Having a horse is a big responsibility, there are many practices that you have to keep in mind in order to make sure your horse stays healthy and happy. Not only is a horse a large monetary investment, but having a horse also means dedicating a great deal of your time to caring for this animal. In the following blog post we will cover some ways that you can care for your horse after exercising them (taking them on a run, doing jumps, etc.) Surely you want to have as much time with your horse as you can get and this means making sure they are healthy.
Horses (just like any pet) need you to be thinking about their health more than just when they are sick, these tips offer you preventative methods to make sure that your horse doesn’t strain or overexert themselves which can lead to larger health problems down the road. However, by following tips like the ones given in this blog post you can have a better chance at preventing certain health issues most horses face.
Here is some of the information that you can find in this blog post:
Before even getting back to the stables and untacking your horse a good thing to remember is to give your horse a cooling down period from whatever exercising they’ve been doing. If you’ve taken your horse on a run, trail ride, or had a dressage or jumping lesson then before you take them back to the stables to untack you should walk them for about five to fifteen minutes. Walking them for this five to fifteen minute period helps your horse relax and start to cool down after warming up while exercising. During this time pay close attention to how your horse is walking. If you notice their pace or tread looking unusual then this may be a sign that their legs are feeling a bit sore or tense. It is also not a good sign if your horse is breathing particularly heavily or sweating more than usual. If that is the case then you should dismount and walk them back to the stables.
Once you’ve helped your horse to cool down after exercising and you make your way back to the stables there are a couple things you should do first. One of the most important things that you should do for your horse after going on a ride with them is to dismount and loosen their cinch or girth so that they can breathe more easily.
After this you will want to remove your horse's saddle and bridle and check to see if there are any places where the saddle has been rubbing your horse the wrong way causing saddle sores. If this is the case you will want to look into finding a better fitting saddle for your horse that doesn’t cause these problems.
These steps are very important to complete as soon as you get back to the stables with your horse. Not only will it make them more comfortable but it will help them to relax and recover if you’ve been working on exercises that are more strenuous than usual with your horse. If your horse still seems to be breathing heavily after a five to fifteen minute walk and having their saddle and bridle removed you may have overexerted them. If this is the case consider taking it a little easier on your horse the next time you go out for a ride.
After you’ve taken care of your horses immediate needs (cooling down and getting their bridle and saddle off), you should offer your horse water. Make sure your horse isn’t drinking too much water too fast as this can cause discomfort for them, but other than that there is no harm in letting your horse quench their thirst after a long trail ride or other exercises.
If you’re in a hotter climate you should hose your horse down after a ride. Especially if it is hot out hosing down your horses legs will help them feel more comfortable and get any dirt and sweat off them. While you’re at this it’s a good idea to feel your horses legs for any scratches or swollen areas. After this clean out your horse’s hooves, making sure there aren’t any stones stuck in their hooves and that their shoes are still on securely if they have them.
All of these tips will help you to prevent your horse from injuring themselves in the future and will ensure that you and your horse have many years of riding ahead of you.
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