Poll Recap: Taking Time Off Work for Horses

Poll Recap: Taking Time Off Work for Horses

Of the 430 respondents, 93 (22%) said they take more than two weeks off work for horse-related activities such as trail riding and horse shows.

Photo: iStock

From the necessary farrier and vet appointments to fun trips for horse shows and trail rides, owning and riding horses takes up quite a bit of time. So how do you make time in your schedule to fit everything in? 

In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers how much time they take off work each year for horse-related activities. More than 400 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 430 respondents, 93 (22%) said they take more than two weeks off work for horse-related activities. Some 90 respondents (21%) said they take more than one week but less than two weeks off, and another 90 people (21%) said they take a couple days off, but less than a week. Only 28 respondents (7%) said they limit their time off for horse activities to a few hours, and 61 individuals (14%) said they do not take time off work for their horses. The remaining 68 respondents (16%) had other responses.

Additionally, more than 120 people described how they coordinate time off work each year for horse-related activities:

Several people commented about when and what they take off work for:

  • “Farrier and vet appointments, horse shows, etc. I'm lucky to have flexibility in scheduling time off!”
  • “I take about 20 days for the horses for farrier, vet, trail riding vacations, horse fair, and just to be with them.”
  • “I try to schedule vet/chiro on lunch and farrier after work.”
  • “Most of our vacation is spent camping with our horses.”
  • “Clinics and vet appointments.”
  • “I schedule vet appointments around scheduled days off. I take time off for clinics/expos/shows, etc.”
  • “A week-long annual camping trip.”
  • “During the summer to get that winter hay supply in.”
  • “Shows, clinics, vet appointments, and vacation.”
  • “I take off about three hours each time the farrier or the vet comes, about an hour per horse.”
  • “Vet/farrier day in the spring for vaccinations, and maybe a fun/play day or two.”
  • “I had a sick horse that died. I took three weeks off.”
  • “I'm retired now, but when working, if I had a sick horse however long it took, ip to and including quit my job.”
  • “Basically, almost all my time off is spent with my horses. Vet, clinics, riding, etc.”
  • “To complete farm maintenance/repair as disrepair dictates.”
  • “A few hours for vet appointments. Shows and clinics are Saturdays so don't need time off work.”
  • “Fridays and Mondays to camp and trail ride.”
  • “Chiropractic adjustments, vet routine care, treat minor ailments, and spa days for shedding out.”
  • “I take time to do all of those items. As a horse owner, they are part of life.”
  • “I save all vacation time and sick leave for vet appointments and big shows.”
  • “My Mini horses are uncooperative with the farrier. They have to be sedated so I am there to help.”
  • “For continuing education as a PATH TR Instructor.”
  • “I take the day off after a show, and sometimes leave early to make a vet appointment.”
  • “Vet visits, usually where sedation is involved.”
  • “Every year I go to watch Arabian Horse Nationals in Tulsa.”
  • “Endurance rides.”

Some respondents commented that they were retired:

  • “I'm retired. Horses on my farm and I'm home 24/7.”
  • “I got my first horse when I retired, so I never have taken time off from work. Now I'm 80 and have two mares.”
  • “I am retired so I can spend as much time as necessary with my two horses.”
  • “I'm retired. It's all horse time!”
  • “Thankfully I'm retired so I have time for my horses and a life.”
  • “I'm semi-retired so schedule around work.”
  • “I'm finally retired ... and I take off every day and go horsing.”
  • “I'm retired! And my husband and I built a home and stables for our horses, in central Mexico.”
  • “Now I'm retired. When I worked, offset overtime hours for horse hours.”

A few people said they do not take time off work for horses:

  • “Since I work with horses most, but not all, of my vacation time is horse-free.”
  • “I can't, I am a school teacher.”
  • “I'm in high school. Can't take time off school for horses.”

And others left general comments about their time off:  

  • “I'm self-employed, so I adjust my schedule as needed.”
  • “I work part-time and schedule my horse-related activities around my work days.”
  • “I'm fortunate to work in a 'horse-friendly' office where we can run to the barn as needed.”
  • “I work nights and spouse works days, so someone is always available for vet appointments.”
  • “I work from home and can work around my horses needs if any.”
  • “I am self-employed. I fit my horse time into my schedule.”
  • “Rare for me to leave work, except in emergency situations. Used vacation time when needed.”
  • “Semi-retired and work part time, plan vet and farrier and rides when off except for emergencies.”
  • “Horses are my job, so I'd say I take a few hours off each day to do non-horsey stuff!”

This week, we want to know: Have you ever cross-trained your horse by taking lessons outside your primary riding discipline? 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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