How Long a Ride?

I thought about this question today and I actually think about it a lot.  Barbara rode PJ first.  He was in a leaning mood, so she ended up riding him about 25 minutes.  He was puffing, meaning he worked hard.  Then I got on.  I walked a little to get myself together, then started trotting.  We did mainly trotting but threw in a little canter in both directions (we finally had good departs – yay!).  I rode for about 20 minutes.  I could tell his neck was tired and he was generally tired.

That’s when I needed to make a decision.  Rest and go back to work or stop.  I decided to stop.  I didn’t want him to hate work because he was so tired it became difficult.  But then I thought, would he ever become fitter if I didn’t push him a little?  I didn’t have the answer then and I don’t now.  He worked hard. He did good. I stopped.  It just felt like the right thing to do.  What do you do with your horses?

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One Response to How Long a Ride?

  1. Net says:

    I find it a very challenging question! I have a TB who is learning a whole lot more about carrying himself and building strength, but aerobically and mentally would really enjoy 2 hour rides. Lately we’ve been in the 35-45 minute range because that’s where I can start to feel him having difficulty continuing to hold himself really well. His tendency is to work enthusiastically past where he should work and end up sore, so I’m cutting things off well before I really want to at his first hint of trouble.
    I push the Friesian cross much harder because she’s not one to offer anything. She has yet to get sore, so in her case the pushing seems the right choice. But it’s really individual, and depends what’s getting worked on!

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