Poll Recap: Daily Time Devoted to Horses

Poll Recap: Daily Time Devoted to Horses

Of the 1,192 respondents, 358 (30%) said they spend an average of two hours a day riding and caring for horses.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Many equestrians' dream world involves a lovely facility, your choice of horses, and unlimited time to spend with those horses. But in the real world, work, school, family and other responsibilities demand our time, and we often find ourselves wishing for just a few extra hours in a day to spend with our four-legged family.

So how much time, on average, are you able to spend riding and caring for horses? We posed this question to our readers in last week’s online poll. More than 1,150 people responded and we’ve tallied the results

Of the 1,192 respondents, 358 (30%) said they spend an average of two hours riding and caring for horses, while 322 (27%) said they spend three hours per day in the barn. Another 186 individuals (16%) spend an average of five hours or more each day with horses and 179 people (15%) said their average daily time devoted to horses amounts to four hours. The remaining 147 respondents (12%) spend an average of an hour or less riding and caring for horses each day.

Additionally, more than 60 people commented about their daily time devoted to riding and caring for horses:

Several commented that they spend a few hours daily caring and riding for horses:

  • “I board my guy with all-day turnout and an open barn at night, so I'm out three to four hours a day, four to five days a week!”
  • “I spend three hours per day just doing chores and caring for horses. It takes longer if I'm riding.”
  • “Chores plus 'us' time amounts to three hours daily.”
  • “I do self care, so the number I picked is the minimum time I put in: two hours.”
  • “Three to four hours per day, 365 days a year. ‘Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night ...’ ”
  • “I figure a half hour per horse, per day, for caring for five horses. I'm not riding right now, so that's not factored in.”
  • “I spend close to two hours every other day and more on the weekends, but not every weekend.”
  • “I spend three to four hours a day (three to four days a week) grooming, riding, stretching, and massaging.”
  • “Two hours are average, but more as weather permits.”
  • “Two hours for care plus riding time, which varies and is not daily.”

Others said they spend four or more hours at the barn:

  • “It depends on the day, but probably averages about four hours each day for horse care and riding.”
  • “Barn chores plus riding two horses plus feeding equals eight hours on average. I love it!”
  • “When I'm with my horses, it's a long time, but not every day. So, two to four days a week for four or more hours.”
  • “All day? It feels that way! I average 10-hour days, but its longer if something goes wrong.”
  • “I am an assistant barn manager with three horses of my own and care for, along with two others, so from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.!”

Some respondents said their daily time spent riding and caring for horses depends on the time of year:

  • “It's limited on weekdays, but in the summer and on weekends I spend as much time as possible!”
  • “In winter, the time doubles or triples depending on how bad the weather gets.”
  • “Less in winter, more in summer. I ride less than I'd like and spend most of the time doing chores around the place.”
  • “During school I spend one hour, but during breaks it's two or more hours.”

A few shared how they spent their time at the barn:

  • “I do my stalls, pick up manure outside, and ride, less in winter. I live in Canada.”
  • “I do twice-a-day feeding, turn-out and bring in, etc.”
  • “I do more horse and farm care than riding.”
  • “I don't ride very much. Usually just cleaning their stalls and grooming lately.”
  • “I don't do a lot of riding. It's mostly just caring for the three of them.”
  • “I spend more time caring for than riding, but he is so worth it!”
  • “Riding? What's riding? By the time we feed clean up, groom, exercise I'm usually done!”
  • “In winter it's mostly 'caring' for them. I have four horses.”

And others left general comments:

  • “The time passes enjoyably quickly when down at my barn.”
  • “This isn't accounting for the fact that I work eight hours a day so I can afford my horses.”
  • “Keep my own horses, and farm maintenance and repair takes up time.”
  • “As a retiree, I can finally spend more time with my horse and barn friends.”
  • “Horses are on my property so I care for and enjoy, but not necessarily ride, them for hours each day”
  • “Just schedule a time and treat it like all the rest of the chores only more fun.”
  • “I don't have a lot of spare time during the week.”
  • “Its all about the love and passion.”
  • “If I could do 24 hours, I would. My horses are better company than most people.”
  • “I wish I could spend more time!”
  • “I have seven horses and five live in the barn. It's lots of work feeding and cleaning stalls, but I love them all!”
  • “When I get to the barn I'm there forever. Soon he'll be home and we'll see the difference then.”
  • “After work I spend most of the day with my horses.”

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This week, we want to know: does your dog accompany you and your horse off-leash on trail rides? Vote now and tell us about your experiences at TheHorse.com/polls!  

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health e-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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