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 this 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 lead mare can’t just waltz in once a week, demand everyone’s respect for an hour, and then leave saying “See you again next week!”
Respect and trust in a relationship is earned, not demanded. This means that spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week is the ideal training plan for you and your horse.
The harsh reality is, the horse in your barn cannot expect to get that kind of attention. 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 generally is: If you practice good horsemanship and consistently have positive sessions, then the amount of time you spent is not important. Quality is better than quantity.
If, however, you don’t have great skills, try to be out there for at least an hour a day, three to four days a week, because quantity is going to save you.
Quantity is great for memorization, muscle training, and habit forming. Quality, however, makes up for lack of quantity.
I hope that helps answer at least part of this common question!
This post was edited February 2018.