Breaks for eventers

Saratoga

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I am currently eventing a 5 yr old at PN who will finish his season mid Oct at Broadway hopefully. He will have done approx 4 intros and 4/5 PN. He is a 17hh Dutch horse, who is quite full of himself and a handful at times, and seems to thrive on lots of work and outings.

I have been expecting all along to give him 2 months off after his last event, and then start him again Christmas time.

Having had some discussions with various people, it has now come up that that might be too much time off for him and he might be better off with either a month off and then back into work, or even a month with just light hacking and then back into work.

Can you let me know how much time off you give your horses at the end of the season, and what you think i should do with my boy?

I'm confused!!
Thanks!
 

sw123

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I actually never turn my away completely. After eventing they're just kept ticking over with quiet hacks so they can switch off. Then after 4 or 5 weeks of this when they're v chilled I pick them back up for some hunting/dressage/indoor SJ etc then after christmas really pick the fitness work up ready for eventing. If you want to do the full time roughed off tehn i'd do a month of it and then a month of bringing him back up with quiet hacking,
 

chester1234

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Oh I feel awful now! My horses don't really get a break after the eventing season ends. They keep going with their BSJA through the winter too. But tbh I'm more a SJ'er than an eventer, and they've not had that many events through this summer. That, however, is due to lack of transport. Maybe if they'd had a harder summer [which was the theory] they'd have had time off. They didn't get a break after last season...God I feel awful!!

*eta the workload does drop off around winter time, as we don't have the facilities to work them. I get home from school at 4 and by then I only get 45 mins ish before it goes dark, and half the time the school [aka the flat bit in our field] is too wet to ride, and it's too dark to hack...so I guess they're not worked as hard...
 

seche

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I dont completely switch mine off either - he will have a quietish week or so after last event - either Broadway or Aldon and then our opening meet is 25th Oct...

I only hunt the nice meets on him and do some BD so winter is his "chillax" time then he is brought up sharp in the spring and mid summer - usaly when the grounds too hard he steadys up abit but most things have been cancelled due to flooding!!!

Young horses its best to keep them interested in something otherwise till their established you can end up back at square one.. Older horses often need a proper break to sweeted them back up.

I would keep him going after all he has only done 10 events!
 

AutumnRose

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At intro and PN i don't give mine any time off. They tend to have a quiet month/couple of months hacking, depending on how many times they've run etc.

When i was eventing my mare she didn't have anytime off competing really, just a quiet couple of weeks then doing a bit of SJ and dresage. She is best kept active and going out regularly.
 

Thistle

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Mine don't have full time off either, just a few quieter weeks slotted in every now and again.

Mine do such a variety of stuff anyway, PC rallies events, SJ, clinics, schooling, hacking and occasional hunting they don't often get bored.
 

Bossanova

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At the end of her 6 year old year my mare had 3 months off out in the field which worked brilliantly and she came back into work having grown and matured physically.
She's now at the end of her 7 year old year and is having a month off in the field before coming in to do BSJA and dressage schooling with perhaps a bit of hunting thrown in for the winter.

When she was 5 she was kept in work but that was because she was only broken in the May of that year
 

kerilli

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totally depends on the horse and the circumstances, how hard a season s/he has had, etc. if they've finished with a 3-day they get a month or two off, but if not, i tend to just give them a few weeks and then keep them ticking over. if he seems at all mentally or physically tired, i'd give him a bit of a break, and he'll prob come back the better for it (i've had them come back much more balanced having grown a bit, and it feels as if they've been schooling themselves in the field!) if he's bouncing off the walls though, i think i'd keep him going, or just give him a week or two off max.
 

gloster_image

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Mine always get complete breaks unless they are hunting, as do my trainers horses and i follow her advice.
Rock has just had 2months off while i've been working for WFP and hes come back so much better - much happier, physically completely sound and straight and fully relaxed and he now wont have time off until next september where he will only have a month.

Generally they will only have a month off.
 

Saratoga

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Thanks for all the replies, they have been a great help.

Going from all your experiences, i think the plan will be to give him 2 wks - 1 month off (depending on how mentally and physically tired he seems at the end of the season), taking us to mid November, and then start light hacking etc and then think about BSJA and dressage from December time.

Thanks again!
 

wizoz

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I think that sounds like a good idea Saratoga. Mine never really had time off but where let down a bit. I went for light hacks but kept up the flat work and certainly didn't do any jumping.

Winter time for us is concentrating on Dressage and SJ training.
 

only_me

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Mine never really has a break, although we have done so far about 6 events this year
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lol

hes 7 and is quite happy to continue working, although i do rallys and sjing which he loves (he loves a party to show off
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) and maybe sjing during the week dependant on wheter i am allowed
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lots of hacking at least once a week (i come home for games, as i do horse riding for games
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) usually keeps him sweet, and he puts himself out in his own field on his own.

but we never really stop, just less fittning work etc. and maybe a hunt or 2 thrown in
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my old ponies never had more than 2 weeks off - and they survived just fine
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rara007

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Ours are getting 6 weeks off at the end of the season. They have had a pretty hard year, with about 7 driving 2/3 day events, and Pip had Austria on top of that. Pip hasn't had time off since we got him a few years ago, so did an outdoor season, indoor season, outdoor season, indoor season, just finishing his next outdoor season but he now needs the time off. I can tell his brain is begining to frazzle! Before he never seemed like he needed the time off, but now he does.
 

Mel85

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My mare will have 2 months off at the end of the season, but she will have done a full season and 2 one stars and she's an 8 year old so feel that she needs time off to just chill out. Also a time to chill out for me as well as it's hard work through the season! Will get her back in at the beginning of December ready for dressage and showjumping and start proper event fitness work after Christmas.
 

Baydale

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Last year I gave both of mine two months off, but that suited me as I was v busy with the hunters. This year they will both stay in lighter work and go hunting and showjumping, then probably have a month off mid-December till mid-January, and be back in work and ready to start eventing again at the end of March (I refuse to get manic about starting my season the first weekend of March when hunting doesn't finish until mid-March!
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) The 6yo (HumungaHorse) has just had a month off as he felt a bit jaded, and it has really sweetened him up.
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AnShanDan

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I'm with Mel85, my son's 2 eventers will get 2 months off and it's as much for my benefit as theirs! It's a long season and we've done a lot of travelling and I need a break.
Brought one of them back in last December and she'd turned into an elephant under her rug (and she's 7/8 TB).
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H-J

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Dexter was going to do an IN then Aldon 2 day ON so I would have given him a few weeks off or of walking (he doesnt do no work too well!) But due to his lameness he has already had about 3 weeks off, hopefully I can start walking him this week so that will be his rest this year.

Dougal hasnt done a great deal but is now, although only intro I think by October he will be like christ what happened!
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Now he has been thrust into the world of eventing! So I will give him a few easy weeks.

Both will be doing BD and BSJA over the winter, and have an easy week over xmas (no one likes riding over xmas after all that turkey!!)
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Then picked back up mid Jan for eventing fitness, I like to start my season the 1st weekend of March (I get very keen!!!)
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KatB

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Mine gets breaks when he needs them! He had a couple of weeks off earlier this year due to injury and came back brilliantly, end of last season he had 6weeks completely roughed off in the field with 3 other ponies and came back brilliantly. He is Irish and still very much growing though, so I do think the breaks do him good. He will have 3 weeks off completely over the winter but alot more hacking and less schooling than usual!!
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He is at PN.
 
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