How long do you school for?

NeilM

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We are having our fields sprayed and so the neds are on holiday at a friends place. It is horsey heaven as they have really nice turnout, two stables and a tack room, which we don't use and a menage with a really good surface.

The current owner does not have horses, (he has sheep and pigs) so the stables are used for storing logs, the tack room has bicycles in it and the menage was unused, until we arrived.
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So, my question; how long do you spend schooling? As we have never had this facility before I'm not sure how long is too long, I am currently taking my cues from H, as he soon lets me know when he's had enough / is getting bored.

I have to add my better half has a vast amount of experience and she is working me like a dog. It is of course fanatically beneficial to both me and my lad and is really bringing on our fitness fast.
 

SunSmile

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I usually school until either a) i get bored b) pony gets bored c) pony has achieved either what i set out to or some good work and i can finish on a good note or d) it starts raining
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In all seriousnes c) is the correct and true answer!!
 

cellie

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I prefer good 30 mins .Depends on fitness of your horse really.Mine always wants to do more but control is more important.
 

sea_view

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I school for between 30mins to 45mins. I go in with a plan and work at it, can be slightly longer if things are needing a bit more work
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clipclop

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Here are some mistakes I have made over the years, I hope this helps.

1) Thinking you have to School for a set time. If you achieve something within 10 mins, brill, finish or go for a little hack.

2) Don't School when stressed out.

3) Don't bang on and on and on doing the same thing over and over again, if it didn't work the first two or three times you probably need to try something different/ask advice/get some lessons.

4) Remember that you and the horse are supposed to be having fun. That is why we have horses.

There you go. 4 things that I have learnt. I am sure there are a zillion more things but those are ones that popped in to my head.
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Ziggy_

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I carry on until I feel I've achieved something useful. Usually about 45 minutes - if my horse is going really well I might call it a day after half an hour, but I have gone on for up to ninety minutes before when she was more interested in p*ssing off with me than listening! I should add that this was when she was extremely fit - if your horse isn't used to being schooled you should obviously build up gradually. Lucky you BTW - I would kill for my own school!
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Grey_Eventer

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depends, if i set out to do something, i keep going until i acheive that, obviously not silly lengths of time though, but if just general working then about an hour, maybe a bit less.
at w/es i go on an hour hack and then school for 30/40 mins....
 

natalia

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depends on the horse and its fitness and mentality, I don't school any youngster longer than half an hour , and some horses work better by doing a short 30 min hack then a 15 min schooling session. If I'm on a fit, supple and well schooled animal, i will ride till its really worked quite hard, as a proper horse really takes 20 minutes to work properly if they haven't been on the walker, and if i'm schooling to educate to a higher level, I find i need ot be on board longer.
 

celia

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Usually between 20 and 40 mins depending on what we're doing and how quickly we get results! If we get some fab work early on I'll often finish off there or go for a short hack as a 'reward'. Equally if either of us is in an unco-operative mood I'll often leave things til another day. I'm also pretty much a fair weather rider I'm afraid so if it starts to rain I'll be finishing up pretty quick!
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TBH I'm more of a happy hacker anyway so I'm doing well if I get in the school for 20 mins twice a week.
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NeilM

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That's brilliant, thanks everyone.

H is seven, I think he has done some work in a school before, but obviously in the hands of someone who did not work evenly. Everything we do anti-clockwise is fine, but clockwise he rushes at a trot and cuts the corner and is two parts barking mad at a canter. I really do understand how people get frightened in the school, as those rails come at you pretty quickly sometimes
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I have been slowly increasing the amount of work and the time we spend in the school, but I have to keep myself in check, this is because I trained for many years in the Martial Arts, which means I will work and work at a technique I wish to improve for HOURS. Good for me, not good for poor ned.

I am varying the work day to day and currently either spending time in the school or out hacking (I'm a happy hacker) six days a week, mainly because I can (weather permitting). He is getting better and better and all the over exuberance we had to start has now disappeared.

I know about finishing on a high, when something has been achieved, I pushed it a little too far over some jumps the other evening, and ended up on my ar$e. My fault, not his. So tonight after he had done a walk trot and canter, back to trot and walk in a clockwise direction pretty much as well as either of us can manage right now, that was the time to stop, give him a big fuss and tell him what a 'good boy' he has been.

Thanks for your help, it's nice to know we are going in the right direction (so to speak).
 
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