How often should I ride my horse?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How often should I ride my horse?”

There’s no answer, because every horse is different. Some horses need to be ridden six days a week, seven days a week, 10 times a week. They need to have it very varied, and they need to go out on trails. They need to do lunge work, and they need to do cavaletti work. They need to do gallop work. They need to do hill work. They need to do dressage work.

The main thing is, have a plan for why you’re riding and what you’re looking to achieve in your riding plan.

 

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I’d love to hear from you how you go and what strategies you use to get your horse to canter.

Offer as much details as possible in your reply – your story might just help someone else have a breakthrough in their riding journey!

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To Your Success,

Natasha Althoff

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey, riding superstars. Today, I’ve got a question. How often should I ride my horse? The answer to that is it’s your horse, so you need … There’s no answer, because every horse is different. Some horses need to be ridden six days a week, seven days a week, 10 times a week. They need to have it very varied, and they need to go out on trails. They need to do lunge work, and they need to do cavaletti work. They need to do gallop work. They need to do hill work. They need to do dressage work. Then, you’ve got horses like these guys. My Friesians tend to be fine on any … Even two days a week, really hard dressage, would get them there. I tend to do three, three to four, but I’m very lucky. I’ve also got riders here, so I might do …

Someone like him, for where he’s at in his training, it’s a strength thing, so if I ride him two times, as opposed to if I decided to ride him eight times … If I ride him eight times, he’s not going to get any stronger. His muscles are going to break quicker than what they can build up, and he’s only going to get sorer and harder. The work’s going to get worse, because he’s sore and he’s tired. Where he’s at right now, I only ride him twice a week, and then I’ve got a girl that also rides him twice a week. There’s two rides that are much more relaxed, much more what we call jogging, which is just walk trot canter, really loose, really long, and just moving his muscles.

Then, twice a week, I get on, and I go, “Okay. It’s time to work.” That’s like your personal training sessions when … If you do lunges, you’re going to do little microtears in your muscles. If I work him correctly, he gets little microtears. Those little microtears then get healed and get made bigger, so he gets stronger and stronger for the work. When he was getting broken in, maybe for three months, he was ridden five days a week. It’s not very long, but five days a week, so he got used to someone sitting on his back, and he got used to going around in circles, and he got used to the feeling of the bit in his mouth.

All horses, depending on where they’re at, it … It constantly changes. If they’re ridden a lot or they’re ridden a little, there might become a time where he gets strong, and I’m like, “Oh. He’s really enjoying the work, and I don’t need to push him that much anymore,” and we decide to do more work, or we go, “He’s totally bored of the arena. Let’s put him out on the gallops for two weeks. You listen to your horse. You listen to what your horse needs, but the main thing is, don’t think you need to … Well, the main thing is, have a plan for why you’re riding and what you’re looking to achieve in your riding plan. If you’re going to ride six days a week in the arena for … what are those six rides looking like, and if they are all to build muscle and to make the horse bigger and better and stronger, that’s not the best strategy. There’s got to be good, hard rides and easy rides within those six rides.

So trust that gave you something to think about. Enjoy your riding week, and I’ll see you soon. So trust that helps. Remember, if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A, how do you do B, how do you do C, I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.

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