for up to 15 hours each day, as long as it has regular stops for food and drink.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE