BY INTERN ANNIE BIRMINGHAM
We all know that horses can be somewhat delicate creatures, and straying from a strict care routine both before and after riding often leads to complications. Here are 5 good horsemanship habits that you should consider adding to your routine, with your horses comfort and overall well being in mind:
Loosen Your Girth
Ever worn a belt that was just a little bit too tight? Make it a habit of loosening your girth right after you hop off and roll up your stirrups, even if it’s just for a short walk back to the barn aisle, your horses will thank you for keeping their comfort in mind.
Pick Out Your Horses Feet
Failing to clear your horses feet from debris before a ride (even just a light hack) could potentially cause detrimental damage overall well being and soundness. We’ve all heard the horror stories, don’t take the risk!
Use a Cooler for Sweaty Ponies in Chilly Weather!
With the crazy weather we’ve experienced up North this winter, sometimes we ride in quarter sheets, and sometimes our horses start to get sweaty on the warm days through their winter fuzz. Putting a cooler on your horse for just 15-20 minutes after a ride will wick away any sweat and regulate their body temperature, preventing them from cooling down too quickly and getting a chill.
Use Hoof Oil
Using hoof oil on your horses hooves (including the sole/frog area!) before and/or after a ride can help to fight against soreness, quarter cracks, thrush, and even laminitis, while “toughening up” the overall strength of the hoof. Our farrier recommends Farriers’ Fix Hoof Oil- available here.
Apply Liniment After a Hard Workout
Applying liniment to your horse’s legs is a common practice to provide comfort after strenuous activity. Remember, horses are athletes, too! Bigeloil is a personal barn favorite (available here), and helps to reduce soreness caused by fatigue by stimulating circulation. This is a simple habit to get into that can help to preserve your horses legs for the future.
Adding these good habits into your horse care routine can help to increase your horse’s comfort and reduce further issues involving soundness, as well as joint and hoof health, in the long run. Consider making them apart of your day to day routine to see the results for yourself!
About the Author: Annie Birmingham is an 18 year old equestrian from Long Island, New York. A freshman at Long Island University studying equine management, Annie can usually be found spending time at the barn and grooming at horse shows up and down the East Coast.
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