Where does the 20 minute limit for exercise come from?

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LostandFound

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Anything I've read about getting your mini fit for show says not to work them more than 20 minutes. But does anyone know what they base that on? Are you only supposed to drive 20 minutes too? Or is it just something that one show barn decided and everyone repeats?
 

Edelweiss

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The 20 minutes is for lunging, usually a cap for strenuous work as you help your horse to build muscle tone, but also want them maintaining or gaining weight. Usually it is yearlings and two year olds who are being lunged as older can do their work with performance training, driving, jumping, etc. So yes, it's best not to do more than 20 minutes with the younger horses to avoid overtaxing their young joints.
 

MaryFlora

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From my schooling sessions years ago, I believe Chanda is correct. The 10 to 20 minute recommendation referred to working on one specific exercise or maneuver. You would still want to factor in conditioning work such as longer walk/jog work and trail riding when possible.

We use to start with about 10 minutes at a walk to loosen up with circles, walking ‘forward’, collected walk, halt, then we mixed in jog/trot for about 5 minutes or so then moved into more specific exercises for the day/horse/rider.

Each horse had typically 60 - 90 minutes schooling with about 20 minutes after on a loose walk and cooldown as needed.

Also as Edelweiss states, a young horse needs a gentler routine!

It sounds like you have some showing on the horizon LostandFound! Have fun!
 

Kelly

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I don’t lunge my young horses for very long. I worry too much! I lunge them until they listen to me then I stop. Then we work on something else, obstacles or walking/trotting/backing.…whatever. Sometimes I’ll only do a 5 or 10 minute quick session several times a day with them.

Now I drive Stormy as long as I want but I’m not trying to get him into show shape. The “20 minute rule” doesn’t apply to him for trail driving 🤣🤣 we just went on a 2 hour 20 minute drive yesterday. He totally deserves the day off today 😍😍
 

LostandFound

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My girl isn't anywhere near young anymore. And yes, she has a very full show season ahead of her. But I guess that does make sense, the big horses you ride for an hour + but that's different than lunging. And most minis getting fitted for halter are getting lunged.
 

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