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Re: RC: How many horses is too many?

At 06:54 PM 10/07/1999 -0600, Michelle Rowe wrote:
>Advise appreciated - especially if you are juggling two horses.

Hi Michelle;

I have two horses.  It isn't easy.  You have to be really committed (or is 
it you should be committed?) if you want to keep two horses going at the 
same time.  I don't know if I would want to do it again with one of them 
being a youngster.  Young horses require a lot of time and attention, which 
is hard to give if you are also trying to condition another horse.  Now 
that each of my horses has been competing for awhile it has gotten a lot 
easier.  For the first season or two I was riding at least three-five days 
a week, and took lessons two times a week.  So each horse would get worked 
a minimum of 2-3 times per week, and sometimes more than that.  I tried to 
be consistent.

Now, anything goes <G>.  If one does a ride he gets some time off and I'll 
ride the other one.  I like to give 4 weeks or more off between 
competitions, especially early in the horses career.  If I am giving a 
horse a month off between competitions I rarely ride them during that 
month.  I will take them on long walks with our dogs (usually about 3-5 
miles long), and always walk them for a few days after returning from a 
competition  (they are turned out 24/7).  Then, the week before the next 
competition I'll ride them twice.  Usually one ride the weekend before and 
one ride on Wednesday or Thursday evening before.  Anywhere from 7-20 
miles.  Any more than that and I would be over-riding them at their current 
level.  Remember, this is what I'm doing on horses that have been competing 
for a few seasons and have slowly built up to this level.  Also, I might 
change my strategy if I were riding more competitively.  Because my main 
goals this year were mileage goals, I generally ride conservatively.

Having two horses that are competing at the same time is also very 
expensive.  You're going to have double costs for all the routine things - 
hoofcare, healthcare (shots, dental care, coggins tests, travel papers, 
etc.), then there is the cost of additional tack and horse blankets, 
equipment, etc.  Feed......the list goes on.  Though I must admit, having a 
backup horse is pretty good insurance that your main horse is going to be 
sound.  :=)

Happy Trails,

in NV
& Rocky, 2,010 miles
& Weaver, 3,155 miles

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