It’s been asked, “So, how much time should I be spending with my horse?”
The answer? “All the time you can!” However, this isn’t the whole answer. Many people ask the above question as a way of guilting themselves, or asking to be pressured, when it comes to getting out there and ‘just doing it’. They want a method that’s going to be X number of minutes or hours a day, and that’s it. Like a pottery class you go to once a week. Well, here’s the deal: this is world of horses we’re talking about …. where a stallion can’t just waltz in once a week, command everyone’s respect for an hour, and then leave saying “See you again next week!”
Respect and relationship is earned, not demanded. This means that spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is the ideal training plan for you and your horse. As much time as it takes to earn your horse’s respect every time.
The harsh reality is, the horse in your barn cannot expect to get that kind of attention from his human. It’s just not possible in the world we live in today (Let’s make effort to change that, shall we?!) Knowing this, we still ask the question: “How much time should I be spending ….?”
My answer to this question is generally this: If you practice good horsemanship and can consistently have positive, growth-oriented sessions, then the amount of time you spent is not important. It’s the quality of the time you spent that counted. If, however, you just want a trail ride here, and a perfect horse for pony rides there, you’d better take at least an hour a day with that horse to make sure he’s going to be safe and ready. One must always know what side of the pen his horse woke up on if one is to have a mediocre skills set.