Holidays for Horses - do you give them a break?

Jul

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A Southerner!
I'm interested to know what people do regarding giving their horses a break.
Do you give them a complete break? Or just reduced work for a while? Or nothing at all?
If your horse has had enforced time off through lameness/illness do you count that as a break?

I find it very hard to judge what/when/how much to give time off if horse is feeling fine and not showing particular signs of 'needing' a break.

I would really appreciate hearing what your yearly routine is including how much competing etc they do.
Thanks
 

Morrigan_Lady

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I usually give mine a couple of weeks off at some point during the year. I dont stick to a certain time of year though.
At the moment Arch is having 6 months off (injury) but that will be his holiday.
As I show jump and its on all year round, its hard to determin a good time to give them a break, so Id be interested in what others with SJ'ers do.
 

MagicMelon

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I give mine a break but it depends on how much work they've done etc. I dont have a set time I turn them away. In previous years Ive turned my eventer away after his last BE event in September and brought him back into work in January for some winter BSJA. This year however he's turned away as of now until probably early Feb. One of my other horses who does showing etc. during the summer is basically on and off all winter! I only have a paddock to work in though so thats my reason - it totally depends on the weather and ground conditions as to when I ride, often I cant ride for 2/3 weeks at a time! So Id say they are in very much reduced work over the winter with about 2 months totally off work. Im lucky in that I can drag my horses out to BSJA after not being ridden for a fortnight though
 

stencilface

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My horse is on a permanent holiday!!! My definition of competing regularly, would probably be others opinions of giving them a slow period


he does generally have a few months off from competing - mainly because I object to waiting around for hours in the cold
 

Joss

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I am giving my younger horse a little rest, he is having a month off going out in the field during the day & in at night. He has been on the go all year with only the odd week off here & there. He has also progressed a lot going from doing 2'3" unaff in April to coming 7th in his first PN in October. So I thought a little while to digest all this information would do him good.

I have kept my other horse ticking over, he is rising 15 yrs & only made it to 5 B.E events last season mainly due to cancellations so I reckoned a bit of BSJA wouldnt do much harm, he gets ridden a couple of times during the week & at weekends. Now he is getting older I dont think I would give him much longer than a couple of weeks off all in one go.

It suits me to have one horse on holiday at this time of year as the days are so short its a rush & stress to attempt to keep both horses on the go.
 

sachak

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the youngsters tend to have a week here and there but unless there are particular shows which i need to go to for quals etc then they tend to have either nov or dec off i think it does them good to have a holiday x
 

ajf

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The eventer gets a couple months of at the end of the season but then hes generally won't compete till feb time (bit of practice before eventing again) and will have a few periods of 4 or 5 days off over the summer when he needs it or if theres a quiet month or after 3 day.
The youngsters however have 1 or 2 weeks off all over the place. They need the mental break.
My sisters horse however needs to always be in work (boredom and injury related!)
 

hedgehog1

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It depends - I 'd class time off for illness or lameness a holiday if they can be turned out. We only compete full on in the summer really though, so the winter is more a show every month and lots of odd weeks of light/no work/quiet hacking depending on how they are going and whats going on.
I prefer to give the young ones random weeks off throughout the year as that way they dont lose fitness much but still get time to chill out.
 

amage

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Yes dolly is currently in the field on her hols...went out 2 weeks ago and will stay out till feb. i sj and she will be back competing late march and will compete regularly till nov with some time off here and there. over christmas every year she gets a complete break for at least 6 weeks if not longer...big turnout rug on and chucked out to do what she likes...still gets small hard feeds though
 

humblepie

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Everyday is a holiday! Yes, has a holiday as competition work is quite intense. My jumping horses didn't tend to as they had natural breaks during the year if any problems or weather bad and as they were also turned out a lot, they didn't tend to get fed up as life pretty laid back and not intense.
 

kick_On

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muddy bit!!!
Mine defo have a 'holiday'
Eventer will have off Nov-Dec every year and Hunter/Eventer will have off 2 weeks off in June but as he's older prefer to just keep him ticking over really.
 

BroadfordQueen

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I gave my old horse Tara a holiday out in the field after the boxing day meet for about a month- brought her back in at the start of February ready for our first events in March/April.

Did her the world of good!


I will wait untill the end of the eventing season to give Queen a break though, cos she has had 2 months off before I bought her anyway. And I want to get used to her through the winter so we are a partnership come Spring
 
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