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  • Writer's pictureFiona Tothill

Assigning the horses

Did you know …. Assigning the horses

We get a lot of questions about assigning the horses- well there’s a lot to it. Firstly, all horses have a max amount of hours that they can work and then a max amount of hours/lessons/hacks that can be done back to back.

So generally horses do a maximum of 3 hours per day, 1 day off a week or several easy days! We keep an eye on how the horses are behaving and what we feel is necessary for them. For example we sometimes put horses on a jumping ban if we feel they could do with a break from jumping, or we send them out on more hacks, do more groups, more private, lunging, long reining, free school or turnout. There are so many options that we have to choose from and all horses are different. When you’ve worked with them for long enough you start to understand what they are needing which usually makes selection easier. They really are such a big part of our team!

Anyway back to assigning. We go between hacking, group lessons and small school private lessons generally. The groups are 45mins to an hour, so a horse would only do a max of 3 group lesson per day (this is only generally at weekends) or they might do 2 group lessons and a hack, or an hour and a half hack and one group lesson. Another option would be 5 spaced out small school lessons which are 30 mins. As well as so many more options in between- we mix it up for all the horses and bear in mind fitness, age, condition, and how they’re feeling/behaving. Horses would only ever do 2 sessions back to back and we try to avoid this in the heat of the summer especially in the middle of the day- if they do work back to back they always get sponged off and offered fresh water between lessons.

Different lessons require different amounts of work from the horses i.e. some of the lessons the horses stand around a little longer, whereas some of the lesson are full of lots of trot and canter, this is all taken into consideration. We try our best to keep it fair, even and our horses happy and content in their work!

We also like to take into consideration you guys (our clients and riders) as coaches we start to learn who you like and those who you are not so keen on… equally which horses would benefit your riding (these might not always be the ones we find as easy or enjoyable). We often get a lot of requests and always try our best to accommodate where we can but it’s not always possible. When making request putting 3 or more horses is a big help to the coaches and usually means you’ll get at least one of your pick.

Equally sometimes it’s good to leave it up to us, you might get someone you never would even think of - and they might become a new favourite! Something else we consider with assigning is where/what the rider is doing - different horses work best for different things so we have to factor in if it’s jumping flatwork, hacking, lane work or lunging.

Chloe, Chris and Fiona tend to be the main people who assign the horses and one person would usually do the whole day, we find this far easier to keep track of what the horses are doing and generally a lot quicker then everyone doing bits here and there.

Anyway, hopefully that covers a lot of what you would ask about - please send in any questions and we will be more than happy to answer.

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1 Comment

Alex Clark
Alex Clark
Nov 30, 2023

thanks for post

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